Turmeric is a versatile spice, used in spice blends around the world including curry powder.
It also has a reputation for being one of the healthiest spices out there.
"In case you're interested, I brought my own dressing."
"You really can't be doing that."
"This is the last time.
It contains extra virgin olive oil, a little bit of lemon, and a hint of turmeric."
But if you've ever looked for the capsule version of turmeric to use medicinally, you
may have found yourself with a bottle of curcumin instead, or with a bottle of turmeric that
says it includes curcumin.
So what exactly is the difference between curcumin and turmeric?
The easiest thing to remember is that turmeric is a spice used an ingredient used in food,
either in its fresh root form or in its powdered form, and that it can also be used medicinally.
Curcumin is a chemical compound generally reserved for the medicine cabinet.
But they're closely related to one another.
Curcumin is actually a chemical compound that's derived from turmeric.
It's kind of confusing, because the scientific name of turmeric is Curcuma longa.
What you should remember is that while all turmeric contains curcumin, curcumin is one
of many components that make up turmeric.
Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory, and in some lab tests, it has even been found
to be effective in reducing the size of tumors.
According to WebMD, it helps protect against high cholesterol, diabetes, and more.
NBC lists even more conditions it can help with, including Alzheimer's, arthritis, Crohn's
disease, and cardiovascular disease.
Turmeric only contains 2 to 8 percent curcumin by weight, so you'll often find capsules of
more highly concentrated curcumin, not turmeric, at the pharmacy.
To get any of the health benefits of turmeric from diet alone, you'd need to eat almost
a full gram of turmeric a day.
Curcumin extracts make it easier to get more circumin in a smaller package.
Curcumin supplements are often paired with piperine, a substance derived from black pepper,
which helps the bloodstream absorb it, and it's also beneficial to take it with a fatty food.
If you're in LA, try an avocado.
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such as yourself.
They eat avocados with everything."
If you don't want to buy curcumin capsules, but want to absorb as much of it as possible
from your diet alone, pair meals seasoned with turmeric with black pepper and a healthy
fat for maximum absorption.
Before you start ingesting large amounts of turmeric or taking a curcumin supplement,
it's best to check with a doctor.
That's especially true in the case of curcumin supplements.
The piperine that helps the body absorb the curcumin can also make the body slow down
its elimination of other prescription drugs, including those taken to treat angina, bipolar
disorder, high blood pressure, and seizures.
If those substances build up in the body, they can become toxic.
If you'd prefer to avoid supplements and would instead prefer to get the health benefits
of curcumin by adding turmeric to your diet, you're in luck, it's a very versatile and
There are a number of savory ways to use turmeric in your cooking.
Just make sure to combine it with black pepper, which will make the curcumin found in turmeric
easier to absorb.
Turmeric can be added to rice, stews, curries, and soups.
You can add it to spice rubs used on roasted and grilled meats, or add it to a pan of roasted
veggies to give them a subtle and warm golden flavor.
Look to Indian and Caribbean recipes if you need more inspiration, turmeric is often used
in those cultures' cuisines.
If you want to get the most nutrients out of turmeric, you're best off opting for fresh
turmeric root, which you can often find at Indian and Caribbean grocery stores, or specialty
markets like a local health food store or Whole Foods.
Fresh turmeric root is more easily absorbed by the body, which helps you get the most
health benefits from it.
But dried turmeric is a good option for those who can't get their hands on fresh turmeric
root, or who want something with a longer shelf life.
For best results, get dried turmeric from a specialty spice shop, which tends to offer
fresher products than what you get at the grocery store.
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