You Must Know This Before Ever Using Turmeric Again
The golden-yellow Indian spice, known as turmeric, has been winning over health enthusiasts around the world for many years now. Considering its potent properties and the many health benefits it offers, it’s no wonder that this spice got to be listed as a natural superfood.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful active compound that gives the spice its distinctive yellow color and pretty much all its medicinal properties.
According to the study abstracts provided by the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database MEDLINE, this potent spice and its active compound, the polyphenol curcumin, possess more than 600 potential benefits.
That is why health experts and nutritionists strongly recommend adding this beneficial spice to your diet in order to promote your overall health. Nevertheless, here’s what you need to know before you start consuming turmeric.
As we previously mentioned, curcumin is the active compound that gives turmeric its amazing healing properties. However, this compound is not readily bioavailable, which is why you should learn what you need to do to enhance its absorption in the body.
In addition, results from animal and clinical studies show that the curcumin concentrations in urine, peripheral tissues, and blood plasma are extremely insignificant, no matter the dosage size.
Here’s what you need to do to naturally enhance turmeric’s bioavailability:
Mix It with Black Pepper
A powerful natural medicine itself, black pepper helps optimize turmeric’s bioavailability in the body thanks to its potent compound piperine. As NutritionFacts explain:
“If people are given a bunch of turmeric curcumin, within an hour there’s a little bump in the level in their blood stream. We don’t see a large increase because our liver is actively trying to get rid of it. But what if the process is suppressed by taking just a quarter teaspoon’s worth of black pepper?
Then you see curcumin levels skyrocket. The same amount of curcumin consumed, but the bioavailability shoots up 2000%. Even just a little pinch of pepper—1/20th of a teaspoon—can significantly boost levels. And guess what a common ingredient in curry powder is besides turmeric? Black pepper.”
Additionally, according to a study that investigated the “influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers,” the administration of piperine alone with turmeric, helped increase curcumin’s bioavailability by 2000%.
Combine It with Healthy Fats
Fat-soluble nutrients require fat to be absorbed into the body and stored for future use. Unless you properly absorb these nutrients, you won’t get the benefits they offer. Turmeric belongs to the group of fat-soluble foods, meaning you have to combine it with a healthy fat to enhance its absorption.
We suggest mixing it with olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee. This way the curcumin from turmeric will be directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system, while partially bypassing the liver.
What’s more, Dr. Nibber states:
“ This is very important because less curcumin is exposed to metabolic enzymes and remains in a free form allowing it to stay in the body longer. “
Enhance Turmeric’s Bioavailability Using Heat
According to research, heat might increase the solubility of curcumin by 12 times, which can further boost its bioavailability in the body.
“The better way to take it, I feel, is to use it in your cooking very extensively. If you have any sauté, just sprinkle it in. The moment you heat oil and add turmeric to it, it now becomes completely bioavailable to you.”
As Dr. Sukumar explains:
“The potent ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which, despite its power, is not easily absorbed by the body without assistance. This is where the sauté pan and a little warm oil come into play. I use it [turmeric] in every sauté, just a quarter teaspoon, a half teaspoon is enough. But you don’t have to use it sparingly – use it lavishly.”
In conclusion, to optimize turmeric absorption into the body and obtain all the benefits from its consumption, you should always keep in mind to:
- Mix turmeric with black pepper to improve its absorption by 2000%;
- Combine it with healthy fat to boost absorption and bypass the liver;
- Activate turmeric by heating it prior consumption.
Last but not least, here are the dosage guidelines according to the University of Maryland Medical Center:
- Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g a day
- Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g a day