Turmeric, the golden spice renown for its beneficial healing properties. Turmeric has been used for centuries, especially in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for a multitude of ailments. The main chemical in turmeric responsible for its bright yellow orange color and anti inflammatory, antioxidant properties is curcumin.
Turmeric is used for a wide variety of chronic and inflammatory conditions including metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, chronic autoimmune diseases, hyperlipidemia and many more (A). Turmeric has become extremely popular in recent years due to these properties, however many are not aware of its poor oral bioavailability and absorption in the gastrointestinal track. Bioavailability simply means how much of a substance is actually available for absorption into the blood stream and body instead of eliminated by the liver/kidneys and excretory system. When something is not readily bioavailable, it moves quickly through the gastrointestinal track, gets quickly metabolized and rapidly eliminated. Turmeric unfortunately shares these characteristics, unless you know how to take it correctly.
Many individuals find that its easiest to fill empty capsules with turmeric and take them on a daily basis however this method is not effective. Many chemicals and substances that we put into our body need something called a transporter in order to be absorbed and bioavailable. Turmeric is one of those substances. Studies have found that turmeric is more readily available when ingested with a lipophilic (or fat loving) material as well as with a chemical component called piperine. Piperine is the active component of black pepper. The combination of piperine with curcumin can increase turmeric's bioavailability to the body by 2000% (A). Here is where golden tea / turmeric tea comes in to play and why some of its ingredients are necessary for proper absorption.
Golden Milk is a warm concoction comprised of several ingredients including mllk, turmeric, cinnamon (optional), black pepper, fresh ginger root (optional), honey (for taste), and cayenne pepper (optional). There's a whole host of varieties of this recipe all over the internet, take your pick. The most important part of the concoction is the milk portion (fatty transporter), the turmeric, and the black pepper (increases bioavailability).
Variations include using plain dairy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk. Coconut milk can be increasingly beneficial due to the fact that roughly 50% of the fat content in coconut milk is lauric acid which is a MCT (medium chain triglyceride) that's converted into monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin is effective at eradicating and fighting many threats to the body such as viruses, bacteria, and protazoa - not only are you aiding the absorption of turmeric but you're boosting your immune system!!
Now that you've learned the added benefits of turmeric and how to tastefully get your daily dose with proper absorption and all, it's time for you to go make yourself a cup!! Any questions or tips, feel free to post below!
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