Can Turmeric Help with PCOS? 4 Ways Turmeric Could Help you Manage PCOS Symptoms
You know as well as we do – the web is overflowing with theories on the best methods to manage PCOS symptoms, some science-backed, others with... let's just say a *lot* less substance.
One researched theory that piqued our interest, however, is that turmeric (the vibrant spice that's probably best known for giving curries that gorgeous yellowy colour) could be beneficial for people with PCOS. One study, in particular, concluded that turmeric extract has promising effects in treating PCOS and promoting ovulation.
It's not new news that turmeric may be health-promoting – indigenous communities have long used herbs and spices to treat and prevent illness. But, how exactly could turmeric be beneficial for people with PCOS, and how can we get more of it in our diets?
4 ways turmeric could help you to manage your PCOS symptoms
1. It could help to improve insulin resistance
Insulin resistance affects 65-70% of people with PCOS – and it can have huge implications both on wellbeing and quality of life.
One review study found reason to believe that turmeric may help to improve glycemic control and lipid metabolism (blood sugar levels, in other words). The evidence looks promising, but it's worth noting that more research is needed in this area.
2. It could help to reduce inflammation
Inflammation is one of the most painful symptoms of PCOS, and can leave women with problems such as headaches, fatigue and swelling throughout the body. Turmeric contains a substance called curcumin, which in studies has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It’s so potent that it’s been said to rival aspirin and ibuprofen.
2. It's antioxidant-rich
The curcumin in turmeric isn’t just a great anti-inflammatory – studies have shown it’s also a brilliant antioxidant. Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, are substances that protect against damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to the development of illnesses such as diabetes, inflammatory joint disease, and cancer.
3. It could help to fight depression
Turmeric doesn’t just improve your physical health – there's a train of thought that it could also help to alleviate stress and depression. In short: there's growing evidence that inflammation could be linked with depression, and as turmeric is anti-inflammatory there's a possibility it may help to relieve some symptoms of depression.
That said, turmeric should not replace professional help with managing mental illness – there isn't enough solid, conclusive research.
Should I use turmeric to manage my PCOS symptoms?
Honestly? Whilst turmeric shows promising signs that it could help you to manage PCOS symptoms, there isn't enough evidence that it could be relied upon as a treatment method. That said, for most people, it's a great addition to your diet that could present some benefits.
Note that turmeric is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant or trying to conceive. As with any supplements, medications, and diet plans, we recommend checking with your doctor before trying them out.
3 ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet
1. Make golden milk
Golden milk is a traditional Indian drink which is warming, delicious and really easy to make – we love the recipe over at Minimalist Baker, which is naturally sweetened and dairy free. With extra spices such as ginger and cinnamon added in, it give you a real boost.
2. Add it to your soups and stews
Adding turmeric to soups and stews is one of the easiest ways to sneak it into your diet. It works perfectly with both lean meat and vegetable dishes, so it’s ideal to stir into everything from chicken casserole to vegetable soup, and even your porridge. Its warming goodness also makes it a natural ingredient to include in your homemade curries.
3. Add it to your vegetables
If you’re looking for ways to liven up your vegetables, turmeric is the answer. It's great in stir fries, ideal sprinkled over oven-roasted root vegetables, and it's even perfect blended up into a smoothie. Get creative.
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