Last updated on August 13th, 2021 at 10:22 pm

Searching for different healthy substitutes can become a daily challenge for most people. So, you always have the chance to improve your health and cut your calories by using tasty and healthy alternatives in your recipes.

Today our article is about the best turmeric substitutes and their different health benefits. 

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice that has a yellow color. It’s one of the most nutritious spices, which has been used in India, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian cooking and as a medicine for centuries.

turmeric plant

It’s made from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. It gives your dishes an earthy and bitter taste and also adds golden color to foods and drinks.

Let’s talk more about this impressive spice and its unique list of health benefits.

Turmeric health benefits

  • Turmeric can be used as a supplement to help reduce joint pain because it has anti-inflammatory properties
  • It may help detoxify the liver from toxins
  • It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which help stimulate the digestion
  • Researches have shown that turmeric might help improve mental health by protecting against brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease
  • Turmeric may help affect mood by reducing depression and stress
  • It was proven that curcumin, which is the active component of turmeric, may reduce certain types of cancer like prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer
  • Turmeric may affect controlling blood sugar levels especially, people with type 2 diabetes
  • Curcumin, which is the active component of turmeric may enhance the immune system
  • It’s capable of improving cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which are linked to cardiovascular disease and heart attack
  • It is a natural remedy for some skin problems like eczema, ulcers, and wounds because of its high content of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Turmeric contains curcumin, which has the ability to flush out toxins from the body, which is formed in the liver and that leads to reducing weight

turmeric substitutes

Is turmeric gluten-free?

Turmeric is gluten-free, especially if it’s fresh. 

The best turmeric substitutes

1: Saffron

Saffron is an excellent substitute for turmeric. It is considered the most expensive spice in the world. It is derived from the saffron flowers of crocus sativus.

fron spice and Saffron flower

It is mainly used to add brilliant color and unique flavor to foods. It’s popular to be used in pasta, rice, seafood, chicken, and more dishes.

  • It contains components that act like antioxidants, such as crocin, safranal, crocetin, and kaemferol. These components work to promote mental health by decreasing anxiety and depression
  • It may help improve sexual ability in women and men
  • Since it contains high content of antioxidants, it can be effectively used as a natural remedy for cold and flu by boosting the immunity of the body
  • It was proven that saffron may help lower blood pressure due to its high content of potassium, and that leads to protection against heart attacks and strokes
  • Researches have shown that saffron has the ability to help prevent certain kinds of cancer because of its high content of crocin and crocetin
  • Saffron might help improve eye health
  • Improving brain function and improving memory are both health benefits for using saffron
  • Drinking saffron milk can be useful for pregnant women by improving blood circulation
  • It may be used as a natural treatment for asthma and certain respiratory problems
  • It can be used as an effective remedy for joint pains
  • Saffron can be used as a supplement to decrease weight and suppress the appetite due to its ability to increase hormone serotonin

2: Yellow mustard seeds

They can be a fantastic substitute for turmeric. It gives your dishes a pungent and spicy flavor, so it’s used in many recipes like sauces, soups, meats, and more.

yellow mustard sauce, powder and seeds

It has numerous health benefits.

  • Using yellow mustard seeds can help you to get rid of bad breath
  • Yellow mustard seeds are useful in improving blood circulation, which leads to help promote hair growth and prevent hair fall
  • Researches indicate that using yellow mustard seeds is effective in strengthening teeth and bones due to their high content of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus
  • Since they contain anti-inflammatory properties, they help protect against bacteria and fungi, which may cause inflammation
  • Yellow mustard seeds play an important role in reducing weight by increasing metabolism rate, besides they are low in calories.

3: Ginger powder

It’s a super nutritious spice, which can be used as a great alternative for turmeric. For centuries, ginger has been used in cooking and as a medicine as well.

Ginger root and ginger powder

It’s a great addition to your recipes due to its famous health benefits.

  • During pregnancy, it helps pregnant women to get rid of morning sickness and motion sickness
  • It’s a natural remedy for cold and flu
  • Using it might help improve brain function
  • Some researches have shown that it may help prevent certain kinds of cancer due to being rich in gingerol
  • It can be a useful treatment for the symptoms of osteoarthritis
  • Using ginger might help decrease cholesterol levels(LDL)
  • Ginger contains shogaols and gingerols, which both play a vital role in boosting metabolism and that leads to reduce weight. Mixing lemon juice with ginger is a good drink for losing weight

4: Smoked paprika

It’s one of my favorite spices for its smoky flavor. It adds a unique flavor to your dishes especially, in sauces, stews, meats, egg dishes, and vegetables. Smoked paprika is a good turmeric substitute.

hot paprika

It has many health benefits.

