Anti-inflammatory foods

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    Jun 01, 2008 1:14 AM GMT

    Certain fruits and vegetables offer anti-inflammatory benefits...

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/health/2008/05/29/fortin.hm.anti.inflammatory.foods.cnn
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    Jun 01, 2008 1:33 AM GMT
    Oh damn, you were serious.

    From the title of the thread, I thought it was about stuff we could feed the right-wing trolls to get them to shut up.
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    Jun 01, 2008 2:09 AM GMT
    I've also heard that basil acts as an anti-inflamatory
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    Jun 01, 2008 3:03 AM GMT
    dean_pdx saidI've also heard that basil acts as an anti-inflamatory


    BASIL

    Health Benefits

    Research studies on basil have shown unique health-protecting effects in two basic areas: basil's flavonoids and volatile oils.

    DNA Protection Plus Anti-Bacterial Properties

    The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level. Orientin and vicenin are two water-soluble flavonoids that have been of particular interest in basil, and in studies on human white blood cells; these components of basil protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.

    In addition, basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. These "anti-bacterial" properties of basil are not associated with its unique flavonoids, but instead with its volatile oils, which contain estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene. Lab studies show the effectiveness of basil in restricting growth of numerous bacteria, including : Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O:157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs. In a study published in the July 2003 issue of the Journal of Microbiology Methods, essential oil of basil was even found to inhibit strains of bacteria from the genera Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas, all of which are not only widespread, but now pose serious treatment difficulties because they have developed a high level of resistance to treatment with antibiotic drugs.(September 8, 2003)

    Studies published in the February 2004 issue of Food Microbiology, have shown that washing produce in solution containing either basil or thyme essential oil at the very low concentration of just 1% resulted in dropping the number of Shigella, an infectious bacteria that triggers diarrhea and may cause significant intestinal damage, below the point at which it could be detected. While scientists use this research to try to develop natural food preservatives, it makes good sense to include basil and thyme in more of your recipes, particularly for foods that are not cooked such as salads. Adding fresh thyme and/or basil to your next vinaigrette will not only enhance the flavor of your fresh greens, but will help ensure that the fresh produce you consume is safe to eat. (March 25, 2004)

    Anti-Inflammatory Effects

    The eugenol component of basil's volatile oils has been the subject of extensive study, since this substance can block the activity of an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX). Many non-steriodal over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), including aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as the commonly used medicine acetaminophen, work by inhibiting this same enzyme. (In the case of acetaminophen, this effect is somewhat controversial, and probably occurs to a much lesser degree than is the case with aspirin and ibuprofen). This enzyme-inhibiting effect of the eugenol in basil qualifies basil as an "anti-inflammatory" food that can provide important healing benefits along with symptomatic relief for individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions.

    Nutrients Essential for Cardiovascular Health

    Want to enrich the taste and cardiovascular health benefits of your pasta sauce? Add a good helping of basil. Basil is a very good source of vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene). Called "pro-vitamin A," since it can be converted into vitamin A, beta-carotene is a more powerful anti-oxidant than vitamin A and not only protects epithelial cells (the cells that form the lining of numerous body structures including the blood vessels) from free radical damage, but also helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream. Only after it has been oxidized does cholesterol build up in blood vessel walls, initiating the development of atherosclerosis, whose end result can be a heart attack or stroke.

    Free radical damage is a contributing factor in many other conditions as well, including asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The beta-carotene found in basil may help to lessen the progression of these conditions while protecting cells from further damage.

    Basil is also a good source of magnesium, which promotes cardiovascular health by prompting muscles and blood vessels to relax, thus improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythms or a spasming of the heart muscle or a blood vessel.

    In addition to the health benefits and nutrients described above, basil also emerged from our food ranking system as a very good source of iron, and calcium, and a good source of potassium and vitamin C.

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    Jun 01, 2008 3:40 AM GMT
    There are herbs that are anti-inflammatory also.

    http://www.uspharmacist.com/index.asp?show=article&page=8_1234.htm

    Many of these you can get off the shelf to use in cooking (like ginger and curry) or in capsules you can just swallow. I should say that curry as used in food can actually be a variety or herbs mixed but usually the major component Curcuma longa (Turmeric) is in there.

