A spicy solution for aches and pains

I’ve heard the spice turmeric can ease aches and pains. If this is true, how much do I need each day to feel better?
—Cynthia from Los Angeles, California 

ANSWER: It’s true that turmeric may help alleviate the aches and pains associated with arthritis. In fact, some research suggests it could potentially work as well as ibuprofen. (But don’t toss your arthritis medications just yet! Be sure to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications.)

The beneficial effect is likely a result of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, which functions as both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.  

While there is no exact amount proven to jump-start pain relief, try incorporating a small amount into your diet—about ¼ to ½ teaspoon per day. (For some people, large amounts may cause stomach upset.) 

You can find the powdered form of this gold-colored spice in the seasonings section of your local grocery store. If you’re looking for ways to add it to your daily regimen, try this simple recipe for Golden Milk Shots.  And, adding a pinch of black pepper may help to improve turmeric absorption. 


Have a diet or nutrition question you’d like me to answer? Send it my way.