If you are a person that lives by the motto “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” then this article is for you. It is especially for you if you enjoy cooking or eating tasty foods, enjoy the smell of pungent spices drifting through your home, and are willing to try out different styles of cuisine. Get ready for a quick world tour that introduces spices that can help reduce arthritis pain!
It is scientifically proven that a person’s diet has a dramatic effect on many aspects of health. Like many other diseases and conditions, the pain associated with arthritis can be influenced by what you eat. Numerous spices have been recognized for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for centuries. Let’s take a look at how adding a little spice to your life can also help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.
Have you ever eaten Indian food? If so, chances are good that you have already had garam masala. This aromatic spice blend varies by region and family. Sometimes the exact blend is a closely held family secret. In general garam masala will include: cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, grated nutmeg, and saffron. It can be used in all kinds of dishes from appetizers to main dishes and even desserts.
Let’s talk about the specific health benefits that some of these spices offer people with arthritis pain.
- Coriander, the seeds of the cilantro plant, act as an anti-inflammatory and may alleviate the symptoms of arthritis
- Black pepper helps enhance circulation and may keep your joints healthier.
- Saffron, which is the most expensive spice in the world, is a powerful antioxidant for relief of pain and inflammation.
Turmeric is another spice often found in Indian cooking that fights inflammation and reduces swelling. Turmeric is a key ingredient in curry powder which can easily be incorporated into all kinds of healthy and delicious meals.
The next stop on our culinary arthritis relief journey takes us to Thailand. Many Asian foods include ginger, chili peppers, garlic, Thai basil, and lemongrass, red and black pepper. There is a wide variety in regional cooking but cilantro is a distinctly Thai spice. Here are some Asian spices that would be a delicious and healthy addition to your arthritis fighting diet.
- Ginger soothes painful joints by increasing blood flow as well as fighting inflammation.
- Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties which help decrease swelling and inflammation caused by arthritis.
- Cilantro leaves have many of the same benefits of the coriander seed including anti-inflammatory properties.
Italy is the last stop on our tour and we’ll add a few more spices to help in the fight against painful joints caused by arthritis. In addition to the spices, Italian cooking often uses tomatoes which have fantastic antioxidant properties too. Throw in some oregano, rosemary, basil, maybe some sage, definitely more garlic and you will be a cook whose healthy dishes are in demand.
- Oregano has powerful antioxidant properties.
- Rosemary acts as mild diuretic and therefore may reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Basil has anti-inflammatory effects making it a good addition to an arthritis fighting diet.
I hope that after reading this article you are enthusiastic about exploring how spices can be a fun and healthy addition to your diet. Many spices including some of those mentioned in this article are available in supplement form or as oils and tinctures. This article is only intended to point out the healthful properties of various spices and how they can be used in modest amounts in cooking. It is important to consult with your health care professional before undertaking any herbal regimen.