Most of us who are health conscious have probably heard of turmeric, a root that is used as one of the primary ingredients in curry powder and which gives it its distinct yellow color (careful, it stains!). We've probably seen hipstery blog posts providing you recipes for turmeric teas, turmeric juices, and recommending just plain raw turmeric to munch on.
But what many people fail to either recognize or are simply unaware of is that although turmeric is a great food with some reported health benefits, the active compound which actually delivers those health benefits, like inflammation support, brain health, and general anti-oxidant support is a compound called curcumin...and curcumin has a very low bioavailability.
To put that in easy to simple terms, you can eat all the turmeric you want, and you'll get very little of the known benefits of its curcumin. That is not to say that you shouldn't eat turmeric, you should! It definitely won't hurt anything, and it might even do a little good. And if you like the earthy flavor, then it's all the better. But if you are looking to reap any of the health benefits that scientists are beginning to discover about curcumin, you'd better find yourself a great supplement with high absorbability or bioavailability.
This is where the Field Work Nutrition philosophy of science meets nature comes into play. We love food as much as anyone else, and if we had it our way, would get 100% of our nutrition directly from whole food sources. But...reality doesn't always work that way. We look at the research and incorporate practical findings into our product development, as is the case with curcumin. The form of curcumin we use is highly bioavailable and 95% curcuminoids. With a single serving of a Primo Smoothie and the curcumin it contains, you'll get substantially more benefit than drinking about as much turmeric tea as you can stomach.
There are other companies that make high quality curcumin supplements, which you can find at many health food stores and even mainstream retailers these days. If you are going to buy a supplement, be sure you get something with high bioavailability and a high percentage of curcuminoids. And as with any supplement, if you can verify the quality of its manufacturer through a GMP certification and / or third party quality certification, that's even better.
The media loves to sensationalize anything that appears to be the "next big superfood." Though some foods have more benefits than others, remember to do your own research and that few things beat a healthy diet with a variety of whole foods, lean meats, and lots of vegetables and fruits.
We'll see you out there.