Turmeric is a type of "rhizomatous herbaceous" perennial. It's part of the "Zingiberaceae," or ginger family, and native to the subtropical regions of Southeast Asia. It goes by the moniker of "Indian Saffron," It's a favorite spice used in cooking throughout India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Today, turmeric is gaining traction as a superfood trend in the West. Open your Instagram feed, and you'll see influencers downing turmeric shots and them wincing at the after taste – it makes for some hilarious schadenfreude.
Why is everyone on the turmeric tip suddenly? Is there something behind this spicy root that makes it worth all the attention?
Why Should I Supplement with Turmeric?
If ayurvedic medicine is anything to go by, then these trendy hipsters order wheatgrass, and turmeric shots might be onto something. Turmeric has a 4,000-year legacy of treating digestive disorders, healing wounds and stopping inflammatory disease.
Turmeric contains a polyphenol antioxidant called "curcumin." This flavonoid has a potent anti-inflammatory effect on the digestive system. As you absorb the curcumin through your digestive system, the spice's anti-inflammatory properties start to reach your bloodstream, spreading throughout every biological system.
Eating turmeric is a great way to stop the advancement of inflammatory disease before it gets out of control. There's plenty of research suggesting consuming curcumin helps prevent digestive inflammation that leads to colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer kills more than 53,000 Americans every year, making it the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US.
Now, the Bad News
Out of every tablespoon of turmeric you get, only 3% of it is curcumin by weight. Therefore, you'd have to eat 100-grams of turmeric to get 3-grams of curcumin.
We don't know about you, but there's no way it's humanly possible to include 100-grams of turmeric in our diet. Unless you want to stain your lips and tongue, and your insides yellow, the thought of eating all that turmeric makes us nauseous.
Even if you could eat 100-grams, you probably wouldn't get much curcumin from the spice. It turns out that, unfortunately, your digestive system finds it challenging to absorb the curcumin in turmeric. As a result, even pounding down 100-grams of turmeric isn't a guarantee you'll absorb much curcumin at all.
Wait, There's Still Hope!
Fortunately, some bright people are studying nutritional science. Now, it's possible to separate the curcumin from turmeric, turning it into a supplement.
You don't have to eat 100-grams of turmeric to get 3-grams of curcumin. Now it's possible to add a few capsules to your daily supplement regimen and get all the curcumin your need in a convenient serving.
Bioperine – The Secret Behind Curcumin Supplements
To resolve the bioavailability issue with curcumin, the smart people in the lab coats made an important discovery. By adding black pepper extract in a standardized format (Bioperine), you activate the body's ability to readily absorb the curcumin, enhancing bioavailability by up to 2,000%.
What's the Best Turmeric Curcumin Supplement?
Don't get us wrong, turmeric is excellent, but we can't stand the taste of a turmeric shot. It's no wonder influencers, and health pundits cringe after downing the bright-yellow liquid. The spicy flavor of turmeric is slightly overwhelming on the senses, leaving a unique aftertaste that lingers for an hour or two.
It's so much more convenient to get your daily dose of curcumin by taking a few capsules of a curcumin supplement fortified with Bioperine. If you're going to get a curcumin supplement, we recommend Bioschwartz, Jarrow Formulas, or Smarter Nutrition for the leading brands.
Pro Tip – Curcumin is a fat-soluble nutrient. Therefore, it's best to take your curcumin supplement with a meal that's high in fat, such as eggs, Greek yogurt, or a salad with plenty of extra-virgin olive oil.