Turmeric is spice that has been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years throughout the Indian subcontinent. The yellow pigment, known as Curcumin provides the yellow base colour to a lot of dishes. However it is the medicinal qualities that are perhaps its most important characteristic.
There are a huge wealth of studies that have discussed the health benefits of Turmeric, and some of the suggested plus points include:
Increase in anti-oxidiant capacity of the body
Lowers risk of heart disease
Helps counter depression
Many other claims suggesting links to the prevention of Cancer and Alzheimer’s are too unsubstantiated for me to recommend, however, there is a significant body of evidence to suggest that this simple spice is something that we should be eating regularly.
Which brings us to the stumbling block…… the body has trouble absorbing curcumin. In fact, hardly any curcumin is absorbed into the body when consumed on its own.
There are however a couple of hacks that will increase the body’s ability to deal with this compound, and thankfully they are not difficult, expensive or awkward to implement.
Firstly, always consume turmeric with black pepper, this will cause the bi-availability of curcumin to increase substantially.
Secondly, always consume along with an healthy fat such as Olive Oil, Butter or Coconut Oil.
Thankfully both of these can generally be found in Curries, which I think most of us will not see as a hardship.
I would also suggest that you take a curcumin extract to really get the full benefit, but do remember to consume both black pepper and a healthy fat at the same time.