Effects of Cooking on Beneficial Antioxidant Compounds in Turmeric

cooking turmeric significantly increased total polyphenol content in turmeric (including flavonoids)

Polyphenol compounds in plants, including spices, are often antioxidants. In fact, the amount of polyphenols in a plant or spice directly relates to their antioxidant potency. Cooking often lowers the nutritional content and affects the polyphenols in many plant-based foods. Since people frequently use turmeric as a spice in cooked dishes, it's important to know if heat destroys any of the antioxidant compounds it contains. (ii.171-172)

To find out, researchers conducted lab experiments to measure the effects of cooking on the phenolic contents in turmeric (and other spices). It turns out that cooking with turmeric is actually beneficial to its antioxidant power. Results showed that heat from cooking significantly increased total polyphenol content in turmeric (including flavonoids): (ii.172)

Table II.46: Effects of Heat on Turmeric's Polyphenol Content
POLYPHENOLS 41.00 mg/g 58.31 mg/g 43.81 mg/g
FLAVONOIDS 27.96 mg/g 45.00 mg/g 33.80 mg/g

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