Before we talk timing, it’s helpful to contextualize what exactly turmeric does to support the body.
As nutritional psychiatrist and bestselling author Uma Naidoo, M.D. tells mindbodygreen, curcumin, one of the main phytonutrient active ingredients in turmeric, is first and foremost a powerful antioxidant. “Antioxidants are very powerful substances that fend off oxidative stress by taking care of the free radicals that form in our body… If free radicals are left to their own devices, they are problematic,”* Naidoo explains.
The curcumin in turmeric can also help modulate pro-inflammatory pathways.* And by helping nurture a healthy inflammatory response, turmeric helps pretty much every part of the body–from the gut and joints to the brain–do its job more effectively.* “When we think about the way that turmeric helps mood or longevity, the underlying mechanisms are antioxidant and inflammatory pathways,”* Naidoo adds.
Beyond curcumin, full-spectrum turmeric is unique because it also delivers other important bioactives (full array of curcuminoids, essential oils, fiber, etc.) to facilitate optimal absorption and further ease oxidative stress and promote healthy inflammatory status.* All in all, incorporating a high-quality turmeric source into your routine can lead to noticeable differences in mood, joint and muscle comfort, immunity, and gut health over time.*
But don’t expect to see these changes after your first golden milk. Naidoo notes that, depending on the person, it will take a few weeks of regular turmeric consumption before these effects really start to show up. This means that to get the most benefit from the antioxidant-rich powerhouse, you’ll want to do your best to consume it daily.
“I do feel that with anything–whether it’s a food, nutrient, or an herbal supplement–consistency is always key,” Naidoo says. So those looking to up their turmeric intake may find it helpful to start doing so at the same time of day. What time that is, however, doesn’t matter as much.
Naidoo and Maya Feller, M.S., R.D., CDN, a registered dietitian and author of the upcoming book Eating from Our Roots agree that the best time of day to consume turmeric–either as a food or supplement–is whenever you remember to do so!