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Inflammation, whether in your joints, gut, or brain, quickly ages the body and is the core mechanism behind many disorders.
If you are looking for ways to curb inflammation, you may not need to look any further than your kitchen.
3 Power Foods to Calm Inflammation
This golden root contains a plant chemical called curcumin. (1) Research shows that curcumin reduces inflammation by lowering histamine levels. Histamine is chemical that triggers an inflammatory response in the body.
Curcumin also naturally increases your production of anti-inflammatory compounds, like cortisol. (2)(3) Studies show that curcumin can be as effective as synthetic cortisone in its ability to control inflammation. (4)
Turmeric is not only profoundly anti-inflammatory. (5) It also:
- Protects the liver
- Improves circulation and “sticky” blood
- Controls tumor growth and uncontrolled spread of cancer
- Is antimicrobial
- Protects against atherosclerosis
- Soothes skin irritation, ranging from bug bites to shingles
- Relieves dental pain
Wasabi is one of three top anti-inflammatory foods that pack a powerful punch. Wasabi contains isothiocyanates that can ease inflammation and even inhibit related cancer growth.
Wasabi japonica is spicy and pungent. It is a member of the brassica family, and its relatives are horseradish, cabbage, and mustard. It grows along streambeds in Japan, and its root is used to make wasabi paste—a green condiment often served with sushi.
Many brassicas—including wasabi—are rich in a group of plant chemicals called isothiocyanates (eye-so-thee-oh-sigh-an-ates). (6) Isothiocyanates have been found to inhibit inflammation and the growth of cancers associated with inflammation. (7)(8)
Isothiocyanates also control inflammation associated with obesity and excess abdominal fat—or “beer belly.” (9)
Still other studies show that the isothiocyanates derived from Wasabi japonica interfere with several inflammatory pathways in the body. (10) In other words: Even though many roads lead to inflammation, isothiocyanate-rich wasabi puts a roadblock in nearly all of them.
Real wasabi paste can be tough to find. In the United States, it’s common to see substitutes made with horseradish, mustard, starch, and green food coloring. Since wasabi also stimulates bile flow and assists with cellular detoxification pathways in the liver, Body Ecology’s LivAmend formula includes genuine Wasabi japonica.
Using turmeric with wasabi: Studies show that the active anti-inflammatory chemicals in turmeric and wasabi work synergistically with one another. (11)
Spirulina is a blue-green algae and the world’s richest source of vitamin B12. This superfood is roughly 62% amino acids (building blocks for protein) and loaded with antioxidants. (12)(13)
Spirulina acts on inflammatory pathways in the body. (14) Other research shows that Spirulina may reduce arthritis, which is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints. (15)
Research also confirms that the proteins in Spirulina inhibit the production and release of histamine, which is one chemical that ignites an inflammatory response in the body. In this study, researchers concluded that Spirulina has “potent anti-inflammatory benefits.” (16) In a more recent study, the same group of researchers found Spirulina to “contribute to the prevention of early atherosclerosis.” (17)
Unfortunately, Spirulina is very difficult to digest and, for those who have digestive issues, incapable of being properly assimilated into the body.
Research shows that fermented Spirulina contains plant chemicals that have already undergone a conversion process that usually takes place in the body. (18) This means that fermented Spirulina is the most efficient and potent form of Spirulina available.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
A full-blown inflammatory response can quickly wreak havoc on your body and may be at the root of numerous health disorders.
Fortunately, 3 powerful foods can be used to calm inflammation and get your health back on track:
- Turmeric. Turmeric is a golden root that contains a powerful plant chemical called curcumin. Curcumin can naturally trigger an increase in anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. It can also provide benefits to protect the liver, improve circulation, and control tumor growth.
- Wasabi. Potent wasabi is chock full of isothiocyanates, plant chemicals known to control inflammation. Isothiocyanates have been proven to calm inflammation associated with cancer and obesity; wasabi also stimulates bile flow and promotes cellular detoxification. Body Ecology’s LivAmend is made with genuine Wasabi japonica.
- Spirulina. Spirulina is considered a superfood full of antioxidants and amino acids. It is also the richest source of vitamin B12 in the world. Spirulina impacts inflammatory pathways in the body and can even alleviate arthritis to improve joint health. Since Spirulina is difficult to digest, fermented Spirulina is the most efficient and potent form out there.
