3 best herbs and spices for fighting inflammation in your body!

High blood pressure is one of the seven largest contributors to our overall risk profile for the #1 cause of death in the developed world – Heart disease!

You are probably familiar with common dietary recommendations to eat less sodium and more potassium to lower blood pressure, but salt is not the only flavour element that can impact your ticker. It turns out that dialling up the spices in your food can also help keep your BP in check.

According to a September 2021 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate more herbs and spices – in particular, cinnamon, turmeric and oregano – recorded lower blood pressure readings 24 hours later.

“According to a September 2021 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate more herbs and spices – in particular, cinnamon, turmeric and oregano – recorded lower blood pressure readings 24 hours later.”

Reducing Inflammation with Spices

Reducing Inflammation with SpicesInflammation is your body’s protective response to injury or damage. It helps your natural healing and repair processes. A problem starts when your body is chronically inflamed. Many modern stressors, such as pollution, food sensitivities and carrying extra weight, can lead to chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to a wide variety of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and attention deficit disorder (ADD). 

Many different herbs and spices can help you reduce or prevent inflammation in your body. 

Variety really is the Spice of Life

Spices not only enhance taste – They make it Gut-Friendly too! 

It’s well known that our microbiome – the trillions of bacteria living in our gut – can have a major impact on our health, wealth and even mood. But who would have thought the herbs and spices we cook with can influence our gut health? Studies are indicating that herbs and spices can help with digestive function, including how our gut breaks down the food we eat, so it can be absorbed and used in the body.

Humble herbs and spices can elevate dishes from dull to delicious – and it turns out they can also pack a punch when it comes to gut health.

My top 3 favourite flavour-boosters, that also support a Healthy Gut.

1. Ginger

ginger can reduce nausea, stimulate saliva and bile production, soothe the stomach and help ease motion sicknessA super-star spice, ginger can reduce nausea, stimulate saliva and bile production, soothe the stomach and help ease motion sickness. It’s also good for reducing gas and bloating.

“Ginger is such a versatile spice, you can add it to curries, stir-fries, or have a ginger tea.

Try a ginger tea to wake up your sluggish digestion in the morning or toss minced ginger into your stir-fries or curries. While fresh is best, you can also use dried, ground ginger.

2. Turmeric

tumeric has been used for thousands of years in India as a medicinal herbIt’s the spice that gives curry its yellow colour and has been used for thousands of years in India as a medicinal herb.

Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which has powerful healing potential.

A 2019 study analysed the prebiotic potential of four spices – turmeric, ginger, long pepper and black pepper – and found turmeric stood out for its ability to influence positive change in the gut microbiome community.

Try popping turmeric into soups and smoothies or adding it to rice and even your morning latte.

3. Cinnamon

Cinnamon powerful healing properties anti-inflammatory effectCinnamon is delicious and, luckily for those of us addicted to its warm and spicy sweetness, among its powerful healing properties is its anti-inflammatory effect.

Research indicates that it may help lower gut inflammation, though more research is needed to assess if it can have a clinical effect. An animal study into the effect of cinnamon essential oil on gut microbiota found it may have a protective role against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Cinnamon is also loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which can assist with oxidation and damage that occurs in the body.

Resources:

1. Herbs and spices at a relatively high culinary dosage improve 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure in adults at risk of cardiometabolic diseases: a randomized, crossover, controlled-feeding study https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqab291/6369090

2. Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983973/

3. Tumeric (Curcumin) content of turmeric and curry powders https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17044766 

If you find this topic interesting, you might also like to watch my YouTube video: Is Your Cooking Oil Making You Fat? 

Helping You Discover, Empower & Prosper

Dr Arun Dhir  |  GI Surgeon, Health Reformist & Passionate Educator.

Dr Arun Dhir

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About Dr Arun:

 

Besides having a busy private practice at Melbourne Gastro Surgery – Centre for Weight Loss, Dr Arun is an active member of the ANZ Association of Gastro-Oesophageal surgeons (ANZGOSA), ANZ Society of Metabolic and Obesity Surgery (OSSANZ) and Australian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM).

Dr Arun is also a senior lecturer (University of Melbourne) and yoga and meditation teacher, with a strong interest in the mind-body-gut connection. He regularly writes and speaks about gut health, gut microbiome, obesity, gastrointestinal surgery and healing. Arun’s published works include Happy Gut Healthy Weight (Balboa Press 2018), Creating a New You – Health Journal (Metagenics 2019), and Your Mess Has a Message (2021).