You have surely heard about the amazing medicinal properties of the yellow spice called turmeric, as this powerful superfood can treat all kinds of diseases and ailments.
Apparently, as proven by the study abstracts from the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database MEDLINE, turmeric and its primary polyphenol curcumin offer more than 600 potential health benefits.
Yet, in order to be able to reap all the benefits of turmeric, you need to know the following things:
- Curcumin, its active ingredient, is poorly absorbed in the body
- Regardless of the dosage size, the curcumin concentrations in blood plasma, urine, and peripheral tissues are extremely low
- The dosage guidelines according to the University of Maryland Medical Center are 1 – 3 g per day in the case of dried, powdered root, and 1.5 – 3 g per day if you use a cut root.
However, you can boost the turmeric’s bioavailability of turmeric in a natural way, as follows:
Combine it with Black Pepper
Black pepper can act as an adjuvant in a combination with turmeric.
According to the herbalist Rosalee de la Forêt : “To get the most out of your turmeric, add 3% black pepper to the mix. Black pepper improves the bioavailability of turmeric, making smaller doses more effective.”
“If people are given a bunch of turmeric curcumin, within an hour there’s a little bump in the level in their bloodstream. 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.”
Studies have found that when administered alone with this spice, piperine can improve the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%.
“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. 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.”
Add a Healthy Fat
Since turmeric is fat-soluble, you can improve the absorption rate by mixing it with a healthy fat, like olive or coconut oil, and ghee. It will partially bypass the liver and be directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system.
According to DrNibber:
“ 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. “
Here are several ways to boost your turmeric intake:
Try the incredibly beneficial recipe known as Golden Milk and enjoy the countless benefits of this spice.
Add it to rice
To add a mild flavor to the rice, add some turmeric to the pot of plain rice or pilaf.
Combine it with greens
Sprinkle a pinch of turmeric into sautéed or braised greens like cabbage, kale, collards.
Use it in soups
Add a bit of this golden spice to the bowl of vegetable or chicken soups.
Add it to scrambles and frittatas
Add a pinch of this spice to your tofu scramble, scrambled eggs, or frittata.
Add it to roasted vegetables
Turmeric will enrich the flavor of your potatoes, root vegetables, and cauliflower.
Add it to smoothies
To boost the medicinal properties of your healthy shakes and smoothies, add a pinch of ground turmeric.