To get the most out of these anti-inflammatory power foods, enjoy turmeric and wasabi at the same time! Research confirms that active anti-inflammatory chemicals in turmeric and wasabi work in synergy to improve overall health.
- Chaturvedi, T. P. (2009). Uses of turmeric in dentistry: An update. Indian Journal of Dental Research, 20(1), 107.
- Ammon, H. P. T., Safayhi, H., Mack, T., & Sabieraj, J. (1993). Mechanism of antiinflammatory actions of curcumine and boswellic acids. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 38(2), 105-112.
- Enyeart, J. A., Liu, H., & Enyeart, J. J. (2008). Curcumin inhibits bTREK-1 K+ channels and stimulates cortisol secretion from adrenocortical cells. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 370(4), 623-628.
- Mukhopadhyay, A., Basu, N., Ghatak, N., & Gujral, P. K. (1982). Anti-inflammatory and irritant activities of curcumin analogues in rats. Agents and actions, 12(4), 508-515.
- Nagpal, M., & Sood, S. (2013). Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview. Journal of natural science, biology, and medicine, 4(1), 3.
- Morimitsu, Y., Hayashi, K., Nakagawa, Y., Fujii, H., Horio, F., Uchida, K., & Osawa, T. (2000). Antiplatelet and anticancer isothiocyanates in Japanese domestic horseradish, Wasabi. Mechanisms of ageing and development, 116(2), 125-134.
- Cross, J., Rady, J., Foss, F., Lyons, C., Macdonald, T., & Templeton, D. (2009). Nutrient isothiocyanates covalently modify and inhibit the inflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). Biochem. J, 423, 315-321.
- Khor, T. O., Yu, S., & Kong, A. N. (2008). Dietary cancer chemopreventive agents-targeting inflammation and Nrf2 signaling pathway. Planta medica, 74(13), 1540-1547.
- Woo, H. M., Kang, J. H., Kawada, T., Yoo, H., Sung, M. K., & Yu, R. (2007). Active spice-derived components can inhibit inflammatory responses of adipose tissue in obesity by suppressing inflammatory actions of macrophages and release of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 from adipocytes. Life sciences, 80(10), 926-931.
- Uto, T., Hou, D. X., Morinaga, O., & Shoyama, Y. (2012). Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Anti-Inflammatory Actions of 6-(Methylsulfinyl) hexyl Isothiocyanate Derived from Wasabi (Wasabia japonica). Advances in Pharmacological Sciences, 2012.
- Cheung, K. L., Khor, T. O., & Kong, A. N. (2009). Synergistic effect of combination of phenethyl isothiocyanate and sulforaphane or curcumin and sulforaphane in the inhibition of inflammation. Pharmaceutical research, 26(1), 224-231.
- Piñero Estrada JE, Bermejo Bescós P, Villar del Fresno AM. Antioxidant activity of different fractions of Spirulina platensis protean extract. Farmaco. 2001;56:497–500.
- Kay RA. Microalgae as food and supplement. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1991;30:555–573.
- Pak, W., Takayama, F., Mine, M., Nakamoto, K., Kodo, Y., Mankura, M., ... & Mori, A. (2012). Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of Spirulina on rat model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 51(3), 227.
- Remirez, D., Gonzalez, R., Merino, N., Rodriguez, S. and Ancheta, O. (2002) Inhibitory effects of Spirulina in zymosan- induced arthritis in mice. Mediators of Inflammation, 11: 75-79.
- Vo, T. S., Ryu, B., & Kim, S. K. (2013). Purification of novel anti-inflammatory peptides from enzymatic hydrolysate of the edible microalgal Spirulina maxima. Journal of Functional Foods.
- Vo, T. S., & Kim, S. K. (2013). Down-regulation of histamine-induced endothelial cell activation as potential anti-atherosclerotic activity of peptides from Spirulina maxima. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
- Liu, J-G., Hou, C-W., Lee, S-Y., Chuang, Y. and Lin, C-C. (2011) Antioxidant effects and UVB protective activity of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) products fermented with lactic acid bacteria. Process Biochemistry, 46: 1405-1410.