Turmeric is becoming a rising star in the health world as it sees growing use with enthusiasts. With the ever-growing list of benefits turmeric has to offer, it is no surprise that more and more people are taking advantage of it. However, there are a few questions of concern for people with specific dietary restrictions and habits. These questions are especially concerning for those who have committed to a vegan lifestyle, which prohibits the consumption of animals and their byproducts.
As a result, those vegans considering the use of turmeric for their needs are questioning whether the supplements will fit those limitations. We know that finding products that fall in line with vegan dietary restrictions can be something of a challenge. We hope to guide whether or not you can trust turmeric to remain true to your vegan lifestyle with this article.
What Exactly Does Veganism Prohibit?
Veganism is a dietary lifestyle that requires an intensive level of commitment and vigilance regarding the food we eat and the products we use. Veganism prohibits the consumption of animal meat like vegetarianism and the consumption of any products whose yield is due to animals. While a vegan abstains from eating beef, poultry, and seafood, they also restrict themselves from dairy products like milk and cheese due to the role of cows and other animals in their production.
In more extreme instances of veganism, these restrictions extend even further to products like clothing and even hand soap. Any product that might have been made by exploiting an animal would fall under the category of prohibited substances for vegans. However, that is a topic for another day.
As a result, vegans must carefully examine the ingredients of all food and drink they purchase since even the most innocuous product might make use of animal byproducts. For example, even an average loaf of bread at the grocery store could have been baked with milk as one of the chief ingredients. So, keeping an eye on what you purchase is vital to make sure there are no animal-based products in them. The real question is whether or not certain supplements will possess animal byproducts, including supplements designed to provide the effects of turmeric.
Is Turmeric Vegan-Friendly?
The next question is whether or not turmeric itself is a vegan-friendly product. The simple answer is yes, turmeric is a vegan product. Simply put, turmeric itself is a tuber that falls into the same family as ginger. Specifically, turmeric is a member of the Curcuma Longa family of roots. So, as a plant, it likely remains well within the bound of vegan dietary restrictions so long as you are consuming it on its own. Turmeric has long been used in cuisine in India and Asia since its initial discovery, along with the dyeing of fabrics and other products. But the root in and of itself is a vegan-friendly addition to any diet.
However, when you use turmeric for cuisine, it becomes a matter of ensuring the recipe used is vegan-friendly. Using turmeric in a meat-based dish will not be vegan even if the turmeric is. Aside from that, you should have no concern about raw turmeric. Turmeric has become a great friend to vegans since it increases the flavor and coloration of certain dishes like tofu.
There are some considerations to be made, however. In some lesser markets, vendors attempt to adulterate their yield of curcumin that does not meet the muster of more discerning vendors. Ensuring that the turmeric is from a reputable seller will help ensure that the turmeric is not cut with any additional substances that might contain animal matter or, even worse, toxins. Making sure that any supplements you consider also purchase their turmeric from these vendors will help uphold this practice.
Since turmeric is not created through animal matter or animal byproducts, it is traditionally safe for vegans. However, the supplements that are marketed for general use might require a little more consideration.
Are Turmeric Supplements Vegan-Friendly?
While traditionally tailored to reinforce the qualities of a specific ingredient, supplements tend to have additional ingredients. For example, many supplements include animal matter or their byproducts, and some turmeric supplements might follow suit.
Some common ingredients include egg, milk, and even shellfish, depending on the brand and purpose of the supplement. This inclusion can make purchasing supplements that boast vegetable matter a little more treacherous than you might think. Fortunately, there is a straightforward method for ensuring that the supplements you are considering remain consistent with vegan dietary restrictions.
The easiest method is to examine the bottle's label before purchasing. Supplements will list the various ingredients used in the products to make an informed decision. The ingredients listed will ensure that there is nothing within that could compromise the exclusion of these animal products. This step is essential to making sure you do not accidentally ingest something that could cause complications in terms of diet or health.
Most supplements will likely not possess any animal matter, but there will always be exceptions of some sort when it comes to turmeric. Verifying the ingredients of the turmeric supplements is essential, but you will be hard-pressed to find a turmeric supplement that is not compliant with vegan standards. So long as the supplements have followed the proper manufacturing practices and do not contain any animal byproducts as added ingredients, your supplements will be as vegan-friendly as the original tuber.
The real quirk of turmeric supplements lies in making sure they are viable for the benefits you are after, precisely because the real asset of turmeric supplements, curcumin, is extremely difficult for the human body to absorb. In fact, the average concentration of curcumin in turmeric is a mere 3.14% per unit. This is why the additives in the supplements are necessary to enhance the effects.
What Additives Should You Look For?
