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Does Heat Destroy the Health Properties of Turmeric?

The most commonly asked question here on the blog is without a doubt what kind of blender we use. The runner up is about turmeric and how it’s affected by cooking and heat. According to some studies, heating turmeric will increase its solubility and enhance absorption. But what about the health properties? Will heating destroy the nutrients?

We asked nutritional therapist Maria Berglund Rantén.

– Yes, heating destroys some of the benefits of turmeric. When heated, the effect of curcumin – the bright yellow pigment and active ingredient in turmeric, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties – is destroyed. After 10 minutes of cooking, around 25-30% of the curcumin is lost. And within 20-30 minutes of cooking, the number increases to 85%. Consequently, if used in cooked dishes, add turmeric last and try to avoid heating it too much in order to preserve all the benefits.

Let’s keep this in the back of our heads and continue to have our turmeric shots chilled. And from now on, we will heat our golden milk gently and not too much, in order to fully get the benefits from the turmeric.

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    Can you enlighten how the tests were conducted to say 85% of Curcumiin was lost due to heating over time. In our traditional cooking in India we heat the oil first and then Turmeric and later on Red Chilli Powder followed by Coriander powder. If you enlighten me the test I can ask the lab here to do a similar test and give the results.
    Thank you

    1. Linda D write:

      I’d like to know this, too, Vijarakumar. I have heard that cooking turmeric in oil retains the curcumin’s effectiveness, but have not seen a study on it.

  2. Good question.
    Heating substances clearly changes them chemically- whether for good or ill as you say needs to be scientifically established. Why has this website not provided an answer to your query?… sesrces a proper answer as the site should not be making statements that have no basis in fact and should welcome the opportunity to show how rigorous it’s methods are!

  3. thomas blank write: Curcumin owes it anti inflammatory properties to its oxidative metabolites.


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