While inflammation is a crucial part of your immune system response to health threats, it can do a whole lot of damage when it occurs out of context.
Research has shown that inflammation left unattended in the body is often associated with the development of harmful diseases such as arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and even multiple sclerosis.
“We have enough information presently to make the necessary changes in our lifestyle to significantly affect the inflammatory process and potentially live longer, healthier lives, with fewer burdens to an overburdened and failing medical system,” said T. Edwards in a 2005 publication.
The biggest factor that we have control over when it comes to inflammation, is our diet. While there are food types that are infamous for causing unnecessary and dangerous inflammation, there are others that have been proven to have the opposite effect.
So what food ranks among the best? Turmeric.
Turmeric has been a big part of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for years (used namely for its anti-inflammatory properties) and has been widely adopted by western culture in recent years.
A 2011 study tested its effects on arthritis in rats and found that turmeric decreased the production of inflammatory cytokines while increasing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines in the body. These researchers also compared turmeric to ginger and found turmeric was not only more effective but worked exponentially faster to decrease swelling.
Turmeric is also used to promote digestive health, specifically:
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Turmeric is also an antioxidant and is effective in preventing cancer. In fact, one study tested three different kinds of turmeric root and found they all reduced breast cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, and melanoma cancer!
Black pepper benefits
Eating turmeric along with black pepper will increase your body’s absorption of turmeric (bioavailability) by 2000%! Even on its own, black pepper can fight oxidation in your body, and stimulate healthy digestive processes.
Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene; a powerful antioxidant that also gives them their red color. Not only does it reduce your risk of cancer, but consuming lycopene also helps guard against heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels in your body and keeping your blood pressure low. The bioavailability of lycopene is significantly increased when we eat cooked tomatoes vs. raw tomatoes.
Turmeric Tomato Soup Recipe
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable stock
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 minced onion
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in halves
- 1 can diced tomatoes (don’t drain the sauce)
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Fry onion and garlic in coconut oil over medium heat for 60 seconds
- Add turmeric, cherry tomatoes.
- Cook until tomatoes are soft.
- Add canned tomatoes, stock, ACV, and basil. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, then cover and let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
- Blend using a blender or hand mixer until creamy.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Whip up this quick and easy recipe and begin enjoying the anti-oxidizing benefits of turmeric today!
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Don Patrick is an amateur writer and sports enthusiast. He loves reading books, listening to the Huberman Lab Podcast, and spending time with his family and friends. Don is also a personal trainer and youth hockey coach.