Do you know the relationship between black pepper and turmeric absorption? You probably see them listed in recipes from curry rice to golden milk, but you might not know that they’re together for more than flavor and zest - it’s a matter of health.
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its gorgeous yellow color, but just like pepper, it’s more than just a pretty and delicious spice; it’s a health-boosting superfood that you might want in your diet stat!
The benefits of turmeric and black pepper have been known in eastern medicine for centuries: in India and the Middle East, turmeric has long been used for its powerful digestive properties and to help soothe the body.
It has been a celebrated spice that’s added to meals, toothpaste, body lotions, and prepared in Ayurvedic remedies. Turmeric has been used to relieve pain, fight infection, and even support the immune system.
Meanwhile, in South India, you can wake up to the smell of coffee mixed with fresh ground black pepper.
Because black pepper benefits digestion as well, in a culture where spice is king, the combination of black pepper and coffee makes it the ideal way to wake up and start your day.
One wonders if both turmeric and black pepper are so good for your system, why did it take us so long to notice their health benefits?
Turmeric and black pepper compliment each other and help your body absorb the nutrients in each easier.
Simply put: they both depend on the amounts you consume per day. If you’re interested in reaping the health benefits associated with turmeric, read on and find out how black pepper supports turmeric absorption and how to combine them.
In Ayurvedic medicine and regular Indian households, turmeric is used continuously, so naturally, they could easily see its positive results on digestion. The same goes for black pepper and its benefits, which is a spice also native to India.
In western households, where turmeric is not used as often, we must think about what to eat to boost turmeric absorption to see the same benefits.
And we definitely want to absorb more of it!
Some of the health benefits that turmeric might be credited with include increasing the body’s antioxidant capabilities, potentially helping the brain reverse the effects of chronic stress, supporting cardiovascular health, and even reducing the risk of a heart attack.
Nowadays, modern science is catching up to what Eastern healers, Greek practitioners, and -humbly- what we at Organifi have been saying: nutrition is the best medicine.
However, to reap the benefits of this century-old spice, you need to consume a heavy dosage of at least one gram per day (1 gr/day), given that the food itself only has about 3% curcumin. That’s why eating curry rice every week won’t help with that bloated belly. Sorry, we know how much you wanted that for dinner!
The good news is that you can absolutely get the health benefits of turmeric if you consume it as an extract or a supplement. The not so great news? Curcumin is not easily absorbed by our bodies.
Enter black pepper! Black pepper is one of four ways to increase turmeric absorption, but it’s one of our go-to’s because it not only increases turmeric absorption - it skyrockets it.
When combined with the remarkable black pepper benefits, turmeric absorption rises 2,000 times!
Indeed, research shows that it becomes 2,000% more bioavailable -or easier to soak up- due to its piperine content.
Piperine is the main driver behind black pepper benefits for digestion and more; it’s an alkaloid with anti-inflammatory properties of its own, that has been used to relieve headaches, congestion, nausea, and poor digestion. But that’s not all, black pepper benefits you just as much as curcumin or turmeric does:
In addition to its important vitamin and antioxidant content, black pepper benefits your system by improving nutrient absorption and providing their own. The piperine in black pepper may activate cellular receptors that are responsible for anti-pain reactions in the body, bringing significant relief.
According to the USDA black pepper contains small amounts of vitamin A, E, C, B6 and K, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron; all great antioxidants that contribute to a healthy immune system by attacking damaging free radicals.
Black pepper benefits more than just turmeric absorption, but that might be one of its most potent features known to date! It’s definitely one reason to put the two together in recipes, whether you’re drinking a smoothie or taking a supplement.
Other black pepper benefits may help reduce insulin resistance in the blood, combating unhealthy lipids (fat) supporting natural detoxification, nasal decongestion, and aiding respiratory health.
If these two spices are incredible on their own, together they’re the lesser-known superheroes we need, the superfoods we deserve:
Increasing turmeric absorption with the black pepper benefits may also help relieve you from pain and soothe the body.
This combination is so powerful that some research indicates that it could match the efficacy of some anti-inflammatory drugs, like in this study where 86% of cases improved and 36% saw a reduced recurrence of chronic anterior uveitis an inflammatory condition that affects the eyes.
Meanwhile, those treated with the drugs but without the curcumin saw 55% recurrence. This anti-inflammatory property decreases pain proportionally.
The combination of turmeric and black pepper in warm water consumed in the morning may be another way to boost your metabolism, aid your digestion and help burn excess fat. This study found that curcumin administration increased weight loss from 1.88% to 4.91% with improved waist circumference and many other positive results.
Turmeric combined with diet and exercise could help the body accelerate the metabolism: curcumin, the active compound in turmeric interacts with fat cells, muscle cells, liver cells, and pancreatic cells and may soothe the body and insulin resistance.
Black pepper benefits boost the power of curcumin and may make these health benefits more available to your body.
Inflammation is a natural defense mechanism that happens when your body detects an internal threat - like excess of fat cells that keep you from adequately processing insulin- or injury like when you hit your pinky-toe.
Essentially, your body creates this extra cushioning for healing to take place. When the threat persists, or your body fails to signal the swelling to go down properly, you go into chronic inflammation and that’s the “bloating” that won’t go away.
It’s risky and unhealthy and thank nature for the benefits of turmeric because chronic inflammation is no joke. Curcumin could help bring down the bloating from poor digestion and from over-inflamed organs that were not processing insulin correctly.
Arthritis is a form of chronic inflammation. Increasing turmeric absorption with black pepper benefits also the joints and articulations, as they could help reduce that prolonged or chronic inflammation around the joints.
Research shows it helps with joint pain, joint swelling, and arthritis, a widespread inflammatory disease, improving the decompression process, and supporting joint lubrication.
Now, you know why the turmeric spice alone won’t do it. To incorporate turmeric and pepper benefits into your diet, you ought to add them both to your recipes, the rule of thumb is that for every ½ teaspoon of fresh or ground turmeric add ¼ teaspoon of black pepper to increase turmeric absorption.
Why? Both curcumin and piperine are present in about 5% of each spice, but it may vary according to species, time of harvesting, processing and more. This gives you a good ratio and flavor.
Go ahead and try to include more curcumin and pepper (for top turmeric absorption) in your diet to get their combined health benefits in the best way possible! Tell us how you feel after a few weeks of taking it, we’d love to know!
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Did you know that you can make the most beautiful Easter eggs using turmeric? They will look like sunshine and brighten up your Easter table without chemicals and artificial colors.
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