Whether hurt, recovering or just looking to stay well, many athletes want to know what they can eat to decrease levels of inflammation in the body. While the typical go-to is berries for their antioxidant capacity, spices offer an anti-inflammatory punch of their own. Here are 3 of the best. And forget supplements; simply add them to dishes when cooking to reap the benefits.
Tumeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Most don't recognize this spice by name because it is actually found in curry powder. Indian dishes often rely heavily on curry powder - perhaps for the anti-inflammatory effect!
Ginger has been shown to have a multitude of health benefits. One study showed that 2 grams of heat-treated or raw ginger consumed before a bout of exercise-induced muscle injury reduced pain 24hrs after the exercise session in college-aged students (Journal of Pain, 2010; 11:894-903). Ginger can be used fresh or powdered. Take my advice and stick with fresh - it tastes much better! Simply use a vegetable peel to peel the outside rind and then mince into your favorite dishes.
Another spice known to benefit health, it too decreases inflammation by inhibiting the activity of certain inflammatory enzymes. Available in fresh or ground forms, I also recommend the fresh version here. Simple pull off a clove of garlic from the head and smash with the side of a knife. This will make the peel much easier to remove. Chop or mince and cook with canola oil for sautes or sprinkle raw on salads, breads and more. Just make sure you have some breath mints handy for after dinner....
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