Turmeric is a spice known for its bright yellow color, distinct aroma and its many therapeutic and cosmetic properties. According to the US National Library of Medicine, its curcumin content enables it to prevent and treat over 600 health problems. But to enjoy its virtues, we must know how to use it.
We’ve all heard about the virtues of turmeric and its ability to detoxify the body, protect against premature aging and reduce the risk of several diseases such as cancer, heart disease, digestive disorders, etc. However, few people know that curcumin (the main active agent in turmeric) in order to be easily absorbed by the body certain rules must be followed to improve its bioavailability.
Indeed, several animal and clinical studies have shown that the absorption of curcumin by the body is so weak that it is often impossible to derive the expected benefits.
How to increase the bioavailability of curcumin?
To allow your digestive system to better absorb curcumin and thus your body to get the maximum benefit, it is advisable to combine turmeric with one of the following ingredients:
Black pepper is excellent adjuvant to turmeric. It has the ability to increase intestinal permeability and thus facilitate the passage of curcumin in the bloodstream. Moreover, a study entitled Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers showed that adding 20 mg of black pepper extract to 2 g of curcumin multiplied by 20 the absorption thereof by the body.
So to better enjoy the antioxidant and therapeutic action of turmeric, remember to always combine it with a pinch of black pepper.
Turmeric’s active compounds are fat soluble, that is to say, they are soluble in lipids (fats), which protects them from stomach acids and promote their passage into the small intestine. It is therefore recommended combining turmeric with healthy fats to allow its curcuminoids to pass directly into the bloodstream. So you can add olive or coconut oil to your dish to boost the effect of turmeric.
Heat is one of the elements that boost the effectiveness of turmeric, allowing better absorption of its active compounds. So you can use it liberally when cooking. Heat the oil, add half a teaspoon of turmeric and put your vegetables, your fish, or your meat to cook.
Few health benefits of turmeric:
Thanks to its powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, turmeric helps to:
- Protect your nervous system and prevent neurodegenerative diseases
- Relieve joint pain
- Protect your liver and boost its function
- Strengthen your immune system by helping to eliminate toxins and free radicals
- Inhibit the growth of cancer cells
- Clean your skin, treat certain skin problems (sunburn, rosacea…)
- Whiten and unify the skin complexion
- Polishing and whitening teeth
Turmeric consumption is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women and persons under medication. It is also contra-indicated before or after surgery, due to its thinning effect of the blood.
Excessive consumption of turmeric can cause stomach ulcers.
Sources: healthyfoodhouse.com, lifekey.com.au