While many additives can safely be added to supplements for our consumption, some are essential. For turmeric, the low bioavailability of curcumin makes the compound all but useless unless enhanced with an additional product. While some supplements require added compounds of a more complex nature, turmeric supplements require a very simple addition in the form of piperine. While piperine might seem like a strange substance, it is very easily found in a product you already have in your home: black pepper.
Piperine is a critical component of black pepper, making it simple to add to turmeric supplements or even food cooked with turmeric. Piperine is a potent alkaloid that can safely interact with curcumin, the chief curcuminoid of turmeric responsible for its many health benefits. Piperine has been recorded to increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000% and give your body the ability to assimilate the curcumin within your body appropriately.
Even a concentration as low as 20 mg of piperine is enough to increase the bodily absorption rate of curcumin. The reason piperine can increase is subject to one of two theories. The first theory purports that piperine enables the curcumin to pass directly through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream without interference. The second theory states that piperine slows the liver's ability to break down curcumin and increase its concentration in your bloodstream.
As for whether or not piperine invalidates the vegan status of a turmeric supplement, there is nothing to worry about. Black pepper comes directly from plant life and follows the same vegan concepts as turmeric roots. So, not only does purchasing a turmeric supplement with piperine remain true to the vegan lifestyle, but it also enables you to maximize the benefits of turmeric in your system.
Finding the Proper Type of Supplement
Now that we are aware of turmeric and any supplements associated with it, the question becomes what form your supplement should take. Turmeric can be introduced to your system through many means, including shots, powders, and traditional capsules. Finding the ones that work for your specific needs is vital to ensuring that you have the best possible experience. While powders and shots are viable options for introducing turmeric and curcumin into your system, capsules might be the most time-efficient and effective.
The primary concern for those looking into turmeric supplements is the capsule form. Capsules are often made of gelatin, which is an animal product and thus not vegan. However, vegan capsules are available if you know where to look. If you're looking for a capsule-style supplement, make sure the capsules themselves are vegan as well as their contents.
Most capsules come preloaded with piperine to ensure the effects take hold. Additionally, most capsules will remain well within the bounds of vegan dietary restrictions to maintain your quality of life. Short of creating your own turmeric concoctions, supplements ensure vegan ingredients and maintain the product's effectiveness. Not to mention that capsule can be quickly taken before your day fully begins.
However, the type of supplement you elect to use is a matter of personal preference, depending on your needs. The only primary concerns should be ensuring that it contains piperine or another component that will enhance the curcumin's bioavailability and ensuring the ingredients are vegan. Once those are determined for any supplements you are considering, you can safely use any of them to effect.
Make Sure the Dosage is Safe
While not strictly an issue for vegans, any new supplement you intend to use requires the proper dosage. Most products have limitations to ensure no risk of suffering ill effects from overconsumption. Making sure that any turmeric supplements you intend to use do not exceed the safe dosages of the core product is essential for your overall health. However, when it comes to turmeric, there are some unusual characteristics about it. While curcumin is considered safe, there are no official guidelines for its consumption.
As a result of the lack of official dosage guidance, no discovered maximum tolerable intake has been discovered. This makes finding an ideal dosage something of a challenge. There have been no confirmed cases of overdose from turmeric. However, some people have experienced side effects if too much is taken in a single sitting. In overly large doses, people have reported experiencing skin rashes. So, while there are no official guidelines, the best course of action is to follow the instructions on the container to minimize any risk.
Aside from following the dosage instructions on your supplement's packaging, the best course of action is to consult with your primary care physician. With the appointment, they will be able to help determine if you risk any allergic reactions from a new substance like curcumin and what limitations you will personally have to impose on yourself.
The Nu You
Veganism requires you to compromise on certain purchases and foods to make sure you do not consume anything with animal matter in it. This level of compromise can extend to the supplements we use to improve our overall health. While some supplements might defy convention and contain animal matter, the vast majority are comprised of vegetable matter with no meat or dairy within. Turmeric itself is a vegan-friendly tuber that can offer many health benefits. Making sure the supplements that use it follow those same conventions is essential. Your biggest challenge will be locating a brand of supplements that meets your needs and follows vegan regulation.
To that end, we at NuVitality would like to direct you to our brand of turmeric supplements. Not only do they include piperine to ensure your absorption of curcumin from the supplement, but they are 100% vegan friendly. Our supplements contain no soy, shellfish, milk, or egg and are created using vegetable capsules. With these supplements, you will enjoy all the benefits turmeric has to offer while remaining true to your vegan lifestyle. So, give our website a look and try our supplements to take the first step towards the Nu healthy you.
After reading today's article, do you have any additional questions or concerns about turmeric supplement use? If so, please do not hesitate to reach out and contact us at any time! We would love to be able to help you out however we possibly can!