Turmeric has been used for centuries in ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine, but it’s only recently being recognized for its incredible health benefits by Western science. The multitude of ways turmeric can protect your body are almost as striking as its brilliant golden color. Turmeric’s signature yellow color is due to a compound within it called circumin. Circumin is one of the most powerful antioxidants found in nature and is a force to be reckoned with. Research has discovered that circumin can treat cancer, depression, inflammation and several skin conditions. In many cases, the effects of circumin on these diseases were almost the same as common medications used to treat them.
Turmeric’s Efficacy Depends Upon Its Bioavailability
However, while all these benefits of turmeric are indeed true, it all depends upon your body’s capacity to make use of the circumin in it. When you ingest circumin, your body needs to be able to convert circumin molecules into metabolites that can be easily utilized by your body. Unless your body is able to convert circumin into metabolites, then turmeric is just going to pass through your body without imparting much of its health benefits.
One way to increase the bioavailability of turmeric is to consume it along with a healthy fat. Circumin is a fat-soluble compound, so when you mix it with a healthy fat like coconut oil, your body can absorb it better. You can also pair turmeric with clarified butter (ghee) or grass-fed organic butter. Another way to make turmeric work harder is to add a pinch of pepper to it. Piperine in black pepper is what gives pepper its intense pungent smell and flavor. When you consume black pepper and turmeric together, piperine helps your body absorb and better utilize circumin. While both these methods help increase circumin’s bioavailability, there is one method that beats them all.
The Best Way To Consume Turmeric
Fun fact: your body digests fermented food much easier than it can when food is fresh. Fermenting foods breaks down molecules within it and takes a large burden off your digestive system. When turmeric is fermented, its bioavailability increases manifold. Because tiny beneficial microbes have already broken down circumin molecules, your body can absorb almost all of the circumin contained in turmeric. However, while fermented turmeric is incredibly beneficial, it isn’t easy to find. There are very, very few brands that offer fermented turmeric because there isn’t sufficient awareness of it. But don’t let this deter you from getting your circumin fix because fermenting turmeric yourself is ridiculously easy.
How To Ferment Turmeric
In order to ferment something, all you need is some water and sugar for the bacteria to feed on. When you’re fermenting your own turmeric, make sure you use whole, organic turmeric root. If the turmeric you’re using has any harmful pesticide residue on it, bacteria might not be able to grow in the solution. Add 1 tablespoon of freshly grated turmeric along with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Add ¾ cup of filtered water to this and store this mixture in an airtight container away from sunlight. You can even add an apple skin to it to speed up the fermentation process. Every 24 hours add 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of turmeric to the solution and give it a stir. Do this for several days until you start seeing bubbles rise to the surface. Once it has fermented, strain the water and use the paste that’s left behind in your recipes.
You can also add turmeric to your favourite relish to give it a new, earthy taste. Making turmeric sauerkraut is extremely simple and even tastes better than the real thing.
You Will Need:
1 cabbage, shredded finely
2-4 tablespoons freshly grated organic turmeric
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1. Massage the shredded cabbage with salt until it starts releasing water. Do this for at least 15 minutes.
2. Once water has started to pool around the cabbage, add your turmeric and black pepper and massage it in again.
3. Pack this mixture tightly into an airtight glass jar. The mixture should be completed submerged in its own juices and there shouldn’t be any empty spaces.
4. Leave this to ferment in a cool, dark place for at least 4 weeks. After this, you can eat your delicious sauerkraut for up to 8 weeks.