Oct 16, 2019
Five Best Spices for Arthritis
Certain foods have been identified as anti-inflammatories and can help reduce chronic pain for arthritis sufferers. One easy way to incorporate these into your diet is through spices. And although a dash of cinnamon on your toast won’t be super helpful, many of these spices can pack a punch when you consume them throughout the day. Luckily, autumn is here and it’s the perfect time to experiment with all these great flavors. Here are some spices to consider using in your kitchen this fall.
Turmeric is a vivid yellow spice often found in Indian cuisine, and is available in any grocery store. Turmeric has been used as a medicine for centuries to treat wounds, infections and colds. Research has shown that curcumin, a compound in turmeric, can reduce inflammation in the body.
Garlic is a tasty addition to just about any dish. Not only does it add a ton of flavor, but it’s good for you as well! Studies show that “the health effects of dietary garlic have been utilized throughout the centuries to offer protection against infections, heart disease, and cancer.” Garlic also contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, garlic can help fight the pain, inflammation, and cartilage damage due to arthritis. Be sure to go for fresh garlic from the produce section of your market because preservatives and processing can reduce its strength.
You can buy ginger in powdered form or as a fresh root in most supermarkets. Ginger has been used as a traditional medicine to treat an upset stomach and headaches. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger have been touted for centuries, and scientific studies have confirmed it.
Chili peppers contain natural compounds called capsaicinoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Cayenne and other dried chilies spice up sauces, marinades and rubs. Chilies can be hot, so go easy in the beginning. Not only can cayenne pepper help with arthritis swelling, it will give your dish a delicious kick.
Cinnamon is more than just a tasty ingredient in our cakes and cookies. Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, both of which have antioxidant properties that help obstruct cell damage. Cinnamon is a scrumptious addition to oatmeal or smoothies, but it’s not really strong enough on its own. However, used in combination with other foods and spices, it may offer a cumulative, therapeutic effect over the course of the day.
Remember that when it comes to trying a new spice, start small and add more after you’ve taste-tested your dish. And in cooking, a good rule of thumb is fresh is best. There’s a wide variety of foods you can spice up: rubs, and marinades, sprinkled on steamed vegetables, mixed into pasta, or added to soups and stews. Season up your dishes this fall, and be sure to let us know all about your favorite anti-inflammatory spices on our Facebook page.