Why I Care About Anti-Inflammatories

In my previous blog post, Turmeric Is a Top Anti-Inflammatory, I mentioned briefly that anti-inflammatories keep our arteries young and less likely to clog, our skin from turning red or scaly, and our nasal passages from getting blocked. Now I want to go into more detail about why inflammation is bad for our health and how spices such as turmeric, garlic, ginger, chili pepper, cilantro, parsley, mustard, cinnamon, and mint are so good for aging gracefully.

There are plenty of pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories like aspirin, acetaminophen, and steroids (for example, hydrocortisone cream) that are designed to keep down swelling and reduce redness (also known as inflammation) that can occur in our bodies both externally and internally. Inflamed skin can be seen when we get a cut or a rash. In this situation the inflammation is our body’s natural way of helping to heal the wound by flooding the area with white blood cells and protein. The tell tale redness and swelling signifies that an immune response is in full throttle.

Inside the body, inflammation is an effect of many conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, hay fever (a histamine response causes inflammation of the nasal passages), and atherosclerosis (also known as the hardening of arteries). Inflammation inside the body can be very damaging if it continues over many months or years. According to Dr. Oz, “Inflammation, a process meant to heal, can often become a danger; chronic inflammation causes heart attacks, stroke – and even cancer.”

From Dr. Nicholas Perricone’s book, Forever Young, I learned that “the key to preventing accelerated aging and age-related diseases is controlling inflammation.” Of course I look to food to help fight inflammation before reaching for the medicine cabinet. I’m not the only one to do so. Noted Indian Ph.D., Bharat B. Aggarwal, wrote in his book Healing Spices about ways his native foods help heal the body: “Oxidation and inflammation are the evil twins that cause many chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer and arthritis.” He mentions turmeric, ginger, and cardamom as anti-inflammatory spices.

Many other foods have anti-inflammatory properties. Fish, soybeans, and whole grains can help reduce swelling because they are laden with omega-3 fatty acids, which naturally reduce swelling and irritation inside our arteries. See the “Resveratrol Suppresses Inflammation” report on my website to see details about how resveratrol, a foodtrient found in red wine, cranberries, and grapes, reduces inflammation in the body, too.

In my cookbook, FoodTrients: Age-defying Recipes for a Sustainable Body, I have many recipes that incorporate anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, garlic, ginger, cilantro, parsley, and mustard. I make an apple-pear tart using liberal amounts of the anti-inflammatory spice cinnamon. I created a non-alcoholic mojito drink because mint is also a wonderful way to reduce swelling. My Tangy Ginger Dressing recipe should whet your appetite for even more delicious ways to reduce inflammation through eating the right foodtrients.


About Grace O

Grace O has been cooking and baking professionally and recreationally all of her adult life. As a child in Southeast Asia, she learned the culinary arts by her mother’s side in her family’s cooking school. She became so well versed in hospitality and the culinary arts, she eventually took over the cooking school and opened three restaurants. She is widely credited with popularizing shrimp on sugar-cane skewers and being one of the first culinarians to make tapas a global trend. She has cooked for ruling families and royalty. Grace O’s move to America precipitated a career in healthcare, inspired by her father, who was a physician. Twenty years and much hard work later, she operates skilled nursing facilities in California. Grace O strives to create flavorful food using the finest ingredients that ultimately lead to good health. Her recipes, although low in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, are high in flavor. Grace employs spices from all over the world to enliven her dishes, creating food that is different and delicious. She believes that food can be just as effective at fighting aging as the most expensive skin creams. And since she’s over 50 herself, she’s living proof of that. foodtrients.com
What Do FoodTrients Do?
anti-inflamatory Anti-Inflammatory

Reduces inflammation process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.

anti-oxidant Anti- oxidant

Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.

immunity-booster Immunity Boosters

Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.

mind Mind

Enhancers encourage vibrant skin and hair and improve mood and mental agility.

disease-preventing Disease Prevention

Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.