Inflammation can cause or exacerbate many different diseases, including heart, lung, joint, and skin conditions.  Certain foods have antioxidant compounds in them that fight inflammation.  As we’ve discussed before, virtually all fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants.  In addition to those, many spices also contain compounds that decrease inflammation.  Adding these spices into your diet is an easy way to pack more anti-inflammatory power into your food!

Turmeric:  The active constituent in this root, curcumin, has been shown to decrease inflammation in a number of different clinical trials.  While turmeric is a major component in curry powder, it does not have a very strong flavor when used alone.  Turmeric has a vibrant yellow color that can be used to brighten up soups, sauces, or grains.  Cynthia from Cookus Interruptus has a nice recipe for Golden Spice Rice here.

Cinnamon:  This commonly used spice has both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.  That means it can both soothe inflammation and deter harmful bacteria.  Try using cinnamon in a savory dish, such as this Moroccan Vegetable Tagine recipe from Green Kitchen Stories.

Other spices that have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects include ginger, cloves, black pepper, and red chili.

Most studies have shown that consuming just a few grams of all the spices above can have an anti-inflammatory effect.  Help your body soothe inflammation by adding a dash here or there of different spices throughout your day.

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