You might have read about the benefits of eating turmeric and be wondering…should I eat turmeric help my arthritis?
Turmeric’s special components include an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compound called “curcumin.” And this compound has been studied extensively for its health benefits as it relates to arthritis.
In case you’re not familiar with it, turmeric is a rhizome that grows under the ground like ginger. When you see it at the grocery store, it looks a lot like fresh ginger, until you cut into it and see the bright orange color. It is used in many foods, especially traditional curries. Many people use the dried powder found in the spice aisle, but sometimes you can find the fresh rhizome too (it’s slightly smaller than ginger).
Health Benefits of Curcumin
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory compound. That means it fights inflammation. It works so well that a study on rheumatoid arthritis showed that it worked better than anti-inflammatory medications (without the side effects).
Curcumin is also an antioxidant compound. It can neutralize free radicals before they create oxidative damage to our cells. Curcumin also boosts our own natural antioxidant enzymes for double benefit.
With all these benefits, you might think of it as the king of spices!
How to Maximize Absorption
Curcumin is not easily absorbed by your gut. But since it’s fat-soluble, you can increase absorption by eating your turmeric with a fat-containing meal.
The second method to get the most out of your turmeric is eating it with black pepper. Interestingly, a compound in black pepper (piperine) enhances the absorption of curcumin, by 2,000%!
Can you Get Enough from Food?
Most of the clinical studies use a curcumin supplement which is up to 100x more concentrated than what you would likely receive from a traditional diet that includes turmeric.
So, if you’re trying to address specific health symptoms (such as arthritis) with curcumin, you might need to get a larger dose.
NOTE: Before you take a curcumin supplement, always read the label and take caution if you are taking prescription medications. And, if you’re not sure if a supplement is the right path for you, book a call to speak to Bonnie.