Turmeric Curcumin the spice of life!
Turmeric is a spice widely used in the Indian cuisine but apart from giving Indian curry its bright yellow and delightfully rich taste, it also has a myriad of health benefits. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and for centuries, it has been known to have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Turmeric powder: 3 ways how it can be consumed and the benefits of adding ground black pepper and fresh ginger
Research has shown turmeric can be beneficial for people struggling with obesity, diabetes or arthritis. At the same time, however, curcumin has a poor bioavailability – it is usually rapidly metabolized by the liver and intestines, meaning only a small portion of the active compound actually reaches the bloodstream.
One way to tackle the issue is by combining turmeric with black pepper. Studies have demonstrated that black pepper can boost the health benefits of turmeric by boosting absorption by 2,000%; the combination of the two has been shown to relieve pain and suppress inflammation, as well as help with weight-loss and obesity-related symptoms, and arthritis.
The active compound in black pepper, piperine, is a known inhibitor of a metabolizing reaction in the body, known as glucuronidation (this is how the organism metabolizes drugs and chemicals into inert substances). The reaction occurs in the liver and the intestinal wall. When you consume a larger amount of turmeric, the body initially recognizes it as a toxic substance, which triggers the glucuronidation. By consuming black pepper, you can help your body inhibit the reaction process and allow the curcumin to enter the bloodstream. This has been investigated in a study by Shoba and colleagues who found out that the piperine enhanced the serum concentration, extent of absorption and bioavailability of curcumin in both rats and human subjects.
What’s more, apart from boosting the effects of turmeric, black pepper also has a unique set of benefits of its own. Research has shown that consuming piperine leads to better digestion, improved regulation of nerve signals, decreased cancer risk and increased metabolism. The turmeric-black pepper combo is especially useful for relieving pain; turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and piperine activates the cellular receptors TRPV1 which sets off an anti-pain reaction in the body. This means that combining turmeric with black pepper can provide significant relief even from nerve-related pain which is largely chronic.
Consuming curcumin, and combining it with black pepper and ginger may be especially beneficial if you’re struggling to lose weight. Curcumin interacts with the fat cells in the body, and can directly impact the pancreatic, liver, immune system and muscle cells which helps tackles insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia, as long as an array of symptoms linked to obesity, and studies have shown that black pepper and ginger have the same effects on their own.
Additionally, adding fresh ginger and ground black pepper to turmeric can alleviate your digestive problems. The University of Maryland Medical Center reported that curcumin can stimulate the gallbladder to produce more bile, which can lead to improved digestion and less bloating. Additionally, ginger has been shown to be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting (due to motion sickness or chemotherapy) and the ginger-turmeric combo can help reduce various symptoms of indigestion.
What’s more, both turmeric and piperine are known to reduce the oxidative stress which causes blood vessel damage. This could be especially beneficial to patients with diabetes as damage to the blood vessels is a common byproduct of the disease. Additionally, a study showed that consuming turmeric regularly prevented the development of type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.
Another way to add turmeric to your diet is in the form of turmeric powder. The bright yellow powder is made by dry-grinding the mature turmeric rhizomes. The powder can be added to food or liquids such as tea, milk, and soups.
A third way to take advantage of the turmeric’s amazing health benefits is by consuming it in the form of capsules.
Turmeric capsules: 5 benefits for opting for capsules over turmeric powder
Turmeric supplements and capsules must contain at least 95% standardized curcumin to offer health benefits. In general, turmeric capsules are superior to turmeric powder because they’re easier to consume, come in standardized dosages and offer a range of other benefits such as slower release and greater transportability.
One major benefit capsules have over turmeric powder is that they often contain more than just curcumin. Turmeric capsules may be ‘enriched’ with added black pepper and/or ginger, which supplements often containing more than one product in one capsule. These combined capsules are not only more powerful but allow you to take full advantage of the health benefits of several natural ingredients.
Additionally, turmeric capsules generally contain higher dosages of the active ingredient, which makes them more powerful than powders. They also come with a delayed release which might be helpful if, for some reason, you’re not looking for quick absorption.
Some people also have an issue with the turmeric’s unique flavor, especially in combination with ginger. Some spices and powders, when mixed, may produce a different flavor which is not the case with supplements. Most turmeric capsules are bland-tasting and can easily be swallowed with or without water.
Last but not least, turmeric capsules are also more transportable than powder. By opting for capsules, you have the advantage of having your dosage whenever you need it. Since everything is contained within the small protective shell, you can easily toss your turmeric capsule in a pill organizer or an air-tight container and take it with you which is not the case with turmeric powder (which you’ll also have to add to a food or a drink). In general, turmeric capsules are easier to swallow and more manageable and often come in various size quantities to suit your unique nutritional needs.
Pullulan capsules: 3 benefits of pullulan capsules, what they are and how they differ from gelatine and HPMC vegetable capsules.
Pullulan is a natural, biodegradable polymer produced from starch via a reaction with the fungus Aerobasidium pullulans. It’s bland and tasteless, edible and completely organic; no toxic chemicals are used in the growing, harvesting or extracting of the pullulan, and tablets and capsules made from it are also halal and kosher-certified, along with being vegan- and environmentally-friendly.
Because of the way pullulan is produced, it offers a range of benefits compared to gelatine or HMPC capsules. For one, pullulan has an excellent oxygen barrier – it protects its contents against oxidation approximately 300 times better than HPMC and 9 times better and gelatine, which is why pullulan capsules are recommended when it comes to oxidation-sensitive ingredients such as turmeric.
Additionally, pullulan capsules are stronger and have higher durability than gelatine capsules. Pullulan is completely organic, starch-free, gluten-free, preservative-free, non-GMO and vegan-friendly which makes it an excellent choice for a range of people, and because of the raw material’s durability, pullulan capsules can match and even exceed the performance characteristics of gelatin. What’s more, pullulan’s disintegration times and dissolution profiles are similar to gelatin, while providing easy swallowability with a faster esophageal transit time.
In short, turmeric pullulan capsules are an excellent option if you’re looking to add curcumin to your daily diet. They’re easier to swallow, organic, vegan-friendly and completely GMO-free, and can combine various powerful natural anti-oxidants such as black pepper or ginger. The turmeric pullulan capsules are also more easily transported, ensuring you have your daily dose of curcumin at your fingertips at all times.