Turmeric is definitely among the most popular spices nowadays, and it doesn’t owe its popularity just because of its amazing taste. The golden spice has many other health benefits and it can treat various conditions and diseases. The active ingredient of turmeric, which is called curcumin, is a powerful substance that gives the spice its color and the great medicinal properties. According to MEDLINE, the National Library of Medicine, over 600 studies covered the medical benefits of the spice, and they showed that turmeric could treat numerous serious ailments. However, even though it’s beneficial, you need to know some things first before using turmeric.
Bioavailability of curcumin
Including turmeric in your diet could treat numerous health problems, but there’s one small problem – the bioavailability of curcumin. The compound cannot be fully absorbed in the body during the digestion, and that leaves you without the medicinal benefits of the spice. There is one thing you can do though – adding a bit of black pepper in the mixture is going to improve the absorption of turmeric by even 2000% and help you benefit from the spice properly.
Here’s what The NutritionFacts says about this: “If persons are given a cluster of turmeric curcumin, inside an hour there is a little knock in the level in their circulation system. We don’t see an extensive increment in the light of the fact that our liver is effectively attempting to dispose of it. Nevertheless, consider the possibility that the procedure is stifled by taking just a quarter teaspoon of dark pepper. At that point you will see curcumin levels skyrocket. The same measure of curcumin expended, however the bioavailability shoots up even 2000%. Indeed, even just a little squeeze of pepper—1/20 of a teaspoon—can altogether support the levels. What’s more, think about what a typical fixing in curry powder there is other than turmeric? The black pepper.”
A recent study The Impact of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in the Animals and Human Volunteers confirms that piperine is the main ingredient responsible for the improved curcumin absorption.
Add some healthy fats to turmeric
Turmeric is the fat-soluble spice which means it needs fat to be absorbed. That’s why, it’s best to mix it with ghee, olive or coconut oil so the liver is able to process the curcumin better.
Heat increases curcumin’s bioavailability
Dr. Sukumar says that turmeric could be safely cooked as the heat increases the bioavailability of its active compound. “The very potent ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which, despite its power, isn’t easily absorbed by the body without assistance. This is where the sauté pan and a bit of warm oil come into play. I use it [turmeric] in each sauté, just a quarter teaspoon, a half teaspoon is sufficient. In any case, you don’t need to utilize it sparingly – you can use it sumptuously. The better approach to take it, I feel, is to use it in your cooking broadly. If you have any sauté, quite recently sprinkle it in. The minute you warm the oil and add turmeric to it, it now turns out to be totally bioavailable to you.”
So, thanks to the low bioavailability of curcumin, turmeric has to be combined with black pepper orhealthy fats in order to benefit from it. Follow the abovementioned tips and you will surely get the most out of this spice.
If you are wondering what the recommended daily allowance of this spice is, the College of Maryland did a few studies and found out that you can take 1.5-3 gr. of dry turmeric root or 1-3 gr. of turmeric powder per day.