How The Body Uses Black Pepper And Turmeric
Written by: Brandi Monasco
Many people use black pepper as a seasoning for their recipes, but what most people do not know is that when you add black pepper to your food, you’re getting more than just added taste. You’re getting added health benefits!
It’s a great source of multiple vitamins and minerals, including manganese, vitamin K, iron, vitamin C, potassium and is even rich in dietary fiber. Black pepper also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Most people have also heard of turmeric and it’s amazing health properties. Not only does it make for delicious curries, but turmeric has also been used for medicinal purposes.
Due to its content of curcumin, it’s a great antioxidant and (like pepper) has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also a known antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and basically anti-anything that we don’t want getting into our bodies. It’s so good, in fact, that you can even buy turmeric supplements.
However, despite curcumin being incredibly healthy for the human body, our bodies struggle to absorb it into our bloodstream, because the beneficial ingredients within both black pepper and turmeric are inactive. In order to fully get the benefits that curcumin generously has to offer, they need to be activated.
Black pepper is the catalyst (initiates a chemical reaction) that curcumin needs and vice versa. Within black pepper is a component known as piperine, which gives pepper its biting taste. What this piperine does is it prevents the liver from trying to metabolize the curcumin. This is the liver’s job, after all. It does this by adding to the molecular structure of foreign substances to make them water soluble so our bodies can readily excrete them. However, foreign substances are ingested alongside black pepper, so the liver isn’t able to make the substances water soluble.
When combined with black pepper, the effects of curcumin are strengthened. Researchers have found that the bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric is increased by 2000% when consumed with a quarter of a teaspoon of black pepper. This is why that delicious curry you had for lunch that one time is a delectable interplay of turmeric and black pepper. Not only is it great for your taste buds, but combining the two also comes with superb health benefits.
However, the mix of black pepper and turmeric has more than just the individualized benefits that they each contain. They unlock new features of each other that further contribute to health.
Benefits of this mixture include:
- Triggering the TRPV1 transient receptor to help with pain reduction
- Creating analgesic creams
- Helping with neuropathic pain
- Preventing breast cancer by inhibiting formation of mammospheres
- Fighting heart disease and other diseases related to obesity because of their effect on bad cholesterol and decreasing the transportability of glucose
Turmeric and black pepper have fantastic health benefits, but by combining them, there’s a whole array of benefits that anybody can benefit from. It’s worth giving it a shot, and seeing what positive changes can happen in your own body.
To give the mixture of turmeric and black pepper a shot, give this deliciously soothing tea recipe a try:
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- Simmer herbs/spices and water together for 10 minutes.
- Strain out.
- Add honey and milk.
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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