Curcumin is the Active Component of Curcuma longa L (Turmeric). Turmeric health benefits rely on this yellow-orange coloured, lipophilic polyphenol substance, Curcumin. Curcumin is acquired from the rhizomes of the herb.
Recent research in both clinical and preclinical studies has proved Curcumin to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Whilst also boasting Neuroprotective and hepatoprotective properties!.
It's all the hype today, turmeric lattes, turmeric this and that, infact people are even trying to sell it in powders mixed with a million other things (to try make it taste good) and flog it as natures superfood.
Don’t get me wrong, it is and can be a powerful superfood. I think however a lot of people don’t know it actually has extremely low oral bioavailability. Low bioavailability can therefore dampen the effects as a “therapeutic agent”.
The reason for this is that Curcumin is poorly water-soluble but highly permeable, meaning it has limited intestinal uptake with rapid metabolism.
The good news is due to advancing technologies and modern science, curcumin has been heavily researched and valid information regarding specific agents to aid its absorption is readily available. Research has been developed to overcome limitations and enhance the bioavailability because of the known benefits to health states on so many different levels.
Recent research studied the release of curcumin within a water solution, direct oral and in the form of a nanoemulsion. The bioavailability of nanoemulsion was found to be 10 fold higher than that of a direct oral delivery. Sounds crazy right? You think just straight Turmeric would be best for you in terms of all the claimed “health” benefits – however as the research presents, it’s not properly absorbed this way.
Turmeric itself is not properly understood and this is why I decided to share this information with you. The active constituent curcumin yields all the amazing healing properties, and this, in high doses it what causes a therapeutic effect, but only when made bioavailable.
Nanocurcumin has been developed so that curcumin can be transformed into nanoparticles that essentially become easily deliverable to the human body therefore making curcumin more bioavailable.
Particles become more targeted toward tissues, leading to faster delivery to the cells and longer half-lives (stays in the body longer).
Thus,Encapsulating curcumin into hydrogel nanoparticles yields a homogenous curcumin dispersion when orally administered.
Nanoemulsions aren’t the only form of making curcumin more available, there is liposomal encapsulation, PLGA encapsulation, etc, however you get my point.
Besides supplementation for certain conditions, we can however still enjoy Turmeric raw and absorb the goodness
Ever heard that pepper increases the absorption also, well this is scientifically, true, but who’s responsible? it’s the major component of black pepper, Peperine.
Peperine is an inhibitor of hepatic and intestinal glucoronidation and is also shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000% with co-administration. That’s right, adding pepper with curcumin enhances serum concentrations and extends the bioavailability! So get cracking!
Curcumin is also fat soluble – meaning without fat, it cannot be easily absorbed.
In order to make the most out of taking turmeric in any form – it therefore is more readily available to you with the presence of fat.
That’s why its original form as a spice in curry is probably the best way to have it naturally, because of the fat content of perhaps meat or coconut based products and more than likely, pepper.
Here are some Ways to have Turmeric to ensure its absorption
In a curry!Mixed with some olive oil and put over veggies with cracked pepperAdding to a smoothie that has a fat in it – like avocado or coconut oilSprinkle over avocadoAdd a teaspoon to whatever hot beverage you are drinking – if it has milk that will aid in the absorption.
1-3 tsp of organic powdered turmeric (make sure if you are using a powder that is a good source)
1-2 tablespoons of grated fresh turmeric
½ an avocado
pinch of cracked pepper (trust me)
½ cup of coconut milk
300ml of water
handful of mixed berries (good quality frozen is ok too)
Handful of cabbage leaves
Tablespoon of Chia Seeds
If you feel like some added blood sugar stabilisers and anti-inflammatory action – try adding some ginger, cayenne and/or cinnamon!
TURMERIC GOLDEN PASTE
½ cup turmeric powder
1 cup water
1 tsp of ground black pepper
¼ cup of olive oil or coconut oil
Place turmeric and water into pan on stovetop
Stir until a thick paste forms – approx 5 min
You can adjust thickness by adding more water or turmeric
Add pepper and oil and keep stirring
Allow to cool before placing in an air tight container, this will keep for a month at least in the fridge.
You can use the paste for currys, turmeric milk, As the base for a hot drink, you can also add cinnamon, ginger and honey to taste when making milks or hot drinks, enjoy!
TURMERIC FACE MASK
With my beauty therapy back ground I always find myself experimenting with ingredients topically – hence my face product range and bath salt range.
Recently I came across some face masks ideas using turmeric via pinterest
Eventually just made up my own
Yes I was scared it would make my face orange however you just need a little bit!
Generous dollop of Yoghurt – soothing, cooling, softening
½ tsp of turmeric powder – antioxidant, antiinflammatory
½ tsp honey – antimicrobial
1 tablespoon of avocado (this is always good if you open an avocado and its not good to eat, I always save it for face masks) High in VIT c and good oils
5 drops of avocado face oil (available on my website) – adds silky texture to the mask to better soften the skin – also high in Vit C.
Mix all together in a little bowl and the SMOOSH – yes i said SMOOSH all over your face.
TIP – I usually put the mask on and then hop in a hot bath – I find the steam from the bath really opens up the pores on your face for better penetration of ingredients.
OF COURSE IF ALL OF THIS IS OVERWHELMING AND YOU HAVE ALREADY CHUCKED IT IN THE “TOO HARD” BASKET – HEAD OVER TO OUR FAVOURITE CAFE “TWO CHAPS” CHAPEL STREET MARRICKVILLE FOR A TURMERIC LATTE, THEY ARE DELICIOUS!