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Does Turmeric Break A Fast?

Interested in trying out turmeric supplementation but unsure of whether it will affect your intermittent fasting? When it comes to supplements and fasting, there can often be confusion around what will or won’t break a fast. In this article we’ll take a look at when is the best time to take turmeric while intermittent fasting.

Key Takeaways

  • Whether or not turmeric supplementation will break a fast can depend on the way the turmeric is being taken.
  • Generally turmeric is best taken with a meal containing some fat as its active ingredient curcumin is fat soluble and may be better absorbed this way.
  • Fasting rules can vary depending on the kind of fast being undertaken so always consult a healthcare professional or religious leader if you have concerns regarding your fast.

The practice of fasting has been around for thousands of years and is common in nearly every major religion.

Essentially, fasting means to stop eating completely, or almost completely, for a certain amount of time.

However, in recent years, many people have been choosing to fast with the aim of improving their health, rather than in a religious capacity. Intermittent fasting has become one of the world’s most popular wellness trends.

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves cycling periods of fasting and periods of time when you can eat. For example, one method restricts your daily eating period to 8 hours, with a fast of 16 hours in between.

Weight loss is the most common reason people try intermittent fasting, and it does show promise as a method of weight loss and maintenance. (Source)

However, research also shows that intermittent fasting may play a role in:

  • Protecting against type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance (Source)
  • Reducing inflammation (Source)
  • Improving heart health (Source)
  • Maintaining brain health (Source)
Turmeric Flower, Root and Powder

What Is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family, native to southeast Asia but primarily India.

It is a deep, golden-orange spice known for adding color, flavor and nutrition to meals. It’s the spice that gives curry its yellow color.

But beyond this, turmeric has a history rooted in ancient Ayurvedic medicine and has been used in India for thousands of years as both a spice and medicinal herb.

For health purposes, the most widely-used part of the turmeric plant is its root. The root contains vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. One of these phytonutrients is curcumin, which is the main active ingredient in turmeric.

Curcumin has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and is thought to be the main source of the health benefits of turmeric.

Turmeric can be consumed in various forms, such as in capsules, tinctures, powders, juices or the root itself.

What Are The Benefits Of Turmeric?

So why do people take turmeric?

Aside from its culinary use, the curcumin in turmeric has been linked to a variety of health benefits.

Research shows that curcumin:

  • Reduces inflammation (Source)
  • May provide antioxidant effects (Source)
  • May support brain health (Source)
  • May promote joint health (Source)
  • May support heart health (Source)
  • May improve gut health (Source)

However, these benefits have been seen in studies using turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.

The curcumin content of regular turmeric powder isn’t that high – around 3% – meaning it would be very difficult to consume beneficial levels of curcumin just by using turmeric as a spice in your foods. (Source)

This is why people often opt for turmeric supplements instead, such as Human Tonik’s Red Tonik powder.

What Will Break A Fast?

To determine whether something will break a fast firstly depends on the fast in question.

Fasting rules can vary depending on the kind of fast being undertaken.

For instance, during Ramadan, Muslims cannot ingest anything during fasting. Therefore, taking turmeric would break this fast.

However, when it comes to intermittent fasting, things can be a little different. 

Many supplements even vitamins will break a fast.

As a general rule, only if a supplement has no calories, sugar, or no sweeteners can you take it during the fasting window.

Regarding turmeric, the type of turmeric you’re supplementing with makes a difference.

Does Turmeric Break A Fast?

You might be surprised that turmeric has a relatively high-calorie count, with 100 grams of turmeric providing 354 calories. That’s nearly 4 calories per gram. 

Raw Turmeric

For people who opt to include raw turmeric in their diet, either simply consuming the root itself or blending the root into a shot or juice, it is best to keep this for during your eating window as the calorie content will likely break your fast.

Turmeric Capsules

However, turmeric supplements that come in capsule form generally have negligible calories and should not affect your body’s fasting state.

So depending on how strict you are with your fast, you may take these during your fasting window.

Be sure to check the label of your supplements to check how many calories that specific product contains.

Those who adhere to a strict zero-calorie fasting method may object to the few calories found in supplements and so may prefer to wait until their feeding window to take any supplements.

If you are fasting for medical reasons or under the guidance of a healthcare professional, consult your practitioner regarding what can and can’t be included in your fast.

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Multinutrient Powders

Turmeric can also come as part of a multi-nutrient powder like our Red Tonik.

Multinutrient powders often contain a small number of calories per serving because their ingredients provide small amounts of carbohydrates, fibre and protein. Because of this caloric content, they would be considered to break a fast.

Additionally, some of the nutrients in these powders are better absorbed with food.

So always wait until your feeding window to enjoy your powder. 

When Should I Take Turmeric While Fasting?

As discussed, raw turmeric and turmeric as part of a multi-nutrient powder should only be taken during the feeding window for those taking part in intermittent fasting.

Otherwise, the calorie content may disrupt the body’s fasting state.

Some people may choose to take turmeric capsules during their fasting window as the caloric content of these is generally negligible.

However, if possible, it would be recommended to wait until your eating window to consume your turmeric supplement. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is fat-soluble, meaning it breaks down and dissolves in fat and oil.

So taking your turmeric supplement with a meal containing some fat may help your body to absorb the curcumin. 

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Tumeric & Fasting Conclusion

When intermittent fasting, it can be hard to know which supplements can be taken during the fasting period and which ones are better to take during your feeding window.

With turmeric supplementation, this can vary depending on how you take your turmeric.

Turmeric does contain calories and so, taking raw turmeric should usually be done during eating periods as the caloric content may affect the body’s fasting state.

Turmeric as part of a multi-nutrient powder, such as the Red Tonik, should not be taken while fasting as these powders also contain calories.

Turmeric capsules generally contain barely any calories and so depending on how strict you are being with your fast, these may be taken during the fasting window.

However, it would still be recommended to wait to take these with a meal containing some fat as curcumin is fat-soluble and may be absorbed better this way.

It is important to note that fasting rules can vary depending on the kind of fast being undertaken. People who are fasting for medical reasons, or under the guidance of a healthcare professional, should consult their practitioner if they have any concerns about what can and can’t be included in their fast, and those who are fasting for religious reasons should speak with their religious leader.

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