Ingredients
Servings
4
Recipe by
Ariadna Rodríguez, RDN
, photo by
, nutritional review by
Test Kitchen
Nutrition
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Article by
Ariadna Rodríguez, RDN
, photo by
Kick off a lifetime of healthy habits through keto
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+1000 delicious, fast & easy-to-follow recipes
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Turmeric is a spice that has received much interest from both the medical/scientific worlds as well as from the culinary world. The medicinal properties of turmeric, the source of curcumin, have been known for thousands of years; however, the ability to determine the exact mechanism(s) of action have only recently been investigated.

What is it?

Curcumin is the main natural polyphenol found in Curcuma longa (turmeric) and in others.

It has been traditionally used in Asian countries as a medical herb due to its multiple therapeutic properties. It has been shown to benefit inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, pain, anxiety and to help in the management of inflammatory and degenerative eye conditions. In addition, it has been shown to benefit the kidneys.

Supplementation

While there appear to be countless therapeutic benefits to curcumin supplementation, one of the major problems with ingesting curcumin by itself is its poor bioavailability (proportion of a substance which enters the circulation when introduced into the body and so is able to have an active effect), which appears to be primarily due to poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid elimination.

So, what can we do to fully benefit from it?

There are some enhancers that help increase the bioavailability of curcumin. For example, piperine, a known bioavailability enhancer, is the major active component of black pepper and is associated with an increase of 2000% in the bioavailability of curcumin. Therefore, the issue of poor bioavailability appears to be resolved by just combining pepper and turmeric in one meal.

Culinary use of curcumin

Curcumin is being recognized and used worldwide in many different forms. For example, in India, turmeric has been used in curries; in Japan, it is served in tea; in Thailand, it is used in cosmetics; in China, it is used as a colorant; in Korea, it is served in drinks; in Malaysia, it is used as an antiseptic; in Pakistan, it is used as an anti-inflammatory agent; and in the United States, it is used in mustard sauce, cheese, butter, and chips, as a preservative and a coloring agent, in addition to capsules and powder forms.

Is it safe?

Curcumin is available in several forms including capsules, tablets, ointments, energy drinks, soaps, and cosmetics; but, what’s most important, it has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “Generally Recognized As Safe”.

What’s more?

Research suggests that curcumin can help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery and performance in active people. In addition, a relatively low dose can provide health benefits for people that do not have diagnosed health conditions.

So what are you waiting for? Start sprinkling turmeric on your food without fear!