You have probably heard by now that turmeric is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Its yellow color comes from its active ingredient, curcumin, which is the reason for turmeric’s many therapeutic properties.
Studies kept in the MEDLINE database, at the National Library of Medicine, confirm that curcumin is responsible for over 600 potential health benefits of turmeric.
Generally, turmeric is recommended for anyone, but there are several things anyone should know about this ingredient in order to reap most of its benefits.
Our Body Doesn’t Absorb Curcumin Easily
As many clinical and animal studies have shown, the absorption of curcumin in our body is very low and it’s actually a problem as one can’t completely take advantage of all of its health properties. These studies point out that no matter of the dosage, the curcumin concentrations in urine, blood plasma, and peripheral tissues are very low.
How to Improve the Bioavailability of Turmeric
Luckily, we present you several effective tricks to increase the bioavailability of turmeric.
Combine It with Black Pepper
Black pepper provides numerous health benefits, but in the same time it is a potent turmeric adjuvant.
Even if you consume a large amounts of turmeric, your bloodstream will still receive just a small amount of the curcumin. The reason why the curcumin level in your bloodstream won’t increase significantly, is because your liver is constantly trying to eliminate it. However, if you take turmeric along with ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, your curcumin level will jump.
So in this way you will consume the same amount of turmeric/curcumin, but the bioavailability of curcumin will increase by 2000%. Black pepper is so powerful that even 1/20 of a teaspoon will noticeably increase the curcumin levels. In fact, besides turmeric, another common ingredient of curry powder is black pepper.
Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in Animals and HumanVolunteers is a study which showed that intake of curcumin and piperine boost the curcumin bioavailability in humans by 2000%.
Combine It with Healthy Fat
To be completely absorbed in our body, turmeric depends on fats. If you combine it with healthy fats like olive oil, ghee, or coconut, it will bypass the liver and be directly absorbed in the bloodstream through the lymphatic system.
Heat Increases the Bioavailability of Turmeric
According to Dr. Sukumar, the powerful compound in turmeric, curcumin, can be easily absorbed in our body with the help of some warm oil and a sauté pan. He explains that as soon as you add turmeric in heated oil, it becomes fully bio-available. So, ¼ or ½ of a teaspoon is enough to add it in your heated sauté pans.
Finally, to improve the effectiveness of turmeric, we recommend doing the following three things:
- Heat the turmeric so you can activate it
- Increase its absorption by 2000 % by combining it with freshly ground black pepper
- To bypass the metabolic processes in the liver, combine it with some healthy fat
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the allowed turmeric dosages are:
- 1-3 grams of dried, powdered root
- 5-3grams of cut root