Caribbean Cultural Foods for fighting Inflammation

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Inflammation is our body’s quick and natural response to injuries and infection. However, diet, inadequate sleep and too much stress can influence chronic inflammation.

It is linked to overweight and obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Studies have proven that some cultural foods common to the Caribbean region, as well as overall lifestyle habits, fight inflammation.

Food items that fight inflammation

# Cocoa and Dark Chocolate

  1. The Caribbean is known for4 producing quality cocoa products.
  2. Cocoa products consist of Flavanols. These are antioxidants containing anti-inflammatory properties that may protect blood vessel health, possibly reducing the risk of heart diseases and stroke. 
  3. Both cocoa and dark chocolate guard against blood vessel damage from oxidative stress, which occurs with age and in people who smoke.

 #West Indian Cherry (acerola)

  1. It is also called acerola (Malpighia emarginata) and is glorified for the high levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) that it provides.
  2. One cup (98 grams) of this fruit contains 1,650 mg of vitamin C. It fights inflammation by reducing the number of by-products of metabolism — in the body. 
  3. West Indian Cherry blooms between the spring and autumn and maybe enjoyed raw or made into a juice.

#Pimento Pepper

  1. This pepper belongs to the capsicum family and contains phytochemical compounds that may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. According to animal studies capsaicin – the spicy component of mild and hot peppers —reduces cell damage in the guts of mice.
  3. Nonetheless, human research is still in process.

#Red Sorrel

  1. Red Sorrel is a mainstay in traditional medicine often known as roselle.
  2. Studies have shown that it may lower blood pressure and cholesterol in both animals and humans.
  3. Also, it may reduce body weight, insulin resistance, and markers of inflammation.
  4. Roselle tea is quite popular as a hot or cold beverage. 
  5. In the Caribbean, its fresh and dried leaves are mainly used to make the traditional Christmastime drink sorrel juice.

#Curcumin (turmeric)

  1. It may contain anti-inflammatory health benefits that protect brain health and fight against – 
  • Diabetes  
  • Heart disease
  • Bowel disease 
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity-related inflammation
  • Cancer
  1. Curcumin provides spice with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. In the Caribbean, turmeric is commonly used to prepare food with Indian spices, including curry and geera (ground cumin).

 

 

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