    I had a friend who was getting his Phd in pharmacology that once told me that he was doing a cutting edge study where they were actually injecting mice (in the belly) with large doses of curcumin extract and were seeing muscle recovery effect on par with steroids. Of course he said to get THAT great an effect with curry powder you would have to take large doses if even at that. It was interesting anyway.

    Note in the article that licorice and chamomile are mentioned. High doses may be required for a noticeable effect but you can also take these in the form of teas. I like them both in teas.

    Speaking of teas, green tea and devils claw tea are noted as helpful anti-inflammatory.

    http://www.localharvest.org/store/item.jsp?id=4638
    http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/ng.asp?id=34330-green-tea-is

    I have also read that as a natural remedy you can soak a tea-bag in a little water (not hot) and squeeze some of the fluid into you eye to get the "red" out.
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    Jun 01, 2008 2:21 PM GMT
    Indian food is seasoned with tumeric. While the tumeric robs the flavor of other seasonings, it does have strong anti-inflamatory properties. Interesting and informative topic.
  • DanBasil

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    Jun 01, 2008 6:20 PM GMT
    This is great, I already eat many vegetables and seek a colorful diet, but all the more reason now. It'l icon_biggrin.gifl help with my arthritic pain. Thanks for the post!!!
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    Jun 01, 2008 6:38 PM GMT
    DanBasil saidThis is great, I already eat many vegetables and seek a colorful diet, but all the more reason now. It'l icon_biggrin.gifl help with my arthritic pain. Thanks for the post!!!


    here a link about eating for rheumatoid arthritis:

    http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=disease&dbid=13
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    Jun 02, 2008 2:49 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidThanks, Caslan4000 for your post. It's great.

    I've also read that eating pineapple is good for inflammation from traumas like surgery. But not sure if it's beneficial for something like arthritis.


    Well, aint you the cleverest, MuchMore! ..Pineapple does have anti-inflammatory benefits

    from World's Healthiest Foods

    Potential Anti-Inflammatory and Digestive Benefits

    Bromelain is a complex mixture of substances that can be extracted from the stem and core fruit of the pineapple. Among dozens of components known to exist in this crude extract, the best studied components are a group of protein-digesting enzymes (called cysteine proteinases). Originally, researchers believed that these enzymes provided the key health benefits found in bromelain, a popular dietary supplement containing these pineapple extracts. In addition, researchers believed that these benefits were primarily limited to help with digestion in the intestinal tract. However, further studies have shown that bromelain has a wide variety of health benefits, and that many of these benefits may not be related to the different enzymes found in this extract. Excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth may all be reduced by therapeutic doses of bromelain when taken as a dietary supplement. Studies are not available, however, to show these same potential benefits in relationship to normal intake of pineapple within a normal meal plan.

    Bromelain extracts can be obtained from both the fruit core and stems of pineapple. Potentially important chemical differences appear to exist between extracts obtained from the stem versus the core fruit. However, the practical relevance of these differences is not presently understood. Most of the laboratory research on bromelain has been conducted using stem-based extracts, however.

    Although healthcare practitioners have reported improved digestion in their patients with an increase in pineapple as their "fruit of choice" within a meal plan, we haven't seen published studies that document specific changes in digestion following consumption of the fruit (versus supplementation with the purified extract. However, we suspect that the core fruit will eventually turn out to show some unique health-supportive properties, including possible digestion-related and anti-inflammatory benefits.

    Antioxidant Protection and Immune Support

    Vitamin C is the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant, defending all aqueous areas of the body against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. Free radicals have been shown to promote the artery plaque build-up of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, cause the airway spasm that leads to asthma attacks, damage the cells of the colon so they become colon cancer cells, and contribute to the joint pain and disability seen in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This would explain why diets rich in vitamin C have been shown to be useful for preventing or reducing the severity of all of these conditions. In addition, vitamin C is vital for the proper function of the immune system, making it a nutrient to turn to for the prevention of recurrent ear infections, colds, and flu.

    Manganese and Thiamin (Vitamin B1) for Energy Production and Antioxidant Defenses

    Pineapple is an excellent source the trace mineral manganese, which is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, the key oxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase, which disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), requires manganese. Just one cup of fresh pineapple supplies 128.0% of the DV for this very important trace mineral. In addition to manganese, pineapple is a good source of thiamin, a B vitamin that acts as a cofactor in enzymatic reactions central to energy production.