3 Science Based Ways to Instantly Increase Turmeric (Curcumin) Absorption

How to Optimize Turmeric Absorption for Super Boosted Benefits

I have already written about the amazing health benefits of turmeric and about the fact that turmeric may be the natural rival to dangerous depression medication. It is a true superfood that should be in any kitchen.

Turmeric’s Key Nutrient (Curcumin) Is Not Easy To Absorb

Curcumin is the active ingredient that you need to absorb from the turmeric itself.

While curcumin is a powerful and effective compound for treating a wide range of diseases, studies have revealed that it has low absorption and rapid metabolism that lead to relatively low bioavailability in the body.

“Bioavailability” is the ease with which any nutrient can make its way from the food you eat into your body.

In this article I will show you exactly how to greatly improve curcumin’s bioavailability in your body to super boost its miraculous health benefits!

Also make sure to read my article about cases you should avoid or limit the amount of turmeric you consume due to certain health conditions or taking certain medications.

How to Increase the Bioavailability of Curcumin in the Body?

Here are few suggestions that will help to greatly increase turmeric absorption:

1.    Mix turmeric with black pepper (piperine)

On my previous article about cooking methods and healing food combinations, I’ve mentioned that piperine, which is the key chemical in black pepper, aids the absorption of curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric, and thus increases the amount of curcumin that the body can absorb. So if you are cooking with turmeric, be sure to add some black pepper to the food.

One study concluded that piperine can increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%.1

2.    Mix turmeric with fats

One of the main reasons behind the low-availability of curcumin in the body is due to its low solubility in water. Therefore you can mix turmeric with oils, such as coconut oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil etc. to improve its absorption.

One study found that mixing turmeric with oil in cooking greatly increased its absorption.

3.    Mix turmeric with quercetin

Quercetin is a plant pigment (flavonoid) that is found in many plants and foods, such as red wine, red grapes, onions, green tea, apples and berries.

One study found that the combination of quercetin and turmeric greatly increases its medicinal properties. Another study suggests that the combination of curcumin and quercetin can increase the absorption of curcumin. It’s interesting to note that this was discussed in the context of using curcumin and quercetin for their anti-cancer activities.

Quercetin inhibits a certain enzyme that deactivates curcumin. Fruits with a dark red or blue color have the highest quercetin content. These include cranberries, blueberries and black plums. Vegetables that include quercetin are red leaf lettuce, raw kale, chicory greens, raw spinach, sweet peppers, snap beans and raw broccoli.

Don’t Expose Turmeric to Prolonged Heat

While turmeric can be added to many dishes, curcumin is moderately sensitive to heat, so don’t expose turmeric to prolonged heat. But certain types of cooking methods can actually enhance curcumin absorption. You can find more information in my article “Does Cooking Really Destroy the Health Properties of Turmeric?“.

Another effective way to add turmeric to your diet is by adding it to your smoothies.

Turmeric Drinks to Increase the Absorption of Curcumin

Here are some turmeric smoothie recipes with compounds that will help the curcumin to be better absorbed by the body:

Spicy Tropical Smoothie

The fat content in coconut milk and the black pepper help for better curcumin absorption. This spicy tropical smoothie also aids digestion due to the enzymes in pineapple (bromelain) and papaya (papain), so it’s good to drink this smoothie after a meal. You can read my previous articles about how to use pineapple as a medicine and 10 reasons to eat papaya.

1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup pineapple or papaya chunks
1 banana
1/2 teaspoon each of ground turmeric, ginger and cinnamon (or 1/2-inch fresh turmeric/ginger, peeled and roughly chopped)
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Drink immediately to enjoy the most nutritional benefits.

Anti Inflammatory Smoothie

Chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases and is known to worsen their symptoms. The ingredients in this smoothie have anti inflammatory properties so you can use this smoothie as a natural alternative to anti inflammatory medications. In this smoothie, the green tea and the berries (with quercetin) as well as the coconut oil help for better curcumin absorption.

1 cup green tea
1 cup berries of your choice (such as blueberries, raspberries, cranberries)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon each of ground turmeric and ginger
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed or chia seeds
A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten

Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Green Smoothie With Turmeric

Here is another great recipe for green smoothie that combines the goodness of leafy greens that are packed with chlorophyll that helps to cleanse the body. Chlorophyll has also anti-inflammatory properties, as it also alkalizes the body, and can therefore be used to reduce the risk of diseases and inflammation processes in the cells. Here the avocado helps the body absorb the turmeric as avocados are full of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids (you can read more about avocado in my previous article about 11 healthy reasons to eat avocados).

1 cup coconut water or coconut milk (there are many reasons to drink coconut water)
1 compressed cup of leafy greens of your choice (such as kale, spinach, lettuce)
1/4 avocado
Green fruit such as pear, apple or kiwifruit
1/2 tsp. of ground turmeric powder or 1/2-inch fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil (omit it if you use coconut milk or avocado as they provide the fat)
A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten

Golden turmeric smoothie

This smoothie is rich in vitamin A which is vital for good vision, healthy skin, healthy immune system and cell growth. Here the coconut oil helps for better absorption of the curcumin.

2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup water or orange juice
1 carrot chunks
1 mango
Few melon chunks
1/2-inch fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Few dried apricots (optional)

Place the oatmeal in a blender and process until finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and process until smooth. For a thicker smoothie, let it stand for a few minutes before serving.

Morning Warm Lemon Water Tonic With Turmeric

I wrote in the past about the incredible health benefits of drinking lemon water, and while I’ve mentioned before that turmeric has low solubility in water, it can be taken with water too if its solubility is enhanced. Citrus fruits, such as lemon, are one of the primary dietary sources of quercetin. Some studies suggest that the bioavailability of curcumin can also be enhanced with warmth because warmth increases the solubility of curcumin in water (remember its solubility, not absorption) although prolonged heat is not good as mentioned before. You can read more information in my article on how cooking and heat affect turmeric and black pepper. This may be the reason why some recipes of “golden milk” use turmeric with warm milk.

1 cup warm (not hot) water
1/2 tsp. of ground turmeric powder or 1/2-inch fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Dash of cinnamon (optional)
A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten

Add the turmeric to the warm water, add the lemon juice and honey and stir well. The turmeric will settle to the bottom of the cup, so you need to continue to stir the water as you drink, to get all the benefits of the turmeric. Make sure to drink while the water is still warm.

By boosting the bioavailability of this powerful spice, you also increase its benefits for every system in your body, and it’s one of the best things you can do for your long term health.

Anti Inflammatory Turmeric Dressings Recipes

Here I would like to share with you some great and simple dressing recipes which will give your salads, roasted veggies or other dishes the extra kick combined with the many health benefits of turmeric.

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Dressing


  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/4 -1/3 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 avocado (optional) – if you want a thicker consistency


Mix well all the ingredients. If you use avocado, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Taste the dressing and adjust the flavor according to your own preference.

Golden Elixir Turmeric-Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • A little bit of chopped parsley (optional)

Mix well all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Taste the dressing and adjust the flavor according to your own preference.

Immune Boosting Apple Cider Vinegar, Nut Butter and Turmeric Dressing

  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. nut butter like almond butter or peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. turmeric

Mix well all the ingredients until you get a smooth texture. Taste the dressing and adjust the flavor according to your own preference. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

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