Turmeric is pretty famous these days. It’s often promoted as a powerful way to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. It could even help with your heart, with mental health, and in many more areas. The benefits of turmeric shots may be even more pronounced, partly because the shots allow you to get a decent amount of turmeric per serving.
This is important. After all, if you only used turmeric in your cooking, you might not be getting much of it at all.
Turmeric shots often include other ingredients as well. Some of these may provide extra benefits, while others help with your absorption of curcumin (the active compound in turmeric).
Before we dig into how turmeric shots could help you, let’s be clear – we’re talking about turmeric as a health tonic, not as an ingredient in alcoholic shots. Using turmeric with alcohol isn’t going to give you the same benefits as using the spice as part of a health tonic. Sorry.
The Benefits And Risks Of Turmeric Shots
What Are Turmeric Shots?
Turmeric shots are simply small drinks that contain a decent amount of turmeric. Most versions aren’t just turmeric though. There are normally some extra ingredients, such as orange juice, ginger, coconut water, and even maple syrup.
The sweet ingredients give you a more palatable drink, while the liquid dilutes the shot somewhat.
You’ll almost always see black pepper as well. This is crucial, as the piperine in black pepper improves your absorption of turmeric. You’d see fewer benefits if the black pepper wasn’t there.
You’ll occasionally find versions made using coconut oil instead of coconut water. These are more controversial, as coconut oil is high in saturated fat. However, the fat in coconut oil should improve your absorption of the turmeric, which might just make it worthwhile.
How Turmeric Shots Could Help You
Many people like the idea of consuming turmeric regularly, but don’t like the flavor or can’t find enough ways to use the spice. Turmeric shots get around those issues, as you can down the shot quickly and often barely taste it.
Could Decrease Inflammation
Turmeric is famous as an anti-inflammatory ingredient. Much of this effect comes from active ingredient curcumin, although some other compounds play a role as well.
The word anti-inflammatory is bandied around a lot these days, so let’s talk about the concept. Basically, inflammation itself is a natural process – and an essential one. It’s part of our immune system, meaning that our bodies need some inflammation to heal and help to fight off invaders.
However, too much inflammation has the opposite effect.
Having consistently high levels of inflammation may even be incredibly damaging, increasing the risk of various diseases and leading to pain. Indeed, some diseases are directly linked to chronic inflammation, including asthma, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Anti-inflammatory foods and drinks are also important simply because modern diets are packed full of inflammation causing ingredients, including processed foods, refined carbs, and more. Decreasing your intake of these and getting more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet may be one of the most powerful ways to stay healthy.
Might Decrease Arthritis Pain
Some forms of arthritis are inflammation based. Because of this, anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric shots don’t just reduce your risk of the condition; they can also decrease the pain that goes along with it.
Studies vary in outcomes, but many show that turmeric supplementation reduces pain to some degree. The right supplement could even be as powerful as anti-inflammatory medications.
Plus, turmeric doesn’t come with all the same risks and side effects as medication, making it an excellent choice for some people.
Research has mostly focused on turmeric supplements or curcumin supplements, so less is known about using turmeric shots instead. Still, they do contain the same active ingredients, so you could easily see some benefits.
Acts As An Antioxidant Too
Turmeric doesn’t just decrease oxidation. It can help with oxidative stress as well.
Like inflammation, oxidation is a natural process that our bodies need to stay healthy. Too much oxidation, though, can be harmful and raise our risk of diseases.
Modern diets and lifestyles often lead to high levels of oxidative stress. Getting more antioxidants in your diet should help to balance things out.
Turmeric is an excellent choice here, as you’re getting potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in the same spice. Your turmeric shot could easily include other antioxidant ingredients as well, like ginger.
Could Help With Your Immune System
Spices are often associated with an immune system boost. Turmeric is no exception, as it can improve your antibody responses. The effect even occurs at low doses, so you don’t need a large amount of turmeric to improve your immune health.
Immune system improvements are particularly relevant for anyone with an autoimmune disease.
The effect may also help your body to fight off infections, which is particularly important these days. Now, turmeric isn’t going to completely protect you against COVID or any other infection. Of course not, but the immune system boost may help a little.
