Turmeric and sweet potatoes have enjoyed a surge in popularity recently, as their anti-inflammatory benefits have garnered more attention. Inflammation may be a natural part of your immune system response, but it can be problematic when it becomes chronic.
Chronic inflammation is linked to a host of serious diseases including diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune conditions. One of the best ways to fight inflammation and protect your health is by following an anti-inflammatory diet.
With the right diet you can promote health and eat great-tasting food, just like these tasty sweet potato muffins.
Fighting Inflammation With Food
Inflammation can become chronic as a result of poor diet, food allergies, lack of exercise, stress, long term exposure to harmful pollutants, and unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. It also occurs as a result of certain illnesses and health problems.
The problem with inflammation becoming chronic is that it can cause widespread damage and increase your risk for serious diseases.
Identifying the underlying cause of your inflammation is critical to successful treatment. First you need to establish if you have inflammation issues. Chronic inflammation can present itself in a variety of ways depending on what the initial cause was, but the most common symptoms to look out for include:
♦ Fatigue that is not reduced with rest and insomnia
♦ Chest pain
♦ Depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders
♦ Abdominal pain along with other gastrointestinal issues, like bloating, diarrhea, and acid reflux
♦ Frequent infections
♦ Joint pains and swelling of the joints
♦ Mouth sores or irritated gums
♦ Unexplained weight gain
While there are medications that can help alleviate inflammation and pain, such as NSAIDs, you can also treat it more naturally. There are numerous foods that contain anti-inflammatory compounds that will help keep inflammation under control and prevent pain as well as the disease associated with inflammation. Following an anti-inflammatory diet is an effective and natural way to prevent problems.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in curries but has long been used in traditional medicine for healing. Used in ancient Chinese and Indian medicines, turmeric has been used to treat inflammation-related conditions for centuries.
The key compound in this spice known to possess the anti-inflammatory properties is curcumin. Studies have found that curcumin works as effectively at reducing inflammation as the leading medications, without the risk of side effects.
Curcumin blocks the activity of NF-kB, which is a molecule that turns on genes related to inflammation. By interfering with its movements, inflammatory chemicals are prevented from release.
| Related: 5 Incredible Health Benefits of Turmeric |
With regular use, turmeric can prevent the role this molecule and inflammation plays in damaging your health. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant.
Ginger is another spice that has been used for centuries to heal disease and health problems. Ginger contains several important compounds that work to prevent disease and boost health. Specifically, gingerol is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that works to reduce inflammation in your body.
Studies have found that ginger extract reduces the activity of inflammatory chemicals and as a result prevents damage to tissues and reduces pains associated with inflammation and swelling.
Full of antioxidants, cinnamon helps to protect your body from oxidative damage which can cause inflammation and disease. In addition, this spice contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can fight infection and repair damage. In doing so, cinnamon can help support optimal health and reduce your risk for inflammatory-related diseases.
Last but not least, sweet potatoes also possess many health benefits as well as anti-inflammatory properties. They provide healthy fiber to your gut bacteria which allow them to flourish and protect against inflammation and digestive troubles. Sweet potatoes also contain antioxidant compounds which protect from oxidative damage and uncontrolled inflammation.
Most importantly, sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, which is critical to immune system health. Vitamin A deficiency has also been linked to inflammation of the gut. With a healthy immune system you can better fight infections and reduce chronic inflammation. When combined with the gut-healthy attributes, this vitamin makes sweet potatoes a great source of power for your immunity and your overall health.
With key ingredients like sweet potatoes, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon to protect you from inflammation and boost your health, these muffins are a great way to start each day.
The advantage of using sweet potatoes goes beyond nutritional value and inflammatory protection. Sweet potatoes provide a natural sweetness so you can avoid having too much sugar in your diet.
1 small sweet potato, cooked
¾ cup coconut milk
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 cup brown rice flour
¼ cup coconut flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. Ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
⅛ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke your sweet potato skin with a fork, and then cook it on a pan for 1 hour or until soft. Allow potato to cool, and then cut it in half and scoop out the insides into a large bowl. Add the egg, coconut milk, olive oil, and maple syrup. Combine until smooth.
2. In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients, then add these to the sweet potato mixture and stir until fully combined. Grease your muffin pan, and then pour the batter evenly into the pan so that each one is approximately 2/3 full. Cook for 30-35 minutes and serve warm. Store the rest for your anti-inflammatory treats every morning.
The Bottom Line
With chronic inflammation linked to so many serious diseases, it is important to identify the signs and start treatment right away. The good news is that an anti-inflammatory diet full of foods like sweet potatoes, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon along with many others is a natural, effective way to fight inflammation.
With recipes like the one above, you can mix all these together and enjoy great-tasting muffins daily while keeping inflammation at bay.