Hal Robson-Kanu on promotion to the Premier League, life in lockdown and the Turmeric Co

By Aman Pathiara
September 3 2020, 13.00

You may know Hal Robson-Kanu for a fruitful career in the top two tiers of the football leagues in England and his contributions to Wales’ memorable charge to the semi-finals in Euro 2016.

You may not know him so well for his work for the Turmeric Co, which he founded in 2018.

It offers a range of natural health shots designed to assist with body healing; Hal claims that turmeric helped him recover from a cruciate knee ligament rupture when he used it as a supplement when injured.

We caught up with Hal to get the lowdown on how he and his company have been performing throughout a challenging 2020, as well as how he’s looking ahead to a return to the Premier League following promotion with West Bromwich Albion.

Congratulations on promotion to the Premier League! How difficult has it been to maintain focus during the pandemic, keeping yourself fit, and managing your own concerns about the virus?

HRK: Thanks very much! Like most people, it’s been a rocky ride! We’ve had lots more to do around the house to keep the kids engaged and entertained. It’s definitely stressful, but we’ve had great support from the club and the league.

What work has the Turmeric Company done during lockdown?

HRK: We’re pleased to say that the performance of the Turmeric Co during lockdown has been excellent – a collective effort to invest in and improve public health might be a silver lining in this nasty pandemic. Our shots provide fantastic natural support for health and help you feel energised – something people have been looking for more than ever at the moment.

You’ve talked about the way you became aware of the healing properties of turmeric on your website – but what else have you learned?

HRK: Growing the business has been an amazing journey and a fascinating education in functional nutrition. Studies have only recently started to uncover the scientific basis for what many people have suspected about turmeric for hundreds of years – it’s a true superfood.

From alleviating joint pains to clearing up your skin, there are so many benefits to including this in your diet. One thing in particular I found fascinating was how much the absorption of the root is affected by the presence of curcumin – the active ingredient in black pepper – an increase of 2000%! Naturally we include a bit of it in every bottle!

Your range now includes ginger and beetroot – why have you chosen these to be part of your range?

HRK: Ginger is a fantastic ingredient. Its main bioactive compound in ginger – gingerol – is responsible for much of its medicinal properties. Especially so when fighting viral infection – ginger can inhibit the growth of bacteria pretty drastically and is a fantastic thing to include as part of your diet in a bid to keep infection at bay. 

While beetroot is also great at boosting immunity by activating T-Cells, we first developed this particular line with the England Rugby Team as a way to help to relax their blood vessels, increase blood flow, and promote oxygen uptake by muscle – improving performance. 

Turmeric is a key part of ayurvedic medicine. Are you a believer of this type of medicine too?

HRK: It’s definitely an area we looked at closely in the early stages of the business. There is so much wisdom to be found in all types of ancient medicine, but for us what’s really crucial is the results we see in biological labs and controlled studies. 

It seems healthy eating and health products remain outside of the reach of many people in the UK. With it being easier/more financially viable for people to eat junk food, what can companies like the Turmeric Company do to make natural, healthy products more accessible?

HRK: Education is key to reversing what has been an upward trend in childhood obesity. To help address this, we’ve started a blog we call The Root – here we provide a range of educational material on health and nutrition for all sorts of people. We think the more people invest time in learning about how their body works and how different nutrients can affect its performance, the more health conscious they’ll become. 

How are you feeling about returning to the Premier League? What are the aims for the season?

HRK: It’s an amazing feeling to be back in the top flight. We have to be humble, get our heads down and prepare for what we know will be a really tough season. We’ve got a great group though and have every confidence we can get a win off of anyone in the country. I’m looking forward to the challenge!

You can check out the Turmeric Co’s official website for more.

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