If you’ve been avidly following the Paleo approach when it comes to your food and lifestyle, then you’ve already decreased your inflammatory load by quite a lot. You may have noticed that you’re feeling less pain, you’re thinking more clearly, and that you have quite a bit more energy.
However, it’s important to understand that inflammation can be acting at a deeper level where you won’t feel it until it’s too late. Some forms of inflammation won’t give you an explicit negative experience. Instead, you’ll feel the effects over time as the chronic disease it created within you explodes into a flurry of symptoms.
This, my dear friends, is why I like to stress how important it is to reduce inflammation on a daily basis. You’ll enjoy greater energy levels, an improved immune system, healthy skin, and better hormonal balance…keys to living the happy and healthy life you’ve been working hard for!
The good news is, you actually have extremely strong tools already with you. You may in fact be using them already without knowing it! The key lies in your cupboards…your spice cabinet to be exact! Did you know that ounce per ounce, herbs and spices have more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than any other food?
Yeah. I thought it was crazy too.
Inflammation and oxidation are very closely related. You see, antioxidants fight free radicals that damage cells that lead to…yup, you guessed it, inflammation. Many spices and herbs can heal your gut as well, and as you may already know, if your gut is out of whack, so are your
I know that you’re already eating anti-inflammatory foods like broccoli, cauliflower, dark leafy greens, organic berries, and egg yolks right? Well, adding a few key spices can exponentially increase the anti-inflammatory power of your meal!
Check out my Top 5 Anti-Inflammatory Herbs here:
Ahhhh, the spice of my people! I’ve eaten turmeric since I was about a year old. It’s in just about every curry my momma made and I never fully appreciated it until now. Turmeric has been used traditionally in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for everything from arthritis to liver disease. Now, scientific studies show how turmeric acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibacterial, antifungal herb that can fight against diabetes, allergies, arthritis, dementia, and other chronic illnesses. Furthermore, the curcumin in turmeric inhibits the growth of tumor cells in several different cancers while also improving insulin resistance. Try adding turmeric by adding it to your stir-fry dishes, curry dishes, or even adding a pinch to your morning latte!
Capsaicin is the amazing little component inside Cayenne that carries the medicinal properties. Capsaicin is commonly used for pain relief because it depletes nerve cells of substance P, a chemical that transmits pain signals to the brain. It can also relieve digestive and circulatory problems as well as decrease inflammation with its high flavonoid, carotenoid, and antioxidant load. It’s widely known that decreasing inflammation can lead to overall weight loss. Well, Cayenne may promote weight loss all on its own by raising core body and skin temperature which then induces greater energy expenditure and increased metabolism. To get the most bang for your buck, make sure to get high quality cayenne peppers!
Ginger is another traditionally Asian spice that’s been used to treat pain, aches, and sore muscles. Ginger specifically attacks inflammation through it’s gingerols, shogaols, and paradols. It’s also high in antioxidants, which, yup, just like our other herbs, helps to decrease the production of free radicals that can cause cell damage. Ginger can decrease pain and stiffness from arthritis while helping your digestion along at the same time. Sounds like quite the little miracle worker to me! Since ginger molds easily in the fridge, purchase high quality fresh ginger and store it away from heat, moisture, and light!
Who would have guessed that cinnamon is much more powerful than that delicious addition to crisp apples and your morning latte? Cinnamon is a powerful anti-inflammatory as it lowers blood sugar in diabetics by activating insulin receptors. With it’s high antioxidant content, it also lessens cellular damage which can lead to chronic disease. What sets cinnamon apart from the other herbs and spices is that it prevents blood platelets from clumping. This is extremely important it protecting against
heart disease and other inflammatory diseases. If that wasn’t enough, cinnamon also blocks growth factors that are known to be associated with abnormal cell growth. Yes!
Ohh wise and powerful sage! The carnosic acid and carnosol compounds in sage are extremely anti-inflammatory. For sage specifically, its anti-inflammatory properties run directly to the brain and can help heal inflammation based neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia while improving memory and concentration. Sage is also a potent tool in your immunity belt as it proves to also be an effective antiviral.
Well, there you have it! I hope you thoroughly enjoy the benefits of my top 5 inflammation fighting herbs! If you’d like to venture forward, other herbs that I love to use as for their anti-inflammatory effect include cloves, rosemary, and oregano. When purchasing any herb, make sure to look for high quality organic sources and see if you can even pick the plant from it’s origin at a locally sourced farm. You may even want to grow a few of these yourself, a course of action that can be extremely healing and inflammation reducing in itself!
Author: Christine Mattappillil