Choose Turmeric with a Pinch of Pepper over Turmeric Alone

You may know all about the benefits of turmeric—the yellow-orange spice that contains the polyphenol curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, help prevent disease, and provide cardiovascular benefits. But did you know you should add a pinch of black pepper when you use turmeric? That’s because research shows that the bioavailability of curcumin increased 2,000% after it was ingested with piperine, which gives black pepper its biting taste. It appears to help with the absorption of turmeric in the intestinal tract (not as much is absorbed if pepper is not included). Piperine works by stimulating the digestive enzymes of the pancreas (and has long been used for medicinal purposes). So add a pinch to magnify the benefits of turmeric in your dishes and broths.

Naomi Whittel

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