With inflammation being at the root of many diseases (think arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease), it makes a lot of sense to be including anti-inflammatory foods in more of our meals. Spices are an incredible addition to any meal and not only add delicious aromatic flavours to your food, but can also provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Check out our five favourite anti-inflammatory spices we love to use in our food…
Ginger has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory (as well as a nausea reliever and digestive aid) to help reduce muscle pain, soothe sore throats and reduce arthritic pain. Add fresh ginger to your stir-fries and curries or use powdered ginger in your baking and bliss balls to kick that inflammation to the curb. Sweet or savoury, the possibilities are endless!
We LOVE turmeric… And turmeric loves us too! Turmeric contains a powerful anti-inflammatory component called curcumin, which some studies have shown to be even more effective than aspirin and ibuprofen. Next time you find yourself with a headache or cramps, why not sprinkle some powdered turmeric on your sweet potato chips, add it into a tasty curry, create a creamy dip (Check out our recipe for White Bean & Turmeric Dip) or whip yourself up a warming turmeric latte. If none of these options appeal to you, turmeric pills are a thing these days. Take these in place of the less natural pharmaceutical drugs you might usually opt for.
Mmm the smell of cloves takes us straight to Christmas and Easter but we don’t have to wait all year for a Chrissy pud to get our clove fix. Add a pinch of ground cloves into your porridge or baking for a festive flavour and a boost of anti-inflammatory benefits provided by Eugenol, one of the main components found in cloves. Eugenol works by blocking a particular enzyme that causes inflammation in the body… Pretty amazing!
One spice that we all know and love for its subtly sweet flavour is cinnamon, but did you know that cinnamon also acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory? Cinnamon contains a component called cinnamaldehyde that inhibits pro-inflammatory genes and also prevents blood platelets from clumping, helping to decrease risk of heart disease. Next time you sit down to yummy bowl of fruit crumble, our Apple Date & Cinnamon Muffins or even a nourishing chai latte, imagine that amazing work that is going on in your cells all thanks to cinnamon!
Last but definitely not least we have cayenne pepper, a spice which has been used for its healing and pain-relief benefits in India, China, and by Native Americans for centuries. Cayenne pepper works by depleting a substance that transmits pain signals to the brain. It is another great spice for the treatment of arthritis symptoms and can also be used topically as a cream or added to food. Be careful not to overdo it, this one can be spicy!
What’s your fave way to use these anti-inflammatory spices at home? Let us know in the comments below and share any delicious recipe creations with us xo