There Could Be Unknown Benefits
Turmeric has long been used in traditional medicine. In that role, it’s been linked to many possible benefits. While some of these have been studied in-depth, we know very little about other ways that turmeric might improve outcomes.
For example, turmeric might be relevant to your mental health, helping to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. It could also improve brain function. There could easily be other hidden effects too.
After all, nutrition is complex. Every ingredient contains many different compounds. The compounds can interact with each other, with our bodies, and with the compounds in other foods.
A well-designed study into even one of the possible benefits of turmeric takes a decent amount of time, energy, and funding. It’s hardly surprising that there’s still so much that we don’t know about most foods and drinks.
One of the best things you can do is to experiment for yourself. Try having turmeric shots regularly and see what impact they have. Do your pain levels change? What about your energy?
Are There Any Risks?
Turmeric has a long history of being used as a spice, so we know that it’s safe for most people.
However, some caution is needed as turmeric shots mean you’re consuming higher doses of turmeric more regularly than you would otherwise. It’s worth paying attention to how your body reacts, to make sure there aren’t any side effects from doing so.
Remember too that natural ingredients aren’t always benign. They can interact with some medications, with health conditions, or with other supplements, in ways that can lead to problems.
Indeed, turmeric does change how some medications behave in your body – including antidepressants, blood thinners, and blood sugar medications. If you’re taking such medications, it’s essential to talk to your doctor and ensure that there are no significant health risks.
Turmeric actually influences iron absorption as well. This is concerning, as many people aren’t getting enough iron as it is. You may need to be particularly careful if you’re following a plant-heavy diet, as non-heme iron from plants isn’t absorbed as well as iron from animal foods.
What Turmeric Shots Can’t Do
Health tonics like ginger shots, turmeric shots, beet juice, and more have plenty of potential benefits. But, this doesn’t mean that they’ll dramatically change your health.
Seriously. Being healthy isn’t rocket science.
Doing so involves eating plenty of whole foods, avoiding processed foods and additives as much as you can, getting plenty of nutrients, and staying active. The healthy compounds found in turmeric shots complement such practices, but they don’t replace them.
There’s also plenty we don’t know. Even the idea that turmeric decreases inflammation hasn’t been fully proven.
At best then, you’re going to see subtle effects from having turmeric shots regularly. This doesn’t mean you should avoid them. Not at all. Just don’t expect them to suddenly fix whatever ails you.
The Best Turmeric Shots
Whether you’re making or buying turmeric shots, there are a few things to watch out for.
First, be cautious about any added sugar, even if this comes from oranges or honey. Sugar can be harmful, often leading to weight gain and increased inflammation. The issue is amplified by how most of us already consume much more sugar than we should.
Is adding sugar to a health tonic really helpful? If you need some sugar to make the shot taste okay, then look for sugar from natural sources and make sure there isn’t too much of it.
Second, watch out for additives. Some of the shots sold in stores do have additives to help with taste or shelf life. It’s best to give these a miss, as they won’t improve your health at all and come with some risks.
The last thing is to think about the other ingredients. At the very least, you want some black pepper in your shot, as this helps your body to absorb the curcumin from turmeric.
Other ingredients may provide extra benefits. For example, ginger, cayenne pepper, carrot, and pineapple juice all sometimes feature. These ingredients influence the flavor as well, so you might need to experiment with different recipes until you find some you like.
Turmeric ginger shots could be a particularly useful type, giving you the potency of those two spices at the same time.
However, remember that each ingredient can interact with any medication you’re taking or with health conditions. This is true for anything herbal. It’s important to do your research first, to make sure that your health supplement isn’t likely to harm you instead.
Turmeric shots have plenty of potential. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects alone could decrease your risk of disease and perhaps even decrease pain.
The biggest caveat is that these shots will never transform your health. Seriously. The healthy compounds they provide won’t be enough to offset an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. And, if you’re already eating well, then the shots mightn’t do much at all.
It’s best to see turmeric shots as one part of living and eating well – something to use periodically but not get too obsessed over.
Remember too that turmeric shots aren’t the only way to use turmeric root. There are many other options, including making a golden milk latte.
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