7 Best Anti-Inflammatory Spices for Natural Arthritis Pain Reduction

7 minute read

Living with arthritis is not fun. Swollen, inflamed, and aching joints can prevent mobility and prevent you from doing even the most basic of activities.

Arthritis is actually a collection of conditions rather than a single disease, so the severity each person experiences can vary greatly. As different as each type of arthritis can be, the common culprit is inflammation and inflammation can be easily controlled with natural spices found in your kitchen.

Inflammation at the Root of It All

Low-grade inflammation is a natural immune system response to infections or invading pathogens in the body. The inflammatory response is designed to kill the toxin by quickly transporting white blood cells to the infected area.

Unfortunately, in some instances this response becomes chronic, and inflammation is widespread through the body. This can be dangerous, as it damages healthy cells and tissues.

Inflammation is a common underlying factor in many serious diseases like heart disease, asthma, cancer, and arthritis.

Thankfully, research has found that what you eat can impact the level of inflammation in your body. Certain spices, in particular, can ease inflammation and therefore bring relief to painful arthritic joints.

It is the antioxidant content as well as the presence of various compounds that provide this service by disrupting the inflammatory-signaling pathways. In doing so, the production of pro-inflammatory markers is reduced, and the inflammatory response is extinguished.

The best part about using spices to help with arthritis pain is that they achieve the results without any adverse side effects. NSAIDs are commonly used to treat inflammation and pain in arthritis, but extensive use of these can cause health problems.

Overuse of medications can lead to stomach ulcers as well as headaches, but using natural spices adds flavor to a meal and can help relieve your pain without causing additional issues.

The beneficial compounds in spices, like turmeric and Boswellia Serrata, not only support joint healing, but they also boost your immune system, support optimal digestion, and lower your risk for chronic diseases. Because of the effectiveness with which certain spices have brought relief for arthritis pain and reduced chronic inflammation, they are quickly becoming the first line of defense in the fight against arthritis conditions.

While there are other treatment options, an anti-inflammatory diet brings the best results.

The Best Spices for Arthritis

If you are ready to cut down inflammation and boost joint health as well as overall health, then these spices are the best place to start.

1. Turmeric

The vibrant yellow color of this spice grabs your attention, but it is the potent compound curcumin found in turmeric that is responsible for reducing inflammation. Curcumin (turmeric) has been used for centuries in traditional medicines to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis and relieve pain.

Because of the low bioavailability of turmeric, it needs to be paired with black pepper to get the best results. Think about adding both to your eggs in the morning, your salad dressing at lunch, and sprinkle them on your roasted vegetables for dinner.

Turmeric supplements have also become popular, as they can effectively help with inflammation due to an increased ability for your body to absorb them (bioavailability).

2. Black Pepper

Apart from helping your body to absorb turmeric, black pepper can also offer anti-inflammatory relief. Piperine is the powerful compound in black pepper that has been found to reduce pain and inflammation just as effectively as leading prescribed medications.

Using whole peppercorns is best, and you can grind them into any salad dressing or sprinkle into a hot cup of chai tea. If you do cook with whole peppercorns, be sure to remove them from the food before serving.

3. Cinnamon

This sweet spice is known for adding just the right flavor to apple pie and many of your favorite holiday treats. Cinnamaldehyde is the compound responsible for the flavor and the smell as well as this spice’s arthritis benefits. This compound disrupts the signaling that releases pro-inflammatory chemicals.

Cinnamaldehyde also helps your body to maintain insulin sensitivity, which works to keep inflammatory levels under control. The best part about cinnamon is that it is a very versatile spice, so you can add it to your oatmeal, pancakes, or even to your coffee for a little kick.

4. Garlic

Folklore may say that garlic keeps vampires away, but in real life, it is effective at keeping arthritis away. The sulfur compounds in garlic prevent activation of the proteins responsible for inflammation.

Lightly cooked garlic can add the best flavor to any meal. Although it may not do any favors for your breath, your arthritic joints will certainly appreciate it being on the menu.

5. Ginger

This spice is typically used to treat digestive troubles, but it can help with arthritis too. Gingerol is a powerful polyphenol that gives ginger its flavor and ability to prevent the formation of pro-inflammatory proteins.

Steep a chunk of fresh ginger in hot water to make a soothing arthritis tea and add a little honey or lemon to take the edge off that tart taste.

6. Cayenne

Capsaicin is the active ingredient in cayenne pepper that gives it the fire you feel when you eat it as well as anti-inflammatory relief for arthritis. Studies have found that capsaicin reduces inflammation as effectively as leading NSAIDs.

| Related: Why an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Is Key to a Healthy Lifestyle |  

Cayenne can be added to sauces, rubs, and marinades, or even added to hot chocolate for a spicy treat. Just remember that cayenne is intense, so start gradually and add more to your diet as you get used to it.

7. Cloves

Cloves may be strong and pungent to the taste buds, but they are just as strong against inflammation too. Cloves specifically inhibit the production of one inflammatory protein known to be present in arthritis.

Start with small doses if adding cloves to your diet and try pairing with cinnamon and nutmeg to help get used to the strong flavor.

The Bottom Line

Millions of Americans are afflicted with arthritis, and their daily activities become compromised and challenging as a result. Despite its prevalence, arthritis does not have to dictate your life—you can gain control back by making a few additions to your diet.

By adding a little spice to your life either naturally or through supplements, you can prevent inflammation and protect yourself from the aches and pains of arthritis.

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