5 Spices That Can Help Fight Inflammation
Spices not only improve the flavor of your meals, they can help improve your health as well. Studies have shown that some common spices you may already have in your kitchen can be effective in fighting disease and pain, including inflammation. Not only that, but including these five spices in your diet may help decrease the need for anti-inflammatory drugs. Here are five spices that may help fight inflammation.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a normal process of the human body, a response of the immune system to a foreign invader. Most often, this invader is a bacteria or virus. The problem with inflammation comes when the body begins to produce an inflammation response when no foreign invader is present. This type of inflammation, sometimes referred to as chronic or low level inflammation, has been implicated in diseases ranging from heart disease to cancer as well as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, lupus, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Researchers believe that reducing chronic low level inflammation may be the key to unlocking prevention of these and other diseases.
The Inflammation Fighting Super Spice Turmeric
Turmeric is the main ingredient in curry powder. Practitioners of natural healing have long used this member of the ginger family to soothe upset stomachs and ease chronic arthritis pain. Turmeric has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. How does this exotic spice help fight inflammation? Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that works like a COX-2 inhibitor, the same inhibitor present in anti-inflammatory NSAID drugs. The best part: Turmeric seems to offer the same anti-inflammatory benefits as NSAID drugs without the pesky side effects. Curcumin has also been found to help reduce swelling of inflamed tissues in the body. Ongoing research into curcumin is looking into its usage in relieving osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. If you are not a fan of curry powder, turmeric is available in supplement form.
Ginger Inhibits Inflammation Enzymes
Many people know about ginger’s ability to relieve nausea, but ginger is a natural way to fight inflammation as well. Ginger contains gingersols which have been found to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Like turmeric, the compounds present in ginger work by inhibiting COX-2 enzymes that help produce inflammation in the body. Researchers have had success using ginger to relieve pain in arthritis patients. Although fresh raw ginger is the most potent, ginger is also available in supplement form. Ginger tea is also an option for those who don’t like fresh, raw ginger. Simply steep fresh sliced raw ginger root in boiling water for 1 minute. For a stronger brew, steep an additional minute.
Take the Heat Out of Inflammation with Cayenne, Chili Powder and Chili Peppers
Cayenne, chili powder and chili peppers are three spices that are effective in fighting inflammation. These three wonder spices all contain capsaicin. Not only does capsaicin give these spices their heat, it also helps fight inflammation by blocking the neuropeptide Substance P. Substance P is responsible for causing nerve fibers in the body to swell. For more information on the health benefits of capsaicin see Amazing Health Benefits of Capsaicin: Turn Up the Heat on Your Health.
Pungent Garlic May Stop Inflammation in Its Tracks
Recent research into garlic has found that the pungent spice may have medicinal properties that may help fight cancer, heart disease, improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels and boost the immune system. But garlic is also a super spice in the fight against inflammation. The enzymes present in garlic help to generate anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes. Allicin, one of the compounds in garlic that cause its pungent smell, is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation by inhibiting the enzymes responsible for inflammation.
Use Oregano to Spice Up Your Health
Oregano not only smells good, it is also good for you. Oregano has antifungal and antibacterial properties and recent research has found that the aromatic spice may be a powerful weapon in fighting inflammation. Scientists in Germany and Switzerland found that when mice with swollen paws were given oregano, 70 percent saw reduced swelling. The key to the anti-inflammatory power of oregano is a substance called betacaryophyllin (E-BCP). This active ingredient in oregano has been found to inhibit inflammation as well as help reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. The rebel health tribe will provide the person facilities for purchasing of the health supplements. The side-effects should be in the notice of the person. The herbal medicines should be the first priority of the person.