The spice turmeric has been in the news a lot recently. Are you taking turmeric capsules for one or more of its health benefits? If so, you may not be absorbing the curcumin in turmeric, or receiving the benefits you hoped for. My article 8 Reasons Turmeric is the Star of Your Spice Drawer, talks about the health benefits of curcumin in turmeric.
Here’s some new info on turmeric: recent research shows that the active compound curcumin, in turmeric, is fat-soluble. This means it only dissolves in fat, or when combined with fat. So popping those turmeric capsules without eating some healthy fat too, won’t be doing you much good. You need to take supplements or the spice with fat to ensure you’re absorbing the curcumin in turmeric. Here are some tips to help ensure you are absorbing all the curcumin in turmeric.
According to Natural Society News, “Without fat, the active component in turmeric, curcumin, has a difficult time making it past the stomach, into the small intestine, and into the blood where it can offer the greatest benefits.”
Accessing Turmeric’s Curcumin
In India, where they use tons of turmeric, they almost always mix it with coconut oil, coconut milk, or ghee (clarified butter), all of which have healthy, high-fat content which helps access the beneficial curcumin in turmeric.
- Try mixing 2 TBSP coconut butter or coconut oil with 1 tsp turmeric, and adding that mixture to your morning smoothie.
- Avocados are a great healthy fat, mix 1 tsp to 1 TBSP of turmeric into your guacamole.
- Olive oil is also a great healthy fat, add 1/2-tsp of turmeric to your home-made salad dressing.
- Or sauté up your favorite veggies in coconut oil and add in 1 tsp to 1 TBSP of turmeric.
Turmeric is definitely an acquired taste, and not everyone likes its earthy flavor. So if you’re not a turmeric fan but you still want to get the health benefits you might try this recipe for Golden Milk. It’s a delicious way to get your daily dose of turmeric.
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tsp of turmeric (or 1/2″ piece of fresh ginger, grated)
1/2 tsp of ginger powder (or 1/2″ piece of fresh ginger, grated)
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of ground black pepper
1 tsp of honey or maple syrup (optional)
Put all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to just before boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until fragrant and flavorful. Pour into mugs and top with a pinch of cardamom.
It is interesting to note that due to its recent popularity, the price of turmeric is starting to skyrocket. Consider buying 1/2-pound to 1-lb in bulk and storing it in your freezer or fridge to keep it fresh longer.
Be sure to check out 8 Reasons Turmeric is the Star of Your Spice Drawer. And please leave a comment to let me know how you use turmeric in your diet?