  • Smoked paprika contains vitamin E, which may help reduce red blood cells, which help in healing wounds
  • It was proven that smoked paprika has, which may treat skin problems caused by bacteria
  • Since it’s an excellent source of iron, it can improve blood circulation in the scalp, which helps promote hair growth
  • It contains anti-inflammatory properties, which are essential in relieving joint pains
  • Some studies have antibacterial properties shown that smoked paprika might lower the risk of heart attack due to its high content of vitamin C
  • The capsaicin in paprika plays a role in increasing the metabolism rate and that helps burn fats and suppress appetite, which cause weight gain

5: Galangal powder

It is one of the turmeric substitutions, which can be used in different recipes like a beef roast, fish, and sauces.

Galangal Powder

Moreover, it has been used as a medicine due to its health benefits.

  • Involving galangal powder in your diet, provide the body with the daily need of vitamin C, which is essential for improving iron absorption and improving immunity
  • It’s rich in potassium, which helps reduce bad cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes
  • Since it’s a good source of calcium, it helps strengthen bones
  • As we mentioned before, it contains vitamin C, which increases iron absorption that leads to cure anemia
  • Being rich in antioxidants properties that lead to protecting against cancer
  • Galangal extract may be used to support skin health
  • It may help fight depression and anxiety
  • It’s useful for treating some respiratory issues like cold, flu, and asthma
  • It’s full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which helps promote skin and hair health

6: Curry powder

It’s made up of a combination of ground spices such as turmeric, ginger, curry leaf, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, and more. It adds a pleasant aroma and sweet warmth to your recipes like stews, soups, potato salads, chicken, meats, seafood, and sauces. So, it can be used as a good substitute for turmeric.

curry powder

Here is everything about its health benefits.

  • Curry powder contains turmeric, which is effectively used as a natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, pain, and inflammation
  • Since curry powder contains curcumin, it helps fight cancer including, colon cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, and breast cancer
  • The antioxidant properties of curcumin may help treat some brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and detoxify the liver
  • Since curry powder contains antifungal and antibacterial properties, it helps fight bacteria and infections
  • It contains some ingredients, which help decrease cholesterol and promote heart health
  • Researches indicate that curry powder can play a role in reducing weight by supporting digestive health, suppressing appetite, and detoxifying the body from toxins. So, consuming it helps you to lose weight

7: Garam masala

It’s made up of a combination of warming ground spices such as cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, dried chilies, and cinnamon. It’s one of the best turmeric substitutions.

garam masala

Let’s talk about its health benefits.

  • Garam masala is useful for preventing bad breath
  • It’s rich in antioxidants, which are important for nerve system and brain function
  • As we know, it contains various kinds of spices, which help boost digestion and reduce bloating
  • It can help reduce inflammation
  • Being a hot spice makes it more effective in burning fats and reducing extra weight. If you want better results, you should also be on a weight loss diet

8: Cumin powder

It can be used instead of turmeric in different recipes. It is considered a great addition to your dishes due to its strong aroma and powerful flavor.

cumin seeds

It has many health benefits.

  • Cumin powder contains good amounts of iron, which helps increase the production of red blood cells and prevent anemia
  • It contains vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant that reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • It has antifungal and antimicrobial properties, which protect the skin against infections, and that supports skin health
  • It can be used as an effective remedy for cold and asthma
  • It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, which are essential for mental health and enhancing memory
  • It plays an important role in losing weight by boosting metabolism and lowering blood sugar levels

9: Annatto

It’s a spice that has a rich red color, which makes it a natural way to color foods and adds a peppery taste as well.

annatto seed

It can be used as a good turmeric substitute due to its unique flavor and health benefits.

  • It contains antioxidants that may help protect against heart disease and cancer
  • Since it contains high content of carotenoids, it helps promote eye health
  • Annatto is rich in calcium, which may help strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis
  • It may be used as a treatment for some skin problems. Moreover, it can help heal wounds and burns
  • It helps detoxify the liver
  • Since it contains diuretic properties and antioxidants, it may contribute to boosting metabolism and burn fats, and that leads to weight loss

Conclusion

After all, we have tried to provide you through this article with the best turmeric substitutes that you can use to enrich the taste of your dishes and for more health benefits as well.

I have been a Registered Dietitian for over 11 years, working in many different capacities. The majority of my experience has been working as an outpatient dietitian. I have had a lot of experience in the areas of research, general wellness, weight loss, oncology, CKD/renal failure, celiac disease, diabetes (I and II) and gastrointestinal concerns.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here