The medicinal properties of turmeric have long been known and used in natural medicine. Turmeric owes these properties to curcumin, its active ingredient, which also accounts for the depp yellow color of this spice. According to a study published in the database of the National Library of Medicine’s, called MEDLINE, turmeric and its key ingredient, curcumin, have around 600 potential health benefits.
Although turmeric is highly recommended as a dietary supplement, there are still a few things linked to this spice that no one tells you.
Turmeric’s Key Nutrient Isn’t Easy To Absorb
Although there’s a wide array of health benefits related to curcumin, its absorption in the body is still a big issue.
As found in many animal and clinical studies, the concentrations of curcumin in blood plasma, urine and peripheral tissues are considerably low, in some cases hardly detectable at all. This low absorption rate reduces your chance of reaping the most of turmeric’s health benefits.
How To Skyrocket Turmeric’s Bioavailability?
Turmeric’s bioavailability can easily be increases if you apply some simple kitchen solutions.
1. Mix it With Black Pepper
Apart from being an ingredient with powerful medicinal properties, black pepper is also a strong turmeric adjuvant.
Studies show that even when you consume a lot of turmeric, there’ll only be a slight change in your blood plasma in one hour. This is partly because your liver is working hard to remove it. But, if you consume ¼ teaspoon of black pepper at the same time, this process will be suppressed and the curcumin levels in your body will boost. This means that black pepper enhances the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000%. In fact, even the slightest amount of black pepper, 1/20 of a teaspoon, to be more exact, will significantly increase curcumin’s levels. This is why black pepper and turmeric are always used together in curry powder.
The study concluded that when piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, is co-administered with curcumin and given to human subjects, curcumin’s bioavailibility rises by 2,000%.
2. Add a Healthy Fat to Turmeric
Due to the fact that turmeric is fat-soluble, it’s highly advisable to combine it with fat in order to reap most of its health benefits.
The thing is that curcumin is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system, partly because it circumvents the liver, when combined with healthy fats, such as coconut, ghee or olive oil. Unless exposed to metabolic enzymes, curcumin stays in its free form and remains longer in the body.
3. Heat Increases Turmeric’s Bioavalibility
According to Dr. Sukumar, “The strong substance in turmeric is curcumin, which, unfortunately isn’t easily absorbed by the organism without help. But the sauté pan and a little bit of warm water can be very helpful.”
“I’m adding turmeric in every sauté, only a ¼ of teaspoon. But you don’t have to use it moderately, instead, use it in larger amounts”.
“The best way to consume it is to add it in your cooking very significantly. If you have any sauté at home, just add it on. Once you add the turmeric in heated oil, it becomes fully bioavailable for you.”
If you want to reap most of turmeric’s health benefits, it’s important to know these 3 things:
- To activate turmeric, simply heat it up.
- Mix turmeric with freshly ground black pepper to increase its absorption by 2,000%.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the recommended turmeric daily dosage is:
- Cut root: 1.5-3 grams
- Dried, powdered root: 1-3 grams
- Source: Health Magazine 365