Love Turmeric? These Tricks Will Help Maximize Its Health Benefits

Turmeric. So hot right now.

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Turmeric lattes. Turmeric milk. Turmeric Eggs. Turmeric’s resume is quite impressive, and it’s not just because it can make everything you eat literally turn a golden hue.

Before using turmeric powder was trendy, you may have recognized it from its previous work as the ingredient in curry that gives it its bold color. What many people don’t know, however, is that turmeric has been used medicinally for centuries, primarily in South Asia.

While the herb in its natural, non-powder state isn’t necessarily a treat for the eyes (seriously, look it up), turmeric gets an A++ for its effects on the body. Turmeric contains powerful antioxidant compounds called curcuminoids, which may also have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and neuroprotective effects.

As much as the body loves the health benefits of turmeric, it unfortunately has a hard time absorbing an especially beneficial curcuminoid called curcumin. There are ways, though, you can help your body soak it up:

  • Boost curcumin absorption by eating turmeric with healthy fats, like avocado or olive oil.
  • Pair turmeric with black pepper. Piperine, found in black pepper, has been shown to enhance absorption of curcumin by a whopping 2,000 percent, according to researchers at St. John’s Medical College in India.

While the extent of turmeric’s powers are still being studied, there’s no doubt it’s good for your body. What’s more, its light, versatile flavor makes it an easy addition to just about anything you can cook up. If you’re not feeling particularly creative, start with these tips:

  • Mix turmeric powder into marinades, sauces, or smoothies, like in this tropical turmeric smoothie.
  • Sprinkle atop your latte, tea, or dessert.
  • Add to your egg scramble or vegetable stir-fry (with a bit of pepper!).