Did you know that there are more than 200 kinds of joint pain and rheumatic conditions, and that there are almost as many natural anti-inflammatory foods and herbs you can use to relieve them? It’s almost as if Mother Earth is trying to tell us something.
We are going to suggest the most powerful ones, and here’s the best part: you already have them! There’s no need to pull out the credit card.
PS.: If you are already on some kind of anti-inflammatory medication, discuss these herbs with your doctor and make sure they don’t interfere. Also, never use healthy eating in place of real medications from a real doctor.
Like most things in life, the darker the better! Chocolate made from primarily organic cocoa is not just a treat; it’s self-love in a wrapper. The primary hero in dark chocolate is flavonoids, a group of plant-based compounds that exhibit potent antioxidant, destressing, and anti-inflammatory effects. Regular consumption has been linked to lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and an increase in anti-inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps relax blood vessels, contributing to improved blood flow and yet another way to reduce inflammation.
So break off a piece the darkest chocolate you can get your hands on and cut out the drama in your body. You deserve it.
The root of the ginger plant, known scientifically as Zingiber officinale, contains bioactive compounds such as gingerol, which are responsible for its impressive health benefits. Studies have consistently supported the anti-inflammatory prowess of ginger, making it a valuable addition to diets for individuals dealing with inflammatory conditions like arthritis or general inflammation.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects extend beyond just alleviating pain; they may also play a role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with inflammation, including heart disease and certain cancers. Maybe we suggesting grinding crisp ginger into your tea?
Beyond being a soothing and tasty beverage, green tea is packed with polyphenols, particularly catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which helps it acts as a potent antioxidant (combating oxidative stress in the body). These polyphenols have been shown to suppress inflammatory mediators, reducing inflammation at the cellular level. As a result, regular consumption of green tea has been linked to a decreased risk of chronic inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and various cardiovascular diseases. (1, 2).
At the heart of the vibrant yellow magic lies curcumin, a bioactive compound responsible for the spice’s distinctive color and a powerhouse when it comes to health benefits. Studies have shown that curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory effects, with some researchers suggesting its efficacy to be comparable to certain anti-inflammatory drugs, minus the potential side effects.
From golden lattes to curry-spiced dishes, A sprinkle of turmeric in your dishes not only adds a sassy kick to your palate but also shows inflammation that it’s not the boss in your body. (study)
The spicy hotness of cayenne comes from its capsaicinoids, which are anti-inflammatory, among many other healing benefits. Capsaicin has been studied for its ability to inhibit the action of certain molecules that promote inflammatory responses in the body.
If cayenne is too strong for you, black pepper, which contains piperine, has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Piperine may interfere with certain inflammatory pathways, making black pepper not only a flavorful addition to your favorite dishes but also a subtle ally in supporting your body’s natural balance.
Cloves have historically been used for a wide array of illnesses, but studies show it has anti-inflammatory properties. This small, aromatic bud derived from the Syzygium aromaticum tree is loaded with compounds like eugenol, which is renowned for its potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. When used topically or ingested, cloves can help alleviate inflammation by inhibiting the production of certain enzymes that trigger the body’s inflammatory response.
Boswellia, derived from the resin of the Boswellia serrata tree and commonly known as Indian frankincense, has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to address various health concerns. The key to its anti-inflammatory prowess lies in its ability to inhibit the production of inflammatory molecules like leukotrienes. “Dramatic alleviation” is the term used in the scientific literature:
“Efficacy of Boswellia serrata extract in patients with osteoarthritis has been substantiated; dramatic alleviation in the frequency of joint swelling and pain and augmentation in joint flexibility and walking distance have been observed at the end of treatment period ”
The magic lies in allicin, a natural compound found in garlic that gives it both its distinctive aroma and potent anti-inflammatory properties. Allicin has been shown to inhibit the activity of certain inflammatory enzymes, helping to reduce inflammation in the body. You can ingest garlic however you want, but allicin production is maximized by chopping the garlic up so its juicy godness can mix up. Heat, however, gradually destroys it. So if you’re brave, eat garlic raw!
This aromatic spice contains bioactive compounds, particularly cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for its characteristic taste and numerous health benefits. Cinnamaldehyde has been studied for its potential to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the release of inflammatory mediators and preventing the activation of certain pathways in the body associated with inflammation. (study)
Ah, nature’s soothing balm, with widely recognized and researched anti-inflammatory properties. The gel extracted from the succulent leaves of the aloe plant contains a rich blend of bioactive compounds, such as vitamins, enzymes, and polysaccharides, that work synergistically. Its anti-inflammatory prowess stems from the inhibition of various inflammatory mediators, reducing redness and swelling while promoting the skin’s natural healing process.
When applied topically, aloe vera gel also acts as a cooling agent, providing instant relief for irritated or sunburned skin. Every household should have an aloe vera plant!
But there's more. Check out these bussin stories:
- 12 badass things you didn’t know about the vagina It wasn't until the 1990s that researchers even used MRIs to study its internal structure and sexual function.
- These are the 7 sneaky gremlins that sabotage your diet every time It's not your fault! Be aware of these 7 things that are sabotaging your dieting so you can work around them.
- Wikipedia entry too long? Just get rid of the women Wikipedia decided that the American Novelist category was becoming too long and moved the female authors to a new page named American Women Novelists.