3 ways to supercharge the power of turmeric
By Jacqueline Tourville
You’re adding turmeric to everything from rice dishes to milk to cocktails – but you might be getting zero benefit!
You’re missing out if – like many people – you have difficulty absorbing curcumin, the key ingredient in turmeric. There’s also the risk that your digestive enzymes are metabolizing much of it away before absorption can occur.
You can increase your chances of getting the full benefit of all that turmeric with a few simple steps to enhance its effectiveness.
1. Add a pinch of black pepper: Black pepper contains piperine, a compound that can block and delay certain digestive enzymes, giving your body the extra time it needs to better absorb and use curcumin (known as bioavailability). Even just a small pinch of pepper can increase the bioavailability of curcumin by as much as 2,000 percent!
How to: Premix powdered turmeric with pepper and store in its own spice jar so it’s already combined and ready to use. A good ratio is roughly one teaspoon of ground pepper for every 1/2 cup of turmeric.
2. Mix turmeric with a healthy fat: Because the curcumin in turmeric is fat soluble, combining turmeric with a healthy fat, such as coconut oil or olive oil, allows it to be more rapidly absorbed through the small intestines, meaning you get more of it.
How to: The next time you roast vegetables, gently heat oil in a pan and mix with turmeric first, then drizzle over the vegetables to bring out a naturally spicy flavor as they roast.
3. Combine with quercetin-rich foods: Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant compound found in apples, onions, grapes, leafy greens, tomatoes, broccoli and other plant foods. It packs a powerful health punch all on its own, but when eaten with turmeric, quercetin is able to knock out other prime enzymes that inactivate curcumin. Talk about synergy!
How to: An easy way to take advantage of this powerful duo is to add a quercetin-rich food whenever you add turmeric – and vice-versa. Sprinkling turmeric into your scrambled eggs? Add some chopped onion or broccoli. Is veggie stir fry on the menu tonight?
To get the greatest health benefits from this powerful spice, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking 1 to 3 grams of dried, powdered turmeric root per day, which is about 1/2 to 11/2 tsp.
You can also get the power of curcumin in our Super Antioxidant.
And the benefits are many. Research shows that curcumin may be as effective as ibuprofen, and strong enough to help put out the fires of chronic inflammation linked to everything from joint aches and arthritis to Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Other preliminary research shows turmeric and curcumin’s promise for soothing certain digestive conditions and supporting heart health, including reducing risk for blood clots.
Let your friends know how they can harness the power of turmeric.