Autoimmune diseases are a diverse range of over 80 illnesses that are often difficult to diagnose and hard to manage. Disorders include multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and many more.
Although these diseases vary greatly in symptoms and severity, they all have one thing in common; they are characterized by the body’s own immune system attacking itself and resulting in chronic, destructive inflammation.
When someone with an autoimmune disorder experiences a flare-up, symptoms are greatly exaggerated and can cause intense discomfort, pain and damage to the individual. There are several compounds, found naturally in our food, that act as natural inflammatories. While natural anti-inflammatories do not work as rapidly as pharmaceutical medications, they do not have adverse side-effects, they can be taken as often as required, and they promote natural healing.
Managing autoimmune diseases naturally
Ginger – ginger contains the compounds gingerol and shogaol which suppress pro-inflammatory pathways in the body, as well as down-regulating inflammatory gene expression1. Ginger extract also reduces the expression of NFκB, a protein linked to inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis and psoriasis2.
Turmeric – the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. Studies have shown that curcumin inhibits molecules involved in inflammation including tumor necrosis factor, prostaglandins, thromboxane and leukotrienes3.
Lemon – lemon has been demonstrated to exert an anti-inflammatory action by preventing the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the joints and protecting against articular cartilage degeneration4.
HEALING TURMERIC & GINGER SMOOTHIE
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 200 mls almond milk
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, frozen & finely grated
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- Make a turmeric paste by mixing the turmeric powder with melted coconut oil in a small bowl. Set to one side.
- Add the almond milk to your blender, along with the banana, fresh ginger, fresh lemon juice and black pepper.
- Add the turmeric paste into your blender then blend on high until there are no lumps left in the smoothie.
About the author: Sonia Nicholas is a Biomedical Scientist, Clinical Editor & Science Writer. Sonia is Founder of The Green Apple Club, an online community dedicated to using food as medicine. Visit www.thegreenappleclub.com for more evidence-based articles on food and health and free clean eating recipes. You can also follow The Green Apple Club on Facebook and Twitter for daily inspiration and motivation.