Inflammation is the body’s way of fighting infections and healing.
However, in some situations, inflammation can get out of hand and last longer than necessary. This is called chronic inflammation, and studies have linked it to many diseases, including diabetes and cancer.
Diet plays a crucial role in your health. What you eat, including various herbs and spices, can affect inflammation in your body. So, let’s take a look at 7 herbs and spices that may help fight inflammation.
Ginger is a delicious spice with a peppery yet sweet flavor. You can enjoy this spice in various ways, such as fresh, dried, or powdered. It is also incredibly versatile and easy to incorporate into many dishes, such as stir-fries, stews, and salads.
Apart from ginger’s culinary uses, people have used it for thousands of years in traditional medicine to heal numerous conditions. These include colds, migraines, nausea, arthritis, and high blood pressure.
Ginger contains more than 100 active compounds, such as gingerol, shogaol, zingiberene, and zingerone, to name a few. These are likely responsible for its health effects, including helping reduce inflammation in the body.
Garlic is a popular spice with a strong smell and taste. People have used it in traditional medicine for thousands of years to treat arthritis, coughs, constipation, infections, toothaches, and much more.
Most of the health benefits of garlic come from its sulfur compounds, such as allicin, diallyl disulfide, and S-allylcysteine, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric is a spice popular in Indian cuisine that people have used since ancient times. It’s packed with over 300 active compounds. The main one is an antioxidant called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Numerous studies have shown that curcumin can block the activation of NF-κB, a molecule that activates genes that promote inflammation. Studies in people with osteoarthritis have found that taking curcumin supplements provided pain relief similar to that of the common painkillers. Consuming turmeric with black pepper is considered to be ideal as black pepper greatly increases the amount of curcumin that our body can absorb.
Cardamom is a spice native to Southeast Asia. It has a complex sweet, spicy flavor which makes it an excellent addition to curries and stews.
Various studies have found that consuming small quantities of cardamom on a regular basis reduces inflammation, increases our body’s antioxidants status and also reduced the chances of fatty liver diseases.
Black pepper is known as the king of spices, as it’s popular worldwide. Traditionally, people used black pepper to treat certain health conditions, such as asthma, diarrhea, and many other gastric ailments.
Black pepper is widely available and easy to add to your diet. Try seasoning your cooking with a dash of ground black pepper. It pairs nicely with veggies, meat, fish, poultry, and pasta dishes.
Research suggests that black pepper and its main active compound piperine may play a role in reducing inflammation and join swelling in the body.
Ginseng is a plant people have used in Asia for thousands of years, treasuring it for its medicinal properties. The two most popular ginseng types are Asian ginseng and American ginseng. They vary in their effects and amounts of active compounds. Asian ginseng is reportedly more invigorating, while American ginseng is thought to be more relaxing.
Ginseng has been associated with many health benefits, mainly due to its active compounds called ginsenosides. Their effects include reducing signs of inflammation in the body. An analysis of 9 studies looked at 420 participants with elevated blood levels of inflammation. Those who took 300–4,000 mg of ginseng per day over 4–24.8 weeks experienced significantly less pain.
Ginseng is easy to add to your diet. You can stew its roots into a tea or add them to recipes such as soups or stir-fries. Alternatively, you can take ginseng extract as a supplement. It’s available in capsule, tablet, or powder form at health food stores and online.
Green tea is a popular herbal tea that people often trust for its health benefits. This plant is packed with healthy compounds called polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Studies have linked these compounds to benefits for the brain and heart. They also help people lose body fat and reduce inflammation.
Green tea leaves are widely available and easy to brew into a delicious tea. Alternatively, you could also try purchasing matcha powder or green tea extract supplements.
Inflammation is a natural process that can raise the risk of health complications when it continues for too long. Fortunately, what you eat can help reduce inflammation in your body. These herbs and spices can help keep inflammation at bay while adding enjoyable flavors to your diet.