These anti-inflammatory herbs are common. And for this reason sometimes they are overlooked for their powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.
About a week ago, I talked about how the wrong type of inflammation in your body may lead to ‘killer’ diseases. Cancers, heart diseases, diabetes are real killers as they are leading causes of death these days.
But that’s completely avoidable and even reversible with a clean, plant-based diet. I want to point out, however, that nowadays removing certain food groups from your diet is more important than adding new foods.
For example, you know that you visit the deli section of your grocery store more often than you should. In this case, you will better off reducing the frequency of those visits rather than adding a daily green smoothie to your diet.
Total inflammation you gain from a processed meal >>> total inflammation you lose after a green smoothie
However, if you think you are not going to do anything in the next few days or weeks (will continue eating out and won’t bother with a smoothie), I suggest you start with something very simple. All you have to do is go to your kitchen and see whether you have anything that I talk about below!
Obviously, if you eat the below foods in fresh uncooked state, you will reap more of their inflammatory potential.
Spicy, refreshing, exceedingly aromatic. I love it. In China people eat a lot of ginger.
The active compound in ginger is gingerol.
What’s awesome, is not only ginger suppresses inflammation-promoting molecules like prostaglandin and leukotrine but it also inhibits the induction of certain genes that ultimately code for the synthesis of these two. So, ginger acts on the level of DNA (1).
Take a piece that is equivalent to your thumb and divide it into 3 doses and consume as your day goes by. It’s fine to take it on an empty stomach.
I eat ginger whenever I feel like I need a boost to my mood or mental energy or need some help with my digestion.
2. Cayenne pepper or red pepper (whatever is available)
Fire eating? Everybody can do that with Cayenne pepper or red pepper.
These two are not the same but very related (as they belong to the same genus). Both are shown to be great at reducing inflammation (2,3).
Capsaicin is the active substance in these two.
Start off with 1/6 teaspoon and increase to 1 teaspoon per day. Take with meals.
Cayenne pepper is my favorite stimulatory food.
In the recent years, there has been a lot of buzz around this herb. But turmeric deserves this fame (4).
Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric.
To get the therapeutic amount of curcumin, you need to take several tablespoons per day. But if you are not trying to treat a chronic condition, 1-3 teaspoons per day is enough. I prefer taking it with meals.
Turmeric is not too friendly on your tastebuds, but your body will thank you for swallowing this disgusting ‘gold’ later.
4. Black pepper
As far as I’m aware, black pepper is the most used spice in the world.
Divide 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper into 3 doses and consume with meals for its anti-inflammatory goodness (4).
If you mix black pepper with turmeric and 1/5 teaspoon of coconut oil, the inflammatory benefit effect of turmeric is multiplied.
Might sound surprising, but this tasty spice is another friend of yours when fighting inflammation (6).
Please do make sure that you take the True cinnamon or Ceylon variety. The regular one you see in stores – Cassia cinnamon – is high in coumarin. Coumarin may be damaging to your liver if you take cinnamon is spoonful amounts. Look at the above picture.
Take up to 3 tablespoons per day. It’s tasty, so it’s easy.