Healthspan June 13, 2018

Turmeric – or curcumin in its active form – is now well-known for its health benefits that are mainly associated with inflammation. But curcumin’s bioavailability – how easily it is absorbed by the body - is pretty poor. There are all sorts of methods for getting an intake of curcumin but some are better than others. 

1.Turmeric latte

By now the majority of us have heard of turmeric lattes, the most recent superfood drink after matcha tea or a green smoothie. Though it sounds a little rogue Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine went back for seconds after giving a turmeric latte made for him by Dr Michael Moseley a try.

2.Turmeric milk

Many refer to turmeric milk as ‘golden milk’ and it’s pretty much the same as a turmeric latte in that it’s warm milk mixed in with a little turmeric. Fortunately, this a great way to increase this superfood’s bioavailability the latter of which is improved by eating turmeric with any kind of fat.

(Dare we say it) Christmas is on its way and turmeric milk can be made very festive with a little added cinnamon or honey or even dark cocoa powder. We’re not saying you should replace your mulled wine with it but turmeric milk is a perfect addition to your Christmas if you’re trying to incorporate some healthy choices amongst all the mince pies, cheese and Christmas parties.

3.Turmeric tea

If you’re drinking ten cups of tea a day at work perhaps you should consider swapping a couple of them with ‘turmeric tea’. How better a way to get your intake of turmeric than through a comforting cuppa? You can see how to make your own turmeric tea here.

4.Turmeric capsules

Turmeric tablets or supplements are an obvious way to benefit from turmeric and are often formulated to provide optimum bioavailability. Turmeric has a lot of health benefits and it also works well with other nutrients like glucosamine, take Healthspan’s Flexi6 Gold, for example.

If you’re choosing turmeric or curcumin capsules, these should also contain some form of fat and/or piperine or black pepper. Some preparations are made with lecithin or glycophospholipids, which again can significantly increase how our body uses and absorbs the active ingredients.

5.Turmeric powder

Before its superfood status took over you were likely familiar with turmeric as one of those spices that sat gathering dust at the back of your cupboard.

Your body actually absorbs curcumin better when it’s consumed with black pepper so in some respects a curry containing turmeric is ideal. But It’s important to note that most studies on turmeric have been carried out using very strong extracts in high doses. You’d have to eat an awful lot of curries to get that much curcumin into your system which is where a supplement can come in handy.

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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