3 Of The Best Spices For Fighting Inflammation
Turmeric, ginger and garlic are three of the best spices for fighting inflammation. Why? Because each one of them have unique nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties. On a daily basis, our body is inflammed. Just the act of getting out of bed in the morning can start inflammation. But inflammation is not always a bad thing.
When we hear about inflammation, we automatically jump to thinking about how to stop it. Inflammation has been linked to a whole host of illnesses, including diabetes, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, atherosclerosis and even cancer. (Source: Science Based Medicine) Digestive system disorders are also traced to inflammation within our gut.
Inflammation is our bodies natural response to fight infection and it is necessary for the healing process to happen. Inflammation that is chronic is the inflammation we need to fight. Chronic inflammation is what leads to illness such as listed above and even IBS and Crohn's disease. Eating foods that are naturally anti-inflammatory is one way to support the bodies natural healing process.
This is where turmeric, ginger and garlic come in. These spices have natural anti-inflammatory properties to help support a healthy body and reduce digestive health issues. If you are suffering from bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, bloating, brain fog or abdominal pain, eating anti-inflammatory foods can help.
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Now back to the health benefits of turmeric, ginger and garlic.
What are the health benefits of turmeric? Turmeric is a powerful spice that has a long history of beneficial use. It has been used in the Chinese and Indian medical systems as an anti-inflammatory agent. In numerous studies, the anti-inflammatory effects of its phytonutrient curcumin have been shown to be comparable to potent prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines. (Source: World's Healthiest Foods)
I love using turmeric in salad dressings, stir-fry's and as golden milk. But I find it hard to use it everyday. I started taking a turmeric supplement over a year ago to add the powerful effects to my daily routine. In fact, turmeric is now being studied for its ability to help heal gut inflammation, the permeability of the gut lining and it is even being explored as a treatment for IBS. (Source: Medical News Daily)
Below are some great recipes for incorporating turmeric into your routine.
Paleo Turmeric Scones from Fresh Planet Flavor. These are gluten-free and can be made vegan by substituting a flax egg for the chicken egg. It takes only 30 minutes from prepped to cooked, making it a viable option for meal-prepping. I would eat one of these for breakfast with a warm cup of chai tea.
Turmeric Cauliflower Steaks from Nutrition Squeezed. Cauliflower gets an anti-inflammatory kick with turmeric. It is perfect for a meatless Monday meal or as the star for lunch. Serve on top of a mixed green salad.
Turmeric Coconut Latte from Bio Hackers Recipes. I couldn't move on from turmeric without a turmeric latte recipe. One of the best ways to add turmeric into your routine! This recipe also works with nut or oat milk.
Is Ginger anti inflammatory? YES! Ginger has been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Indian medicine. Ginger contains Gingerols which are phtyonutrients that can relieve muscular discomfort and swelling. Ginger also soothes the stomach, relieves nausea and alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. It is known for its ability to relax the intestinal tract and reduce intestinal gas. (Source: World's Healthiest Foods)
Ginger can be bought as a fresh root, a tea, a dried spice or even as a candy to enjoy while soothing the digestive tract. It can be used in many recipes, such as smoothies, stir-fry's and casseroles. Below are a few recipes to try.
Ginger Veggie Stir-fry from Platings and Pairings. Stir-fry's are so easy to make, especially on busy weeknights. I like to use a mix of frozen and fresh vegetables which helps cut down on the amount of time I need to spend chopping! Plus, it makes it economical, especially when some vegetables aren't in season.
Ginger Sesame Tempeh Vegan Lettuce Wraps from Connoisseurus Veg. Tempeh is a great replacement for meat and has a thicker consistency than tofu. It also takes to sauces quite well. This ginger sesame sauce is very simple and the whole recipe takes 20 minutes. If your lettuce wraps often turn out like mine (falling apart) just put the tempeh on a mixed green salad!
Fresh lemon ginger detoxifying smoothie from Nutrition In The Kitch. Smoothies are a great way to get your day started. Especially, if you don't have time to sit down and eat. Ginger mixes well with almost any type of fruit or veggie in the smoothie so don't be shy! Add as much as you like!
Garlic is the last anti-inflammatory spice for this post and one of my favorites. I have always loved garlic and when I discovered all of the great health benefits of eating garlic, I was hooked. I love just roasting a head of organic garlic and squeezing out the garlic onto a cracker or use it as a spread for a veggie wrap.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds that reduce inflammation. It is very helpful to reduce pain and inflammation, especially for the joints. (Source: World's Healthiest Foods) Garlic also wards off germs that cause food poisoning and it has prebiotic activity. Prebiotics help give the good bacteria in our digestive tract the energy it needs to thrive, which promotes healthy digestion. (Source: Livestrong)
Here are a few recipes using garlic.
Healthy Garlic Herb Chicken Salad from Pinch of Yum. What I really love about this recipe is the dressing that uses garlic, olive oil, water, basil, parsley and lemon juice. If you don't eat meat, this dressing works with a vegetarian version of this salad. I would use blanched broccoli or cooked tempeh in place of the chicken.
Sundried Tomato and Lentil Salad from Garlic Matters. Lentils are one of the best legumes to eat regularly. They are high in protein and fiber, which adds nutrients to any dish. I love eating them in salads because it gives a different texture and fills me up. The dressing is full of garlic which also supports a healthy gut.
Creamy Roasted Garlic Potato Soup from How Sweet Eats. This recipe contains cream but since I am dairy-free, I would use either coconut milk or leave it out altogether. Since potato soup is pureed, I find the potatoes give me enough creaminess all on their own. The roasted garlic really shines in this recipe, making it full of flavor.
I hope you enjoyed this post about the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, ginger and garlic. If you are working on solving gut health issues, these spices are critical to have in your routine. From the recipes I shared, it is easy to see how they can be incorporated into meals.
Do you think you will try any of the recipes? Let me know in the comments below.