Turmeric – This much talked about spice has been popping up left, right and center with all of its benefits, but really – is there anything that turmeric can’t do? Because turmeric is a superfood, deserves being highlighted and put in the spotlight! Curcumin and turmeric are in the center of attention in more than 2,000 studies conducted on PubMed!
There is many information on the internet that include turmeric so it can be difficult to make a decision in which way to use this spice. Which way is the right?
Using the whole food is always the best option. That means to utilize turmeric the form that is natural (organic turmeric powder or whole root) – before it has been processed into extracts and isolates. Turmeric as a whole has numerous natural components that are promoting the health including ‘curcuminoid’.
As far as supplementation goes; this tool is to ‘supplement’ an already healthy diet, not to replace the need for clean eating. We just begin to understand the compounds in whole foods that are wonderful, how they are related and work in the body to give support to the health.
We all think that it is better to consume something when it is in its organic and whole natural form than to use some extract, that is questionable, inside a capsule together with other ingredients and a huge list of processes of manufacturing – we can’t improve the health by the added compounds that are processed into capsules. It can’t be expected they to work as natural ingredients!
When using turmeric, there are two really important things you must know – and then there is a third secret, which we will talk about today!
First, fats that are saturated and healthy are necessary for the absorbtion of curcumine that is active in turmeric. That is why an organic combination of turmeric powder or fresh whole root with coconut oil, grass-fed butter, ghee or sustainable palm oil should be used.
Also, always use a combination of turmeric and black pepper. Because the piperine (which gives the pungency of the black pepper) is responsible for enhancing the absorption and increasing the bioavailability.
If you have ever learned about turmeric, you are already familiar with the benefits of consuming black pepper and healthy fats for increasing the absorption. Finally, the most important thing is to consume fermented turmeric if you want to get the great benefit from it.
Yep, this takes things to a whole new level… and doesn’t have to be tricky. Fermenting can actually be quite simple. One research which can be found in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology revealed that curcumin’s bioavailability is increased even more if it is used as fermented. During the process of digestion, various metabolites are being transformed by curcumin. The body can absorb those metabolites more easily than the whole molecule of curcumin.
Not to mention, fermented foods also support and ease digestion. So, in case the GI is not functioning properly (have food intolerance’s, you get bloated, alternating constipation/diarrhea, gas and acid reflux) using fermented turmeric can take the tax off of the process of digestion. Therefore, the turmeric’s beneficial compounds could be absorbed easily in the bloodstream and the body can use the benefit. Remember if digestion is not at its pride, and if you have feeling of bloating after a meal – you are NOT effectively absorbing your nutrition from your meal. You can be malnourished even though you are on an organic and healthy diet if the digestion is not effective.
What are the benefits of fermentation?
The preservation of food has been used from ancient times. The process lactofermentation is natural and simple and is encouraging bacteria feed. They feed on the starch and sugar found in the food. The result is lactic acid. The process preserves the food to make the shelf life longer (due to that the process is popular since long time ago) and beneficial minerals, enzymes, b-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, various strains of probiotics and antioxidants are created in the process.
The process of fermentation has many benefits. Lactic acid has a role in promoting the growth of the intestinal flora that is healthy. This flora is helpful for building a powerful immune system and healthy gut.
By the consumption of foods that are fermented such as homemade sauerkraut you can easily get the most nutritional property from the whole superfoods and foods by enhancing all of their beneficial properties and also increasing the nutrient value! With a powerful herb like turmeric, getting the most from the whole root is ideal. Consuming homemade sauerkraut with turmeric, a couple of tablespoons daily is a wonderful way to increase the intake of nutrient and feel the root’s benefits.
Homemade Sauerkraut With Turmeric
Makes 1-2 large jars
- 1 medium cabbage, shredded
- 2-4 tbsp. fresh turmeric root, grated or shredded
- 1 tbsp. fine Himalayan salt
- 1/8/1-4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Tools you will need:
- Large bowl
- Chef knife
- Cutting board
- Fermenting Crock, Mason Jars with an airlock lid
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and slice into quarters. The thick core should be cut out and the cabbage should be shred into very long and thin slices, either in a food processor or by hand.
- Use a bowl for mixing from stainless steel or a large glass to toss the Then sprinkle on the salt. Using gloves, squeeze, massage and knead the cabbage. It should become juicy and limp. This process breaks up the cabbages cellular structure! Getting the liquid out of the cabbage can take about 5 minutes of intense massaging.
- When bubbles could be seen and a pool is made from the juice, put the pepper and turmeric and mix them well. (The cabbage juice bubbling at some point could be heard).
- Now pack the cabbage that is now juice into a crock for fermentation or glass mason jar that is large. The cabbage should be packed down tightly in order to eliminate air bubbles. Use a pounder for sauerkraut. You can also make an improvisation with a spoon or spatula to pack the cabbage tight so that the juice covers the cabbage completely. You must submerge the cabbage completely in the juice. This step is crucial for the fermentation to be done successfully.
- If you use a mason jar and put on it a kraut kap screw it. The kap is intended and designed for creating an environment that is anaerobic and ensures the absence of bacteria that are bad
- Store at room temperature in a dark place. Put a fermenting rock or a small mason jar that is filled with liquid such as water) for keeping the kraut weighed down, this prevents having to disturb the fermentation process by opening the lid and pushing the homemade sauerkraut down below the brine.
- Let the homemade sauerkraut ferment for a period from 4 weeks till 6 months. If the period of fermentation is longer it will be stronger.
- You can then keep the homemade sauerkraut at room temperature and enjoy for up to 8-weeks, or you can transfer to the refrigerator which can increase the shelf life (from 6- 12 months). Some master fermenter’s think that if you use a refrigerator for storing you will influence the probiotics in it and it is completely unnecessary. However, you can do whatever you are comfortable with.
- Don’t forget to drink the juice! This is a shot for the gut! Put it into your salad dressings or take it in a shot glass.
- If some scum floats in the brine of the homemade sauerkraut, use a spoon to take it out. The formation of bacteria that are bad can be present in case the materials that are solid are above the liquid and make an optimal environment for bad bacteria. The materials that are covered with the liquid will not be contaminated with bacteria which may be multiplying above the liquid. If you use a mason jar or crock for fermentation that have kraut lids that fit properly the risk of microbial contamination is eliminated.
- Fermentation is an art: if it smells off, and tastes off, it’s probably off… Then throw that sauerkraut, out!