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Help Moderate Inflammation with Ginger

Chronic inflammation can take its toll on the body – but taking ginger may help counteract the risks and symptoms. Find out what makes ginger a good choice, and how much to take.

Chronic low-grade inflammation has been linked to the development of many age-related health conditions. Although this process may not be noticed physically, there are things you can do to prevent or delay health issues related to inappropriate inflammation. Consider following an anti-inflammatory diet and taking ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory herb that may help to lessen the risks and/or symptoms of many inflammation-related disorders. Dried ginger preparations are actually more powerful than fresh because of a chemical conversion of its constituents on drying. Capsules of dried, powdered ginger are now commonly sold in health food stores; use only those that are standardized for their content of active components. The recommended starting dose is one gram per day (usually two capsules), taken after a meal to avoid stomach irritation. There is no toxicity and you can stay on it indefinitely.

How to Make Turmeric Tea (Video)

Turmeric tea is a delicious and healthy drink that provides anti-inflammatory properties through turmeric. Dr. Weil shows how to quickly brew a batch of turmeric tea with only a few ingredients - water, turmeric, and lemon or honey to taste.

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Ginger – Spices in the Kitchen (Video)

Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory, containing gingerols - active phytonutrients that not only impart its distinctive flavor, but help lower the inflammatory response. Ginger has been shown in studies to be effective at alleviating pain and improving mobility in people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

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Surprising Reasons You Should Eat More Rosemary!

Want to enhance your meals and your health? Sprinkle on rosemary! This herb has a history of medicinal and culinary applications, as it was used in ancient Greece to strengthen and stimulate the memory. Today, it’s an essential part of aromatherapy to boost mental alertness and promote well-being. It contains compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Fresh or dried rosemary provides iron, calcium and fiber.

You can sprinkle rosemary on everything from fish (try the Potato-Rosemary Crusted Fish Fillets recipe) to ice cream, and consider making your own infused oil to complement rustic bread and grated Parmesan cheese: Crush sprigs of fresh rosemary, place in a sterilized glass jar, cover with slightly warmed olive oil, cool on the counter, cover tightly and then store in the fridge for up to three weeks. Remove the sprigs before use and enjoy!

Garlic – Spices in the Kitchen (Video)

Garlic offers a combination of flavonoids and sulfur molecules that act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. These compounds also offer antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Nutritionally, garlic is an excellent source of manganese, and provides vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium. Garlic can also help to improve the metabolism of iron.

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Turmeric – Spices in the Kitchen (Video)

As a medicinal herb, turmeric is prized for its natural, non-toxic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Its chief active component is curcumin, which has the ability to neutralize free radicals. Orally, turmeric may lower the risk of inflammatory disorders including arthritis and joint pain, stimulate appetite, and reduce the symptoms of hepatitis, liver and gallbladder conditions, and jaundice. It may also be useful in addressing headaches, depression, and symptoms of the common cold.

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Cinnamon – Spices in the Kitchen (Video)

The health benefits of cinnamon are numerous, and it is well known as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agent. The therapeutic powers of cinnamon come from its essential oils, which have been researched for their anti-clotting effects on blood platelets. Cinnamon has also been studied for blood sugar control; it appears to slow the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, which evens out blood sugar highs and lows.

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Cayenne – Spices in the Kitchen (Video)

Cayenne pepper is known for its immune boosting potential: besides the anti-inflammatory effects of capsaicin, cayenne is also an excellent source of carotenoids, including beta carotene - a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent free radical damage. Its high levels of vitamin A (two teaspoons of cayenne pepper provide 47 percent of the daily value for vitamin A) support immune function as well.

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Red Wine Versus White Wine: What’s Healthier?

Ever wondered how red wine stacks up against white wine when it comes to health benefits? It is reported that 71 percent of wine drinkers in United States choose red wine, and this majority is on the right track when it comes to the health benefits wine offers. Studies show that the compound resveratrol, found abundantly in red grapes (and blueberries), offers several heath benefits, including antioxidant properties that may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and may even may help prevent cancer. A two-year animal study found that when a daily dose of resveratrol was administered (the equivalent of two glasses of red wine daily), the risk of developing cancerous tumors went down 50%.

So next time you choose a glass of wine, opt for red for more health benefits, and consider these varietals:

Pinot Noir: It consistently has the highest concentrations of resveratrol, especially if the grapes come from cool, rainy climates (think Oregon’s Willamette Valley or New York’s Fingerlakes Region rather than California’s Napa Valley).

Cabernets, Merlots and Syrahs: While they come from different grapes (Cabernet is made from tannat grapes, Merlot is made from blue grapes, and Syrah is flavored with black currants), all contain high levels of procyanidins – an antioxidant that has been linked to longevity and cardiovascular and arterial health.

In addition, seek out dry wines – they tend to have higher levels of flavonoids, which are beneficial to heart health and cholesterol levels. Sweeter wines tend to have lower levels of flavonoids.

In my Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid I recommend organic red wine, and limiting your intake to no more than one, or at most two, servings per day. And if you do not drink alcohol, do not start for health reasons, as these health effects are subtle and one can enjoy excellent cardiovascular health without them.

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