Anti-Inflammatory Superstars

While there are several foods that are considered anti-inflammatory, there are also some herbs and spices that are real superstars. Here are a few to get you started.

Turmeric

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Turmeric is especially popular in Chinese and Indian medicine. The oil fraction of turmeric offers anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s the yellow and orange color known as curcumin that really packs a punch. Several studies have shown that the curcumin found in turmeric is equally as powerful as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Other benefits of turmeric include:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Cancer prevention
  • Rheumatoid arthritis relief   

Turmeric can be used in soups, stir fries, smoothies and more.

Garlic

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Garlic contains special sulfur compounds found in garlic that contain anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have recently shown that some of our cells actually turn into full-fledged fat cells under certain metabolic conditions that involve inflammatory activities. Obesity is actually considered a form of inflammation, so garlic is being further studied in this area. Other benefits of garlic include:

  • Blood vessel and blood cell protection
  • Antibacterial and antiviral properties
  • Cancer prevention
Add chopped garlic towards the end of cooking for maximum health benefits, or add to bone broth in the winter for an excellent flu fighter.


Cinnamon

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Cinnamon is especially popular in complimentary and alternative medicine. It inhibits the release of arachidonic acid, which plays a role in inflammatory messaging. It has been used to help with gastritis, bronchitis and indigestion, among other things. Other benefits of cinnamon include:

  • Improved brain function
  • Blood sugar control
  • Anti-microbial
Try adding cinnamon to smoothies or sprinkle it on fruit. Cinnamon should be used in moderation, with no more than 6 grams per day consumed.

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