Turmeric tea is quite often recommended for those who monitor weight and want to lose weight. This golden spice from the Orient has anti-inflammatory properties and can prevent and treat a number of serious diseases like diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and cancer thanks to curcumin. But is turmeric really good for weight loss? Let’s find out.
The main reason for weight gain is the consumption of more calories than the body burns. The excess calories are stored in the hotel as fat, whether it is visceral fat around vital organs or subcutaneous fat under the skin. Weight gain can be associated with physical inactivity or other health conditions such as hypothyroidism, stress, depression, chronic inflammation, and more.
Regulates fat metabolism.
Animal studies have shown that curcumin in very high doses reduces the accumulation of body fat, especially visceral fat or fat around vital organs of the body. However, this dose, also increased oxidative stress in the liver.
Curcumin prevents the differentiation of pre-adipocytes into adipocytes. Simply put, it prevents the formation of mature fat cells early in the cell cycle by modulating certain cellular signals.
On the other hand, in mature fat cells, curcumin suppresses the secretion of inflammatory chemicals called adipokines and increases the expression of adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory chemical. It also increases the antioxidant defenses of cells and activates the AMPK enzyme, which enhances fat burning. Curcumin also inhibits angiogenesis or the formation of new blood vessels necessary for the growth of adipose tissue.
Another new way curcumin enhances fat burning is by converting white to brown fat by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. White fat is fat that accumulates under the skin, sometimes even around vital organs, and leads to obesity, while brown fat is burned and helps convert glucose into energy. Thus, the more brown fat, the lower your chances of gaining weight.
2. Fights chronic inflammation.
Curcumin is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good weight loss aid. Inflammation and obesity feed off each other. Chronic inflammation in the body caused by long-term infection, injury, poor immunity, or poor diet can disrupt your hormones and lead to metabolic disorders, including obesity. On the other hand, obesity can also cause low-grade chronic inflammation in the body. Visceral fat cells become inflamed as they create more free radicals (reactive oxygen species), which in turn releases more inflammatory mediators.
Turmeric can address the root of the problem by boosting levels of free radical-fighting antioxidants. Curcumin also suppresses inflammation in the body. It also prevents and repairs damage to other organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys caused by obesity.
3. May prevent weight gain due to hypothyroidism.
Turmeric is often recommended to be added to the diet for hypothyroidism as an anti-inflammatory agent and a weight loss aid. Hypothyroidism is a chronic lack of thyroid hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. This condition slows down your metabolism and reduces the rate of fat burning, causing you to gain weight quickly. The study found that when hypothyroid rats were given turmeric extract, vitamin C, or vitamin E, their thyroid mass and total cholesterol levels decreased and the number of hormones in their blood increased. Although the study did not directly measure weight loss, the results point to better thyroid function and improved metabolism, which may trigger weight loss.
4. Fights metabolic syndrome.
In most cases, an obese person also has metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by high visceral fat, triglycerides, high blood pressure, and plasma glucose, insulin resistance, and low HDL cholesterol. Often, patients with metabolic syndrome do not lose weight despite diet or exercise. In one study of such obese people with metabolic syndrome, curcumin increased weight loss and reduced body fat, waist, and hip circumference, and BMI more effectively than simply interfering with diet and lifestyle. This again may be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and its ability to regulate a wide range of functions in the body.
Obesity is a common side effect of insulin resistance, a condition in which cells stop responding to insulin, eventually leading to excess insulin in the blood. High insulin levels promote fat storage. This is why type 2 diabetics and pre-diabetics often have weight problems. Turmeric is beneficial for diabetics and pre-diabetics and can aid them in weight loss by decreasing insulin resistance and increasing glucose absorption.
5. May reduce stress levels, leading to weight gain.
You can also put on extra pounds when you are under chronic stress or suffer from anxiety and depression due to the high amount of cortisol in your body. Cortisol promotes weight gain in several ways, including chronic inflammation. In animal studies, curcumin has been found to lower cortisol levels and increase the secretion of mood-lifting hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which combat the harmful effects of cortisol. With a more relaxed mind, you will also be less likely to overeat.
6. May help manage weight gain associated with PCOS
PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a hormonal disorder that can cause women to gain weight quickly. But anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric can help fight the inflammation associated with this disease and lead to significant weight loss. In an animal study, curcumin reduced markers of inflammation, abdominal fat, and body weight in a dose-dependent manner in PCOS rats. So try to eat more anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, ginger, and berries.
Eat turmeric daily for many other health benefits. You can add it to food as a spice or use it to make turmeric tea or milk, limiting your intake to 3 grams per day. However, turmeric alone cannot help you lose weight. Combine it with other anti-inflammatory foods, measure your calorie intake, and exercise to help you lose weight in a healthy way and not gain weight after losing weight. Although curcumin supplements are widely available, do not consume them without your doctor’s approval.