One of the most common health hazards of modern time is excessive fat deposition in the body. A very large portion of the human population is affected by it all over the world.
Being overweight is the condition of energy imbalance in the body. This imbalance is reflected as storage of fat.
Obesity is a large-scale social and medical problem all over the world and refers to having too much body fat.
This could cause a host of medical problems like osteoarthritis, gallstones, liver problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea etc.
Apart from eating too much, obesity can be caused by excess alcohol consumption, menopause, hypothyroidism, not exercising etc. The first step to fighting obesity or being overweight is to start a weight loss program.
This includes following a strict diet, exercise and in some cases even surgery.
There are so many ways to manage weight. Several herbs and spices can also help in weight loss/management. Turmeric is one such spice.
Research has indicated that turmeric can help in your weight loss efforts. In this article, we will discuss it in detail.
If you already know about Turmeric, please jump to the relevant section using the Table of Contents below, else please read on.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric scientifically known as Curcuma longa is one of the most relished spice. It belongs to the family Zingiberaceae, to which many spices belong.
The rhizome of turmeric is used in the dried or fresh form in cooking, cosmetics, and traditional medicines.
It has numerous bioactive compounds that endow several medicinal benefits to this spice. The most active and versatile of these compounds is the curcuminoids, especially curcumin.
The other compounds that are present in turmeric are volatile oils, Vitamins (B&C), Potassium, Sodium, Iron, Omega-3 fatty acids, α-linolenic acid, proteins, carbohydrate, fibres etc.
These compounds provide turmeric with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, analgesic, thermogenic properties and many more.
Read: 100 Health Benefits of Turmeric
8 Awesome Benefits of Turmeric in Weight loss
Turmeric can assist in weight loss in several ways. Turmeric prevents fat accumulation and promotes browning of white adipose tissue. It has has a thermogenic action which helps in fat burn. Turmeric is also known to accelerate diet-induced weight loss. Apart from this turmeric can help with other conditions commonly associated with excessive weight – diabetes, heart issues, depression etc.
You can read the benefits and their reasons, or just watch the video below to get their gist –
1. Turmeric prevents fat accumulation and hastens fat loss
Accumulation of fat in the adipose tissues or other tissues such as those of stomach and liver is characteristic of excessive weight and obesity.
The white adipose tissue in the body is the major fat accumulation site.
Angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) in the white adipose tissue is linked to the fat accumulation in the obese people.
In order to reduce this fat accumulation the angiogenesis in white adipose tissue needs to be targeted.
Turmeric can be useful in this. The turmeric constituent, curcumin can prevent fat accumulation in the adipose tissues.
In a study, it has been shown to modulate the metabolic activities in the white adipose tissues that prevent angiogenesis. This, in turn, results in decreased fat accumulation.
Curcumin has also been found to decrease the size of adipose tissues, i.e. lower fat accumulation in over-weight patients. The body measurements of these patients showed significant reduction of fat.
Moreover, it has been observed that turmeric along with sulphur can prevent fat deposition and improve the lipid profile of blood and liver in over-weight individuals.
What does it mean?
It means turmeric can prevent the fat accumulation in the adipose tissues and other organs. This can be useful in avoiding further weight gain in over-weight or obese people. Thus, this can be very helpful in managing weight.
2. Turmeric can accelerate diet-induced weight loss
Diet is a very important component of weight management. The calories that we consume through our diet require to check in order to prevent weight gain.
Reduction of high-fat diet intake and consumption of food that help in weight loss is useful.
There are several dietary products such as spices like turmeric which assist in the diet induced weight loss.
The carbohydrate fraction of turmeric is not absorbed by the body which is helpful in fat reduction and prevention of weight gain. Also, the dietary fibres of turmeric help in this.
Other studies have also shown the efficacy of turmeric (curcumin) in accelerating the weight loss induced by dietary changes.
In a study, overweight individuals were put under weight loss treatment through diet and lifestyle interventions. Some of them did not show significant weight loss and were then treated with curcumin.
