Inflammation can be a good thing. It’s your body’s way of fighting infections and healing. Continuous inflammation itself can be harmful in some cases. Certain chronic diseases cause high levels of inflammation in the body which can lead to deep tissue damage. On the basis of that, many doctors and nutritional experts recommend food that is anti-inflammatory in nature. Natural compounds that are present in certain herbs and spices have the potential to be anti-inflammatory foods. Research on that front is scarce but, it can still be a step in the right direction towards healthy eating.
In this blog, TABIIB lists out a few spices known for their anti-inflammatory properties that you can add to your daily diet – for a healthy life.
Ginger is a common spice that is used in many dishes across global cuisines. Outside of ginger’s culinary uses, traditions across the world have used this spice as a key ingredient in their medicines to heal common ailments. These include colds, nausea, arthritis, and migraines.
It contains several anti-inflammatory compounds, namely gingerol and shogaol, which block inflammation pathways in the body.
Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, is what gives the spice its anti-inflammatory properties. Ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine have long used turmeric to treat digestive problems and physical wounds. Curcumin has the most substantial evidence base for its anti-inflammatory effects compared with other herbal remedies.
Powdered turmeric is used in various dishes in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.
Tip: Use it with black pepper powder to help your body absorb it better.
Cinnamon is a popular spice these days and for good reason: it is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory substances out there. It’s often used in Ayurvedic medicines to enhance the properties of other herbs.
Cinnamon’s antioxidant properties can lessen the chances of cellular damage and chronic illnesses. Furthermore, cinnamon promotes abnormal cell growth, reducing the chances of cancer.
Cloves are a popular spice for those who look to add a little kick to their food. More than just enhancing flavour, cloves are also strong anti-proliferative agents.
In other words, the active compounds found in cloves had several bio-markers that show reduced inflammation.
5. Black Pepper
Black pepper is known as the king of spices, as it is famous worldwide. The distinctive flavour of this spice comes from the chemical piperine which has been shown to reduce inflammation.
Black pepper is widely available and easy to add to your diet. Try seasoning your cooking with a dash of ground black pepper.
Cardamom is a spice native to Southeast Asia. Its smoky and sweet flavour makes it a popular choice in rice dishes and tea. Research suggests that the use of cardamom also significantly reduces inflammatory markers and increases antioxidant status by 90%.
A study found that taking 3 grams of cardamom daily reduced inflammatory markers compared with a placebo.
7. White Willow Bark
Thanks to the powerhouse of active compounds, white willow bark has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It contains salicin; a chemical similar to aspirin, which can reduce pain and inflammation.
This herb has been a part of natural medicine since millenia. Hippocrates recommended willow bark as a remedy for gout and joint pain. Additionally, many traditional healers also relied on this herb for its anti-inflammatory properties.
The Bottom Line
Inflammation is a natural process that can cause problems if continued on for too long. Chronic inflammation negatively impacts one’s physical lifestyle and health. The spices listed above make for a great addition to your diet. However, it’s always best to consult a doctor before making any significant changes.