Recently, we received a friendly comment –always welcome, hint hint 🙂 concerning our turmeric smoothie recipe. Under the username, “Tine,” a comment was left saying, “If you add a little black pepper it boosts the health benefits of turmeric more than ten-fold…”
Indeed, there’s some truth to this and we wanted to share the details with Raw and Natural Health readers.
The benefits of combining black pepper and curcumin
Here’s the deal: turmeric’s healthful substance is curcumin. While amazing for our health, it’s apparently not the best at absorption (bioavailability), but black pepper contains piperine, an absorption superstar (1). When used together, it’s like a win-win relationship happening in the body where the piperine essentially helps boost absorption of curcumin in our system so it stays in our cells longer.
In fact, one study concluded that when curcumin was taken with 20 mg of piperine, absorption of curcumin increased a whopping 2000%. That extra “0” isn’t a typo, either!
As an added bonus, pepper is known to decrease intestinal gas, stimulate stubborn fat cells and induce slight amounts of sweating (good to aid in weight loss) and is high in manganese (2).
This isn’t to say that having the turmeric without pepper in smoothies and other foods has rendered it ineffective all along, because it still remains a great way to fight inflammation and cancer cells (3). It’s great stuff, whether you enjoy it with black pepper, coconut oil or fruit (or anything else you prefer).
So, as with all foods and combinations of them: as long as you’re getting the nutrients that work best for you to keep you happy and healthy, keep at it!
Sources for this article include: