Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Turmeric is everywhere right now, and we’re not mad about it. This vibrantly-colored, highly anti-inflammatory spice has a whole lot of potential, and it can offer up potential health benefits for your heart, mind, and even joints. But one visit to your local drug store or supermarket will show you that turmeric isn’t just a trend – it’s currently the trend, especially when it comes to gummies.
Countless brands are unveiling new turmeric gummies, products that promise to deliver all of the perks of taking this potent spice in a deliciously sweet form. Billed as a tasty way to take turmeric, plenty of people are stocking up on this convenient supplement choice. But are turmeric gummies actually good for you? Or are they really just overhyped?
We’re breaking down what, exactly, you’re getting when you take turmeric gummies.
Turmeric gummies do offer up potential benefits
Just like other kinds of turmeric supplements, such as pills and powders, turmeric gummies can deliver a good-for-you dose of beneficial bioactive compounds. These gummy vitamins are created with turmeric, which contains curcuminoids – and, most importantly, curcumin.
Curcumin and the other curcuminoids present in this yellow-orange spice are the nutrients that make it so great for your health. With natural, powerful anti-inflammatory effects and strong antioxidant content, curcumin can help fight chronic inflammation within the body. It can also fight free radicals and the oxidative damage they may cause.
Plus, the curcumin content in turmeric can also have potential advantages for those with certain health concerns or conditions. Curcumin, including curcumin in supplement form, has shown promise in treating arthritis, its symptoms and the inflammation it causes in the joints. It’s also been found to have some positive potential in treating depression, leading to improvements that are similar to commonly-prescribed medications.
And, even if you don’t have these health concerns, research suggests that curcumin may even help you get into a better mood. It’s been found to boost key neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, that can perk up your outlook.
So, turmeric gummies – which do include curcumin – can have some big potential benefits when taken regularly. But popping a couple of gummy supplements once a day may not be as powerful or effective as taking more traditional forms of turmeric.
Gummies may not contain as much curcumin as you think
Why are turmeric gummy vitamins not as potent as turmeric alone? By design, gummies simply don’t contain the same amount of nutrients as your typical dietary supplement.
In general, turmeric can be a bit weak in its potency. While turmeric in its most natural form (a ground spice) does contain curcumin, there isn’t a whole lot of this key bioactive compound present. Typically, ground turmeric is just 3 percent curcumin. And you need a whole lot more curcumin daily in order to really reap its potential benefits.
Most research studies utilize curcumin extracts to highlight the health advantages of this anti-inflammatory compound. These extracts typically contain about 95 percent curcumin – a much higher amount.
And in comparison to your average turmeric supplement, gummies can have even less to offer. According to Cleveland Clinic, gummy vitamins aren’t a 1:1 swap for regular dietary supplements. They tend to contain fewer vitamins and minerals, and it can be hard to determine how much, exactly, you’re getting out of each serving. This is because gummies have a more limited shelf life, and they become less potent as they age. The strength of whatever’s inside the gummies fades over months and weeks, altering how much you’re getting each time you take a serving.
So, even if a bottle of turmeric gummies lists how many milligrams you’re getting in each dose, your actual intake may vary.
Turmeric gummies can contain sugar
One of the biggest potential drawbacks of turmeric gummies isn’t what they lack, but rather what’s added in: Sugar.
Unlike pills and powders, gummy supplements are so appealing because they taste great. They’re often fruity and deliciously sweet, almost like you’re popping a piece of candy each time you take one. But these tasty turmeric gummies get that irresistible flavor from added sugars.
It’s common for all kinds of gummies, from daily multivitamins to apple cider vinegar to skin, hair and nails supplements, to contain added sugars. For example, Hum’s Glow Sweet Glow gummies contain 2 grams of sugar per serving. Similarly, NatureMade gummy multivitamins contain 4 grams of sugar, which includes 4 grams of added sugar, per serving.
And turmeric gummies are no different. While every brand and product is different, it’s quite common for these deliciously sweet turmeric supplements to include sugar in various forms. You’ll find gummies that contain anywhere from 2 grams to 8 grams of sugar per serving.
But it’s not just sugar and added sugar that can pop up in turmeric gummies. Sugar alcohols are also a common additive. Even sugar-free varieties may include sugar alcohols; they’re typically listed under the total carbohydrates when you’re looking at the nutrition label.
While the amounts of these additions may seem miniscule in the grand scheme of your diet, they can add up in sneaky ways. Taking sugary gummies and eating other foods high in sugar or sugar alcohols can overall tip you towards excessive sugar consumption, especially if you aren’t keeping an eye on the sugar totals in other foods.
Good gummies are low in additives but include black pepper
If you don’t want to stick with traditional turmeric supplements or seasoning alone, there may be some benefit to trying a gummy variety. But you’ll want to make sure you take a close look at the nutritional facts before you starting adding any turmeric gummies into your daily supplement routine.
Make sure you choose a gummy that’s low in sugar and avoids any added sugar or sugar alcohols. It’s also a good idea to look for other preservatives and additives; remember, supplements aren’t heavily regulated, and what’s inside can be surprisingly complex.
Additionally, to get the most out of your turmeric supplements, it’s a good idea to choose one that includes both curcumin and black pepper, or piperine. Black pepper naturally contains piperine, a substance that helps significantly increase your body’s ability to absorb curcumin and put it to use. The mere addition of piperine can up your curcumin absorption by as much as 2,000 percent – seriously!
Learn more about turmeric, turmeric supplements, and taking supplements: