Inflammation is one of the body’s most important defense mechanisms, protecting us against outside invaders like infection, disease, and other unwanted entities.
While acute inflammation lasts only a few hours or days and indicates a healthy immune system, chronic inflammation is a serious condition that can lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other major diseases.
Prescription medication may combat chronic inflammation, but lifestyle changes and natural cures have also proven effective in clinical studies.
Here are the 5 best natural cures for inflammation you need to know about.
Ancient healers and practitioners of traditional medicine have pointed to ginger as a multi-faceted spice with incredible benefits for the body.
The root of the flowering ginger plant can be sliced thin, shaved, grated, or turned into a powder, then used in a range of different recipes and herbal tonics to ingest its fiery flavors and abilities.
In terms of anti-inflammatory effects, researchers have found that ginger treats pain and inflammation nearly as well as over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. It offers relief to those suffering osteoarthritic pain, heart disease, and even aid digestion.
The distinctive, delicious taste of garlic comes with an anti-inflammatory bonus, especially in reducing severe arthritis systems and helping boost blood flow through the body.
Like its allium cousins leeks and onions, garlic contains a compound called diallyl disulfide, which acts against the cytokines that regulate our inflammatory response.
If you just want the medicinal effects and don’t care for the taste, you can your garlic in a capsule every morning.
Home chefs, on the other hand, already have plenty of garlic in the kitchen. Press it raw into your favorite buttery sauce, or roast it up in the oven for a sweeter flavor.
Look at the label of any modern anti-inflammation supplement and you’ll probably see turmeric prominently featured on the list of ingredients. The active chemical in the turmeric root is called curcumin, which dials down the inflammatory effects of key cytokines and enzymes.
Turmeric is so popular and pricey because it works, with trials proving reduced levels of joint pain, swelling, as well as decreased inflammation in the brain and vital organs.
You can buy it raw and work it into your daily diet, but the high heat and distinct spice may turn some people off. Look for capsules with real curcumin and make them part of the routine.
- Green Tea
Is it possible to increase focus, lower inflammation, and get a boost of antioxidants all in one warm and delicious drink? With green tea, that’s exactly what you get.
This grassy, herbal tea has powerful effects on many systems of the body and can be prepared quickly and easily, hot or cold.
Scientists have already confirmed its ability to help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer, and green tea also may assist in treating common forms of arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a true therapeutic powerhouse with virtually no downsides.
- Olive Oil
One of the world’s oldest and most beloved ingredients also packs a punch in terms of antioxidant and anti-inflammation abilities, making olive oil a true essential.
Unlike other culinary oils, olive oil is rich in bioactive compounds such as polyphenols, oleic acid, and phytosterols, which act in concert to deliver tons of healthy effects.
According to Stephanie Eckelkamp from OliveOil.com, you should aim to find the purest extra virgin olive oil available to reap the greatest health rewards, and the fresher the better.
Also, the bioactive compounds in olive oil are compounded and supercharged when they interact with fruits, nuts, veggies, and whole grains, so enjoy the full spectrum of the Meditteranean diet to maximize the benefits.