Fight Inflammation with Herbs, Spices and Teas

You might have heard the word inflammation in health news.  Inflammation is a normal bodily function – it is how the body fights infections and helps us heal. When we have a short-term illness or injury the inflammation is acute – meaning short duration.  However, in some cases, people have chronic inflammation – inflammation that occurs over a long period of time. Inflammation that is chronic, is not healthy and can lead to health issues such as insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, asthma, and other metabolic disorders. 

Many lifestyle factors can influence the level of inflammation in your body – stress, lack of physical activity, poor sleep, smoking, and poor diet can all contribute to inflammation.  There are some foods we can eat that can reduce inflammation – including herbs and spices. We can add these seasonings to our food and not only do they taste delicious, but they will help us feel better.  You probably are using some of these anti-inflammatory seasonings and teas now. Be adventurous and try some you do not ordinarily use. Below are some herbs, spices, and teas that can help reduce inflammation:

 

Ginger 

Garlic 

Curcumin

Cardamom

Chillies

Saffron

Thyme

Black Pepper

Onions

Oregano

Green Tea

Black Tea

Rosemary

Cinnamon

 

Here is a recipe from EatingWell.com that showcases some of the anti-inflammatory spices:

Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Diet Stew

With a focus on vegetables, fiber-rich legumes, and healthy fats, this slow-cooker stew fits the bill for those following the Mediterranean diet. Swap out the chickpeas for white beans for a different twist, or try collards or spinach in place of the kale. A drizzle of olive oil to finish pulls together the flavors of this easy vegan crock pot stew. 

Prep Time:

15 mins

Additional Time:

 6 hrs 30 mins

Total Time:

 6 hrs 45 mins

Nutrition Profile:

Nut-Free Dairy-Free Healthy Immunity Soy-Free Vegan Vegetarian Egg-Free Gluten-Free Low-Calorie

Ingredients

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans of no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • ¾ cup chopped carrot
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed, divided
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn if large
  • 6 lemon wedges (Optional)

Directions

  1. Combine tomatoes, broth, onion, carrot, garlic, oregano, salt, crushed red pepper, and pepper in a 4-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours.
  2. Measure 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker into a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons chickpeas; mash with a fork until smooth.
  3. Add the mashed chickpeas, kale, lemon juice, and remaining whole chickpeas to the mixture in the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on Low until the kale is tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Ladle the stew evenly into 6 bowls; drizzle with oil. Garnish with basil. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Tips

Equipment: 4-qt. slow cooker

Nutrition Facts

 

Serving Size 1 3/4 cups

calories191
total carbohydrate 23g   
dietary fiber 6g   
total sugars 7g 
protein 6g   
total fat 8g   
saturated fat 1g   
vitamin a 5380iu   
vitamin c 33mg   
folate 39mcg   
sodium 416mg   
calcium 128mg   
iron 2mg   
magnesium 34mg   
potassium 310mg