Besides garnering attention as a a veritable fountain of youth, cancer tamer and fibromyalgia remedy, turmeric has proven itself to be a formidable weight loss superfood as well. Easing inflammation is just one benefit of this golden beauty. It also mitigates insulin resistance and balances blood glucose levels while helping to prevent the spread of fat tissue – providing a powerful tool in the battle of the bulge. A staple in Asian cultures for centuries, turmeric is a safe, flavorful and nutrient-packed addition to any diet or weight loss plan.
Colorful fat fighter
Research at Tufts University in Boston discovered that curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) reduced weight gain and total body fat in mice that consumed the compound. Eighteen mice divided into three groups were fed either a low fat, high fat or curcumin enhanced high fat diet. At the end of the study, body weight of the mice and fat distribution were measured. For those that ingested the diet with curcumin, both total body fat and weight gain were reduced — even though food intake was not restricted. Blood glucose, cholesterol, fatty acid, triglyceride and liver fat were lower as well.
Another study at Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Medicine in China also found turmeric intake to be beneficial for weight loss. As stated by Anthony Gucciardi of Natural Society:
“… curcumin (once again, a compound within turmeric found in extracts and the food itself) consumption directly decreased levels of insulin resistance and leptin resistance – two factors heavily linked to fat gain. In the conclusion of the research, study authors state:
“By diminishing the sediment of fat, relaxing the lymphatic return, and refraining the apoptosis of beta cells, the curcumin might significantly decrease the level of insulin resistance and leptin resistance caused by the high fat diet.”
Similar findings were observed at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center — Columbia University. Dr. Drew Tortoriello, M.D., an endocrinologist and research scientist, found that “turmeric-fed obese mice showed significantly reduced inflammation in fat tissue and liver compared to controls.” He suspects “the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant ingredient in turmeric, lessens insulin resistance and prevents type 2 diabetes in these mouse models by dampening the inflammatory response provoked by obesity,” according to Science Daily.
Happily, researchers believe these results can be applied to humans too. With such a profusion of healthy benefits, all you really have to lose by enjoying this vibrant spice is excess weight.