You bet they can! Though we don’t give spices much thought beyond measuring them for a recipe, certain seasonings pack a punch of surprising health benefits. Be sure to check with your doctor first before introducing new spices into your diet, but here’s a look at some power players in your spice rack, according to EveryDay Health and Arthritis Foundation®.
The active ingredient in garlic is allicin, a sulfur-containing compound activated by crushing or chewing the clove, thereby releasing the enzyme allinase. Garlic contains 33 sulfur compounds and 17 amino acids, including arginine, which is good for circulation. The sulfur-containing compounds in garlic are anti-inflammatory and proven to keep pro-inflammatory cytokines in check, which are responsible for arthritic pain, inflammation, and cartilage damage.
Turmeric contains curcumin, an active ingredient that is clinically shown to reduce inflammation through regulating enzymes in multiple metabolic pathways which, when overstimulated, cause excessive inflammation in the body.
Add a few cloves to hearty soup or stew, blend with smoothies, or infuse hot drinks with cloves to help ease pain and inflammation.
Natural proteolytic enzymes in pineapple, papayas, and mangos help alleviate inflammation and pain.
Used from time immemorial for nausea, ginger has also been shown in studies to reduce pain and inflammation for rheumatoid arthritis.
Thanks to the compounds cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, cinnamon contains antioxidant properties which help fend off cell damage from free-radicals. Most notably, the bark of cyanidins and catechins are known to decrease inflammation and assist the body in glucose control and insulin sensitivity.
Cayenne & Chili Pepper
Spice it up! Cayenne contains natural compounds called capsaicinoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties, while chili pepper contains capsaicin, which helps ease pain by releasing feel-good endorphins when it hits the tongue.
Don’t forget to share any dietary changes with your doctor first! Certain spices can interfere with medications or cause other unwanted side effects. We’re here to coach you and guide you to the information and opportunities you need to live your fullest life! To learn more about the power of spices or diet, please call 303.327.7300 or request your personal consultation online today!