We continue the review of anti inflammatory foods and how they can promote your health. This issue we will look at Pineapples, Pawpaw, Green tea and the ‘superfood’ Broccoli. If you missed last blog, then jump back to the Gold Coast Integrative Wellness blog page and read about how inflammation can influence our health and cause disease.
Pineapple: This fruit is renowned for many health properties, but in particular it contains Bromelain, which is a protein digesting enzyme. There have been many scientific studies on bromelain as an anti-inflammatory agent. The German Commission E approved bromelain to treat swelling and inflammation after surgery (particularly sinus surgery). It is particularly effective against inflammation caused from infection and injury. Eating pineapple alone does not contain sufficient quantities of bromelain to treat injuries but regular consumption can help to reduce the inflammatory load and promote digestion.
Pawpaw: Just like pineapple, this fruit has a protein digesting enzyme – Papain. This phytonutrient can help to reduce inflammation associated with trauma – for injuries that may result from repetitive strain, sprains or back injuries. There are no scientific studies that have proven the effect but there is antedoctal evidence of helping with sprains and strains.
Ginger: is another spice that is used in many recipes. However it does have phytonutrients such as gingerols that can reduce the harmful effects of excessive nitric oxide. Ginger can also suppress the production of pro-inflammatory compounds such as cytokines. Adding ginger to your foods regularly can help to reduce the amount of inflammatory chemicals that are can contribute to chronic disease.
Green tea: There has been much research about green tea and its health properties. One action of green tea includes the ability of a polyphenol compound called epigallacatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which inhibits the expression of the gene that codes for Interleukin-8 (a pro-inflammatory chemical). We can say that green tea helps to short circuit the inflammatory cascade and reduce inflammation.
Broccoli: This vegetable is gaining momentum as a superfood. It has many beneficial properties that result from its phytnutrients: sulforaphane and kaempferol. Sulforaphane helps to prevent joint pain through inhibiting the COX 2 enzyme that creates inflammation (similar action to NSAID drugs). Kaempferol helps reduce inflammation caused from allergic reactions. Broccoli helps to promote phase 2 liver enzymes which help to reduce and eliminate toxins.
Broccoli has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pro-detoxification mechanisms and the unique combination of these effects make broccoli a unique food in terms of prevention of cancer and chronic degenerative disease.
This article was just to show you that food is so much more than just protein and carbohydrates. By regularly consuming foods that reduce inflammation we are able to prevent degenerative disease and support our biochemical reactions that promote health. Sign up for my recipes to get recipes that combine these amazing foods.