By Assia Mortensen
“Some of the best healing remedies to overcome inflammation also taste fabulous,” says Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, PhD, author of 12 books, including “Healing Recipes.” In addition to relieving inflammation and related pain, these foods have other beneficial qualities, such as antioxidants and omega-3 fish oils, thought to help promote heart health.
To reduce inflammation, consider adding the following foods and spices to your diet:
Cayenne Pepper: It may be surprising, but spicy cayenne pepper contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, capsaicin, which might reduce the heat and pain related to inflammation.
Celery: Celery contains more than a dozen anti-inflammatory agents, including a powerful substance called apigenin.
Ginger: Research shows that ginger has similar anti-inflammatory properties to NSAIDs, such as Tylenol or Advil.
Fish: Fish and fish oils are thought to act on the immune system to suppress the release of cytokines, which are compounds that can inflame joints.
Flax: Either in the form of flax seeds or oil, flax is high in beneficial anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Tart Cherry: At least one study found that tart cherry was highly effective at relieving inflammation in patients with inflammatory osteoarthritis.
Turmeric: This spice, often used in Indian cuisine, might suppress pain and inflammation through a similar mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side effects), according to Cook.
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University of Maryland Medical Center; Cayenne; Accessed Oct. 8, 2012
Los Angeles Times; Fruitful News from Tart Cherry Study; Accessed Oct. 8, 2012
Care 2; Food That Fight Inflammation and Pain; Accessed Oct. 8, 2012