Turmeric VS. Curcumin: Which Is Better?

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Turmeric is a key ingredient in the regional cuisine of India and surrounding countries, and through trade and migration, it has become a popular spice around the world. In addition to its district flavor, it has a number of qualities that are excellent for human health, including a key ingredient known as curcumin. In recent years, curcumin extract has become a popular supplement in its own right. This begs the question: What’s better for your health—to reap the benefits of curcumin by consuming turmeric in its naturally occurring form, or simply getting right to the good stuff with curcumin extract? We’ll explore this question in detail right now.

 

Turmeric

Turmeric is prepared by grinding up the dried root of the turmeric plant into a fine, yellowish powder. This powder is used as an ingredient in many main courses and side dishes in Asian cuisines. It is the key ingredient used to make curry, and it is what gives this staple of Indian cooking its distinctive yellow color. In addition to the many culinary applications for turmeric, the spice has also been used in many forms of traditional medicine in Asia. Practitioners of Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India) have used turmeric for thousands of years to treat conditions like gastrointestinal problems, and to make special tonics to purify the blood and liver.

 

Curcumin

The primary reason why turmeric has long been revered for its health and medicinal properties is because of its active ingredient, curcumin. As the name implies, curcumin belongs to family of compounds known as curcuminoids, and a typical turmeric root will contain a 2 to 5 percent concentration of curcumin. This compound was first isolated by scientists in 1815, but the full chemical structure wasn’t understood until the early twentieth century. It has been studied by scientists and nutritionists ever since.

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