organic vegetarian meals for the trail

Turmeric + Ginger + Cranberry: A Powerful Fusion

Food calories equate to more than energy, some contain powerful healing properties. Here we highlight three such foods:

1. Turmeric

turmeric root

Turmeric contains curcumin, which is notable for its ability to reduce joint and muscle pain. It works much the same as an over the counter anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen. Turmeric also shows positive results in preventing health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Although curcumin demonstrates promising results in treating numerous ailments, its therapeutic efficacy is limited due to poor absorption. To reap the most therapeutic benefit of turmeric, combine it with foods (see below) that boost curcumin’s bioavailability. [1,2]

2. Ginger

ginger root

Ginger is most known for its ability to treat nausea; however, its virtues extend beyond a motion sickness remedy. Like turmeric, ginger contains active beneficial anti-inflammatory constituents that reduce pain and muscle soreness. We’ve talked before about the benefits of ginger for backpacking and travel.

3. Cranberries

dried cranberries

Cranberries are native to North America and contain multiple phytonutrients that offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer health benefits. One such powerful phytonutrient is quercetin, which is especially potent when combined with turmeric.

To improve curcumin’s bioavailability in the body and magnify its health benefits, combine it with one of the following three foods:

1. Black Pepper (piperine)

When turmeric is eaten with black pepper, a piperidine alkaloid present in black pepper, called piperine, improves turmeric bioavailability as much as 2000% in the body. [3]

2. Fat (coconut, olive oil, nuts)

When curcumin is eaten with fat, it can be directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system which bypasses the liver (the primary organ for metabolism). Hence, less curcumin is exposed to metabolic enzymes and remains in a free form. [4]

3. Berries (quercetin)

When turmeric is eaten with foods containing quercetin, such as dried cranberries, it slows down the rapid metabolism of curcumin in the body and thereby increases its bioavailability. It does this by suppressing the enzyme CYP3A4 which is responsible for metabolizing and deactivating curcumin. Quercetin is a plant pigment (flavonoid) that is found in many dark red or blue plant foods. Some of the best food sources of quercetin include cranberries, red grapes, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, jalapeno peppers, and onions. [5]

Ginger Berry Fusion: a merging of flavor and therapy

Individually these foods provide numerous health benefits, and when mixed, they are a potent combination.

Ginger Berry Fusion
Outdoor Herbivore’s Ginger Berry Fusion, our newest high-calorie trail snack. The golden turmeric coated coconut chips add a warming taste and improve curcumin’s bioavailability. The crystallized Fiji ginger bites provide a zesty aroma and flavorful zing. The dried cranberries are plump and sweet and extend curcumin’s bioavailability. The almonds and walnuts provide a buttery richness.

[1] Anand P, e. (2017). Bioavailability of curcumin: problems and promises. – PubMed – NCBI. from
[2] Gupta, S., Patchva, S., & Aggarwal, B. (2012). Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials. The AAPS Journal, 15(1), 195-218. doi:10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8
[3] Shoba G, e. (2017). Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. – PubMed – NCBI. from
[4]  Why Free Curcumin is the Only Curcumin that Matters. (2017). from
 [5] Curcumin–Piperine/Curcumin–Quercetin/Curcumin–Silibinin dual drug-loaded nanoparticulate combination therapy: A novel approach to target and treat multidrug-resistant cancers. (2017). from
Prasad, S. & Aggarwal, B. (2011). Turmeric, the Golden Spice. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. Retrieved from

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