If you’ve ever used turmeric or curcumin, you may have wondered about a very specific question: does turmeric need cayenne pepper to absorb? Or, do I need black pepper to increase my body’s ability to absorb this powerful spice? The answer is no!
Turmeric can be absorbed without the help of its spicy cousin. But there are some things that make it easier for your body to take in all the health benefits it has to offer. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about increasing your body’s absorption of curcumin—including why you should use cayenne pepper (or not) and which combination can turbocharge your health results like never before.
Overview What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that has been used for thousands of years in Indian cuisine, but more recently, it’s gained popularity as a health supplement. Because of its healing properties, turmeric has been used to treat everything from inflammation to liver disease to acne. While there are dozens of ways you can use turmeric in your daily life, one way you can incorporate it into your routine is by adding it to your tea or smoothie recipes.
The most popular form of turmeric on the market is a powdered tincture (a mixture made from ground roots). You can also find other forms, such as liquid concentrates or supplements that contain oils extracted from the root itself.
Turmeric’s Main Active Ingredient
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which is the main active ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin is a polyphenol that has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has been shown to be a powerful anti-cancer compound, particularly when combined with piperine (more on this later).
Turmeric works internally by strengthening your body’s natural defenses because it contains phytonutrients known as curcuminoids. These help lower cholesterol levels and protect the body from free radicals that can cause damage to cells and DNA—which can lead to cancerous tumors forming in your body.
Does Turmeric Need Cayenne Pepper To Absorb
As we’ve already discussed, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been used for thousands of years in Asian cuisine. Because it’s so good at reducing inflammation, modern research has shown that it can help prevent or treat conditions like arthritis and heart disease.
However, as we’ve also discussed, cayenne pepper is not an effective way to increase the absorption of turmeric! In fact, there’s no evidence to suggest that any spices other than black pepper will have any effect on turmeric absorption.
So if you’re looking for a way to maximize your health benefits by using turmeric regularly on a daily basis, then make sure you’re using black pepper with your meals.
What Are the Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin?
Turmeric is a spice that has been used in traditional Indian medicine for hundreds of years. It’s made from the root of an herbaceous plant called Curcuma longa. Turmeric contains curcumin and other compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties and can help with arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and more, including cancer.
There are many different ways to use turmeric: as a supplement (in pills or capsules), as an essential oil, as tea or broth…the list goes on.
How to Increase Your Body’s Absorption of Turmeric and Curcumin
1. Add Foods that Help with Absorption
One of the best ways to do this is to eat it with purple foods. The reason for this is that they contain compounds that increase the bioavailability of curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric).
Cook with it. I can use turmeric as a substitute for saffron, giving food a mild yellow color and a touch of earthiness. You can also add turmeric to your favorite curry recipes or stir-fry dishes. Turmeric tea is an easy way to take advantage of the health benefits offered by this spice. Add some fresh ginger and lemon juice to boiling water, then steep for about 5 minutes before adding a teaspoon of turmeric powder.
2. Combine Turmeric with Black Pepper
You can help your body absorb turmeric by combining it with black pepper. This is because black pepper contains piperine, which increases the absorption of turmeric and other nutrients. When adding spice to your meals, use one teaspoon of ground black pepper along with one teaspoon of turmeric powder. If you find the taste too strong, use half a teaspoon each instead.
If you don’t like using these ingredients in their raw form or want something stronger than ground black pepper on its own, try adding some cayenne pepper to your meals as well.
Cayenne peppers are known for their healing properties and can be used as an ingredient in many different recipes. They’re also very versatile: they’re great for making sauces or marinating meat.
3. Mix Turmeric with A Fatty Acid
If the turmeric you have is not in a fat-soluble form, mixing it with a fatty acid will increase your absorption. The best way to do this is by adding 1/2 tsp of coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter) to your dish.
4. mix Turmeric with A Spice or Herb
Mixing turmeric with a spice or herb is a great way to add flavor, especially when you’re first getting started. If you’re not thrilled about the taste of raw turmeric, try pairing it with cayenne pepper, ginger, cinnamon, or even cumin.
Add it to a smoothie or juice. Turmeric can be an acquired taste, so adding it to your morning smoothie or juice is a great way to introduce yourself to the flavor. You’ll get all of the benefits of turmeric in one delicious drink!
5. Mix Turmeric with A Fruit or Vegetable
When you’re taking turmeric, it’s a good idea to mix it with something that will make it more palatable and help increase the bioavailability of the curcumin in turmeric. Some of the best choices are onions, green tea, and apples.
The reason this works is that these foods contain polyphenols which help your liver break down the curcumin (a type of antioxidant) found in turmeric. They also contain lipids that can improve how easily your body absorbs them into your bloodstream.
6. Use a Supplement that Contains Both Turmeric and The Black Pepper
If you want to take advantage of the health benefits of turmeric, you should use a supplement that contains both turmeric and black pepper.
Supplements that contain both turmeric and black pepper are available at most health food stores, or you can make your own by adding powdered black pepper to your turmeric powder.
Do You Need Black Pepper or Cayenne Pepper to Increase Turmeric Absorption?
While it’s true that pepper has been shown to increase turmeric absorption, this is due to the piperine in black pepper, not the cayenne.
Piperine is known to be an inhibitor of drug metabolism by inhibiting CYP3A4 enzyme activity in the body. Because of this, when it’s taken with turmeric it may help your body absorb more curcumin. But you don’t need cayenne pepper to get the benefits of turmeric.
Therefore, it is advisable to add black pepper to your turmeric instead of cayenne pepper.
The answer to this question is no. Turmeric does not need cayenne pepper in order for it to absorb into the body. The reason for this is that turmeric contains curcumin, which is a substance that can be absorbed by our bodies and only works better with piperine in black pepper to increase absorption.