Spices contain potent anti-inflammatories which can help manage hypertension

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In a previous post I looked at the relationship between inflammation and blood pressure.

*** CLICK HERE FOR “DOES INFLAMMATION CAUSE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?” ***


Today I am going to explore a little further into the world of natural substances and types of food which we have at our disposal to help combat the inflammatory process within the body, so that we may better be able to live the “anti-inflammatory lifestyle” Dr Weil advocates.


But the Body needs an healthy inflammatory response process, right?

Indeed this is true.  It is worth emphasizing here that the operative word is “healthy“.

Most definitely the body, as part of its defence system, must have a healthy inflammatory response system.  By this I mean that if a part of the body is injured or damaged by some outside stimulus, the body is able to kickstart an inflammatory response to help repair the injured tissue by sending in extra cells and chemicals.

This is normal, and usually lasts for a short period of time – say a few days before the response subsides – and is referred to as ACUTE Inflammation.

However, it is when this inflammation persists and somehow is not able to turn itself off or shut itself down that the problem arises.  This then becomes ongoing CHRONIC inflammation, which can be barely perceptibly present throughout the body, and which may also create the basis for the development of diseases as time goes on.

And studies have shown that the Big Three diseases which can be linked to chronic inflammation in the body are

  1. Cardiovascular Disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Neuro-degenerative Disease

So we can see how this inappropriate inflammation, if allowed to continue unchecked, may become “productive of disease”. (Dr. Weil)


But how to minimize the Inflammatory Risk?live in a bubble

Since we cannot live in a bubble, it is pretty well impossible to avoid all factors which have been associated with causing inflammatory responses.  There are the environmental factors, such as air pollution, chemicals which are found in the everyday items we use – cosmetics, cleaning products, plastic containers – for one.

But there is one area where we do have a much greater control and which is influential in determining whether or not our bodies will be subjected to the inflammatory response… and that is our DIET, and what types of food we choose to consume.




Nature to the Rescue…

 

Quote Dr Weil


Nature has provided us with some amazing natural foods which are non-inflammatory in form and yet the typical North American Diet is chock full of refined, processed and manufactured foods, which whilst they provide a foil to help us deal with our hectic fast paced lives, come at a high trade off price.

They are literally full off damaging preservatives, unhealthy fats, sugars, salt and other ingredients which do much to stoke the fire of inflammation and keep our body on overdrive when it comes to perpetuating an ongoing low grade inflammatory response.

The foods listed on the chart below are examples of this:

foods which cause inflammation

INFLAMMATION CAUSING FOODS


But Nature has provided us with an abundance of natural foods, herbs and other substances which are Inflammation-reducing in form:

Check out the chart below for examples of such natural options:

inflammation reducing

INFLAMMATION REDUCING FOODS


Spices and High Blood Pressure

Whilst a diet high in phytonutrient bearing fresh fruits and vegetables, such as found in the Mediterranean Diet, or the DASH Diet is recommended for helping to control blood pressure, there is one category of foods which can be easily overlooked and which can play a significant role in tackling the body’s inflammatory response.

… and these are SPICES

 


TOP 5 – Spices that Reduce Inflammation:

  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves

Spices 1

spices 2

Spices are an ideal adjunct to a diet which is designed to be anti-inflammatory.

One reason for this is that spices (and herbs) contain very potent levels of beneficial compounds.  For example, the anti-oxidant content in one half teaspoon of ground cinnamon is equal to that found in one half cup of blueberries.




In Conclusion

When considering a change in diet which will help keep your blood pressure in check, be sure not to overlook the Spice Aisle at the store.

Not only do the spices add zest and flavour to your meals, but as we have discussed above, they can pack a pretty solid punch when it comes to helping you manage the anti-inflammatory processes which our bodies deal with on a daily basis.

So, if you haven’t thought about using inflammation-reducing spices in your diet up till now, why not give them a go and see the difference they can make?

Nature provides us with a bounty of natural substances to help us heal and keep us healthy.

I have focussed on only 5 spices here and know there are others out there which can also be used to help calm inflammatory processes in the body.  I would love to hear from anyone who has had success with other spices, and herbs, in helping to manage blood pressure issues.

Please leave me your comments below!

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Phyllis

    Dear Doctor,

    Thank you for your information in this post. It is most helpful. I have read similar information regarding fighting HBP using natural remedies rather than the drugs. I only developed HBP by my mid-fifties, and now I cannot endure the symptoms, so I am researching and developing healthier approaches and habits, specifically diet and exercise, how I prepare and cook my foods…and I keep reading up on this most important topic. Again, thank you.

    Reply
    1. Nick (Post author)

      Hello Phyllis. Thank you for your feedback – it is always gratifying to read positive comments about a topic I have covered. The more I research natural approaches to managing blood pressure, the more amazed I am at how many different alternatives there actually are out there for helping to control hypertension. Not all approaches work for everyone, but with some persistence I believe that, unless there is some disease condition underlying and giving rise to the high blood pressure condition – which would require specific medical consideration, a natural solution to managing BP can be found. If my posts have helped you and pointed you in the right direction to finding your own successful approach, then I am very pleased to know this. Are you familiar with the DASH diet? This dietary approach seems to have been very successful with many people. Anyhow, please feel free to check back on my website in the future, as I will continue to post new information as time goes on. Oh, and you do flatter me by calling me ‘Doctor’ 🙂 I am in actuality not, just an everyday guy who has a real interest in this subject and in helping others find solutions to their BP issues. I wish you every success.

      Reply

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