3 tips to optimize turmeric’s cancer-fighting powers

The Indian root turmeric is in a class of its own when it comes to easing inflammation, fighting cancer and promoting all-around health. In fact, it’s been shown to help everything from depression to colon cancer.

Here is a list of a few conditions turmeric can prevent or help:

  • Psoriasis
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Acne
  • Liver disease
  • Obesity
  • Chronic pain
  • Over six different kinds of cancer

So, if you take turmeric, you’re giving your body a major gift. Unfortunately, it’s a gift your body doesn’t always want to accept…

That’s because curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, isn’t absorbed easily by your body. Instead your body metabolizes it quickly and eliminates it even faster. In fact, it’s in and out so quick, it’s like it was never even there. Which isn’t exactly reassuring if you’re spending good money on a curcumin supplement….

It’s basically money down the drain. But you know what’s even worse? You’re missing out on the amazing benefits of this ridiculously healthy root. That’s why, if you’re serious about your health, you need to know a few simple tricks to improve your turmeric absorption:

  1. Heat it up. Heating turmeric makes curcumin more available to your body. That means cooking with turmeric is a better idea than taking a curcumin pill. You can add turmeric to most dishes, especially if you want to make rice and vegetables more interesting. Some of my favorite turmeric-friendly dishes are curry dishes and egg dishes.
  2. Try some oil. Combining turmeric with a healthy oil is another effective way to get more health benefits for your buck. That’s because turmeric is fat-soluble, which means it dissolves in fat, allowing your body to absorb it.
  3. Add some black pepper. Research has shown the compound piperine, which is found in black pepper, can prevent curcumin from being booted out of your body so quickly. That gives your body more time to absorb it and take advantage of its many benefits.

Now, if you want to use all these tricks at once, you should try a traditional turmeric-based drink from India called golden milk. Golden milk is a warm, turmeric-based drink that touches upon all three tips for healthy turmeric absorption. All you need is a handful of ingredients including, turmeric, ground pepper, coconut milk and honey. Here is a recipe for this healthy turmeric tonic.

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  1. “Turmeric: A Potent Anti-inflammatory with Availability Issues.” Linus Pauling Institute- Oregon State University. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  2. “Curcumin.” Linus Pauling Institute- Oregon State University. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  3. “Health Benefits of Turmeric.” Organic Facts. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  4. “Golden Milk.” Healthy Holistic Living. http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.