These individuals after the curcumin treatment showed an enhanced weight loss. There was a significant increase in fat reduction and BMI was also found to decline considerably.
What does it mean?
It means turmeric use can assist and accelerate the weight reduction induced by diet. The dietary fibres and non absorbable carbohydrates of turmeric assist in this.
3. Turmeric promotes browning of white adipose tissue
Brown adipose tissue in humans has a significant function in heat production. This heat production comes at a cost of combustion of glucose and lipids.
This novel action of the brown tissue is gaining popularity as a therapeutic potential against obesity.
It has been observed that white adipose tissue can undergo browning and become an energy liberating tissue instead of a storing one.
There is a role of norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter) in the function of the brown adipose tissue.
The turmeric constituent, curcumin is found to be a promoter of browning of the white adipose tissue. It elevates the levels of norepinephrine which induces the browning process.
This action of curcumin, in turn, can prevent obesity by promoting the burning of accumulated fat in the body.
What does it mean?
It means consumption of turmeric can promote burning of fat by inducing browning of fat storing white adipose tissues. This can be very effective in preventing excessive weight gain.
4. Turmeric has thermogenic action
Thermogenesis is a metabolic process that involves burning calories in the body for energy expenditure. This process promotes the weight loss.
Increasing thermogenesis in the body through diet is seen as a practical and feasible approach towards the weight management.
Many dietary products such as green tea and spices are known to promote weight loss through thermogenesis.
Ginger, another spice of Zingiberaceae family is known for its thermogenic action. Its components gingerols and shogaols have been identified as potent thermogenic substances.
6-gingerol has been found to regulate metabolic rates in the animal model.
Turmeric has a presence of these components therefore, it has a potential of being a thermogenic substance.
What does it mean?
It means intake of turmeric in diet can promote weight loss by its thermogenic action. An increased metabolic rate in the body burns the calories and stored form of energy and thus promotes weight loss.
5. Turmeric suppresses inflammation associated with obesity
Inflammation is greatly associated with obesity or excessive fat deposition in the body. In cases of obesity, the accumulation of pro-inflammatory substances (IL-6, TNF-α etc.) has been found.
Adipose tissue produces substances called adipokines, some of these such as IL-6 and TNF-α have inflammatory action. In case of obesity or excess fat deposition, the inflammatory action of these adipokines leads to the production of oxidative stress.
This inflammatory response further leads to other diseases like metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes etc.
Turmeric being an anti-inflammatory substance can be very effective in targeting the inflammatory action of adipokines.
Curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action is known to target the obesity-associated inflammation. It down-regulates the activity of adipokines and up-regulates adiponection (regulates glucose and fatty acids levels) and thus decreases the oxidative stress caused by inflammatory adipokines.
What does it mean?
It means use of turmeric can reduce the inflammation and associated oxidative stress and thus be useful in preventing the disorders related to the obesity.
6. Turmeric has anti-diabetic action
The risk of diabetes is one of the most common among overweight or obese individuals. Therefore, prevention of this disease becomes very important.
Turmeric comes in handy here as well. It is known for its efficacy in the treatment and prevention of diabetes.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions of the curcuminoids, especially curcumin have a great anti-diabetic effect. These substances lower the blood sugar levels.
Curcumin has also been found to be significantly active against diabetes associated with obesity.
What does it mean?
It means turmeric consumption can reduce the risk of diabetes among the obese individuals. The anti-diabetic effect of turmeric can be useful in the treatment of diabetes among obesity patients.
7. Turmeric prevents metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is another prevalent risk factor associated with obesity. Fat accumulation around the abdomen causes metabolic changes that cause metabolic syndrome, i.e. the risk factors that lead to coronary heart problems.
The reduction in weight can lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Turmeric is an efficacious agent against metabolic syndrome as well. It lowers the cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and blood sugar levels, and collectively acts againstthe condition.
Turmeric along with black seeds has been found to be very effective in the metabolic syndrome prevention.