In an another article we have written about well researched multiple health benefits of turmeric. Turmeric has powerful antioxidant profile, gives protection to your body, fights inflammation and free radicals, relieve pain and many more. Inflammation is hidden condition for most chronic diseases. You can read more about inflammation here. In our article health benefits of turmeric or curcumin, we have mentioned about the benefits of curcumin based on science based and well designed studies. But it really matters how you take curcumin. Curcumin the most effective compound of turmeric is bad absorbent in the intestine. If your body don’t absorb, you will miss the benefits and for that reason you need to make special preparation for it to make it absorbed by the body for health benefits. Here we will guide you to understand how to take turmeric or curcumin for health benefits.
What is turmeric
Turmeric (curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of ginger family. It is widely used in India and South East Asia. Curcumin is the yellow dye of turmeric and the most active compound of turmeric with many health beneficial effects.
How to take turmeric or curcumin: Factors that influence absorption of turmeric or curcumin in your body
Curcumin has low oral bioavailability and for that reason your body can’t absorb curcumin properly in the digestive tract when you take orally. So you have to add an enhancer with turmeric which helps in absorption of turmeric inherently. Black pepper or piperine works as a enhancer in absorption of curcumin in intestine. That’s why some supplement supplier added black pepper in turmeric or curcumin supplement. You can enhance absorption of turmeric by adding a small quantity of black pepper. Here I am showing you how to take turmeric orally for better absorption, but before that you should know other critical properties of turmeric.
However if you are going to take curcumin for intestinal purpose then the absorption from intestine to blood is not necessarily required. But you will miss the other benefits.
Other properties of curcumin you should know
Solubility: Curcumin is fat soluble that means you need to add fat with curcumin or turmeric when eat for processing and synthesising in the body.
Thermal stability/degradation: Therapeutic potential of curcumin is degraded when heated to higher temperature.(1) You should avoid continuous and high heat to retain its property.
Food combination: Curcumin is degraded in alkaline condition and stable in acidic condition. (2) For that reason, you should avoid eating turmeric with fruits and vegetables having alkaline ash. In usual fruits and vegetable release alkaline ash after processing.
How to take turmeric or curcumin: Turmeric golden milk home preparation for better absorption
You can prepare turmeric golden milk at your home for better absorption of curcumin.
- ½ tsp turmeric or 1” piece of fresh turmeric
- 1 cup unsweetened milk. You can take almond milk or coconut milk. I am not able to recommend cow milk as cow milk is mostly not suitable for human consumption in present day. Goat milk is closer to human milk but it is hard to find.
- ½ cup water
- 2-3 black peppercorns
- Warm the milk and water. Once warm, pour into blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixed thoroughly.
- Warm the milk and water. Crush the fresh turmeric and black pepper and add to the milk. Keep it for 5-10 min before drinking.
Bottom line: If you are eating raw, turmeric product should be certified organic, non GMO, Non irradiated, tested for heavy metal and other contaminated. You can also add ginger with it. Milk usually contains fat which helps solubility and processing of curcumin. You can also add one tsp of good quality of protein powder. If you add protein powder you need to blend in a blender.
However due to high soluble oxalate content of turmeric powder people with tendency of developing kidney stone should avoid turmeric. Apart from that individual with unhealthy gut or increased intestinal permeability should avoid food with high oxalates more specifically soluble oxalate.(3)
I hope this information will help you to have an better idea about how to take turmeric for health benefits.
Disclaimer: Information provided here are generalized information for educational purpose only, not intended to provide one to one health consultation or replace practice of a qualified practitioner. Different people may have different health condition and may have different reaction to the same food. Hence it has been advised to consult with health care provider before application of any of above guidelines. Sources and references:
Tuba Esatbeyoglu, Katrin Ulbrich, Clemens Rehberg, Sascha Rohn and Gerald Rimbach : Thermal stability, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin and its degradation product 4-vinyl guaiacol: Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, University of Kiel, Germany: January 2015
Linli Wang, NanLu, Longshan Zhao, Chao Qi, Weiyang Zhang, Jinhua Dong, Xiaohong Hou : Characterization of stress degradation products of curcumin and its two derivatives by UPLC–DAD–MS/MS: School of Pharmacy, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, PR China: February 2016 3. Sumana Ghosh Das,Geoffrey Peter Savage,Total and Soluble Oxalate Content of Some Indian Spices,Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 67(2):186-90 · April 2012