Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spicing Away Inflammation

Inflammation is the body's response to protect itself from injury or attack by germs or invaders.  It sounds like a good thing, and it is for normal illness and infections.  But when it persists or goes into overdrive, the body becomes harmed and mistakes its own tissues for disease.  This causes autoimmune illnesses like arthritis or lupus and it causes diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's.

The body's mechanism when having an excessive inflammatory response is known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF).  When the body has elevated levels of TNF, it negatively impacts the inflammatory response so that it is unhealthy and inappropriate.  This is especially so when a person is under stress.  Constant or low level stress elevates the body's inflammatory response, putting people at risk for disease and illness.

There is a natural, simple way to decrease the body's TNF, and it involves the use of spices in cooking.  Adding a half teaspoon a day to your food is enough to help the body modulate inflammation. The top four spices were cloves, ginger, rosemary and turmeric.  They were added to the food of the study's participants for just one week.  The body's ability to fight inflammation was significantly improved by producing less TNF.

While there are drugs that do this, they have harmful side effects and are expensive.  Ayurveda supports this study's results in its teachings that recommend cooking or eating all meals with a spice mixture that is suited to a person's body type or illness type. This mixture helps with digestion and provides overall body balance.  Additionally, Ayurveda uses ginger, cloves and turmeric in many of these mixtures, varying the amounts for an individual's needs.

Ayurveda has many easy lifestyle recommendations like the spice mixture that can offer the benefits of balance and health.  Feeling good doesn't have to be complicated. 

Stay healthy & well,

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