Turmeric has been valued for millennia, and it has definitely deserved it! This incredibly powerful natural superfood offers a myriad of health benefits. Its yellow color comes from its active ingredient, curcumin, which provides most of the medicinal qualities.
The study abstracts from the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database MEDLINE confirmed that turmeric and its primary polyphenol curcumin, offer more than 600 potential health benefits.
Hence, add it to your daily diet, and you will improve your health in countless ways. The University of Maryland Medical Center provided the following guidelines for the adequate dosage of this beneficial spice:
- Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g daily
- Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g daily
Yet, there is one important thing you need to know about turmeric: curcumin, its active ingredient, is not easily absorbed. Additionally, regardless of the dosage, clinical and animal studies found that its concentrations in the urine, blood plasma, and peripheral tissues are extremely low. Here are some natural ways to boost its bioavailability:
-- Black Pepper
It is a powerful natural medicine too and acts as an adjuvant in a combination with turmeric. NutritionFacts explained:
“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 beside turmeric? Black pepper.”
A study titled “ Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers” showed that piperine if administered alone with turmeric, boosted the curcumin bioavailability 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.”
- A Healthy Fat
Since this spice is fat-soluble, you can boost it with a healthy fat to improve its absorption rate. It will be directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system, by bypassing the liver, if you combine it with healthy fats like olive oil, ghee, or coconut oil.
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. “
Therefore, there are three effective ways to boost the bioavailability of turmeric, by heating it, by mixing it with a healthy fat to bypass the liver or combining it with freshly ground black pepper.
Keep these things in mind and start using it on a daily basis, to real all its benefits!
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