(Health Secrets) Turmeric is a fairly common spice, one that may be lurking on your kitchen spice rack. But curcumin, a constituent of turmeric, has uncommon powers in the human body. These powers have been demonstrated by modern Western medical research and centuries of empirical evidence from India and China.
There’s just one problem with curcumin — it has a hard time getting past the stomach and into the small intestines where it can be absorbed into the blood and do its job.
So before using turmeric powder or extracted curcumin medicinally, you need to know a couple of tricks for helping it become absorbed and bioavailable.
As an ingredient of curry, turmeric is traditionally mixed with a healthy fat and heated. That’s a hint for what needs to be done in general with turmeric powder, certainly the least expensive way of benefiting from curcumin.
How to optimize absorption of curcumin
Here’s a convenient method of making Golden Milk: Take a quarter cup of high quality, certified or organic turmeric powder mixed in a half cup of pure water and simmer for a few minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly to form a slightly moist, thick paste.
Let it cool and put it into a glass jar. It can keep for weeks in the refrigerator. To consume a dose, dissolve a small portion of the turmeric paste in a bit of warm milk or coconut oil. Add some pepper to take advantage of piperine’s nutrient absorbing properties.
If you want to avoid preparation hassles, there are curcumin capsules available that contain black pepper extract (piperine). Enteric-coated capsules can bypass the stomach and go right into the small intestines where their contents can be absorbed.
You can boost the nutrient absorption further by emptying the capsule’s contents in a small amount of warm, pure virgin olive or coconut oil. Add pepper if your curcumin capsules don’t contain piperine.
Getting the benefits of curcumin
Curcumin is a safe, effective anti-inflammatory. More and more health practitioners and researchers are realizing that inflammation is the source of most disease, even if the inflammation is not directly noticeable.
That means there are many benefits of using curcumin. Here are six of them:
(1) Curcumin has been clinically proven to ease arthritic pain and promote increased flexibility in many studies. It’s comparable to large doses of ibuprofen (800 mg daily) without side-effects while actually delivering other health benefits.
(2) It slows or delays liver damage that could develop into cirrhosis.
(3) Curcumin slows and helps reverse the onset of Alzheimer’s disease as symptoms develop. It also helps eliminate cognitive decline normally attributed to “old age.”
(4) It aids digestion, the root of good or bad health. It has been used successfully to ease the agony and help heal inflammatory bowel disease.
(5) Mixed with the appropriate veggies for specific cancer types, curcumin helps fight cancer cells and prevents them from metastasizing. Curcumin reduces carcinogenic heterocyclic amines that are formed when meat is cooked by up to 40 percent.
(6) It is a powerful antioxidant that helps promote heart health, memory, and boost the immune system. It has the potential to deliver more antioxidants then even vitamins E and C.
Amazingly, curcumin can deliver even more antioxidant power than grape seed or pine bark extracts. It’s strong enough to scavenge the hydroxyl radical considered the most reactive oxidant.
With all these benefits, curcumin serves as an anti-aging agent, with direct results manifesting in the skin after daily use over an extended period of time.
Just keep in mind that to get maximum benefits, it needs to be high quality turmeric or curcumin in a form that optimizes curcuminoid absorption, as explained earlier in this article.
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Photo by Steven Jackson Photography