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7 Caribbean Cultural Foods for Combating Inflammation

By Born Tough on

1. Let’s Understand Inflammation!

Our bodies are programmed to heal themselves. However, the healing mechanism comes with a paradox – inflammation.

The inflammatory cells are essentially activated by our immune systems to destroy the harmful agents that invade our bodies. However, if the trigger continues needlessly, then it becomes chronic and causes cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, etc.

2. Fight the Silent Killer!

Chronic inflammation is a silent killer and can easily go undetected, says Harvard Medical Center. Our stressful lifestyles can further exacerbate inflammation.

But as they say, nature always provides a cure. Therefore, it is possible to prevent and lessen inflammation.

3. Let Food Be Your Medicine!

Let Food Be Your Medicine!

Many cultures have passed down natural health rituals, practices, and recipes (herbs, plants, roots) to their future generations. It’s an asset that is now being accepted by medicine experts all over the world.

Similarly, the medicinal ingredients of the Caribbean Islands have become relevant in our modern-day health care needs.

4. Caribbean Diet for Inflammation

The Caribbean culture has a rich history of generations passing down natural health practices. The wisdom behind eating the healing herbs and foods that are readily available across the vibrant island has been supported by scientific evidence.

Multiple studies have shown that some foods of Caribbean origin have effectively combat inflammation.
Read on to find out more about the miraculous anti-inflammatory ingredients of the Caribbean.

4.1. Cocoa Beans

Cocoa Beans

The Caribbean is a renowned producer of high-quality cocoa beans. The flavonoids present in cocoa contribute to fighting and reducing the degenerative effects of inflammation observed in arthritis and diabetes mellitus.

The next time you go grocery shopping, opt for dark chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa. You will have to trade the sweetness of chocolate with more flavanols and anti-oxidant properties. Bitter is better for your health!

4.2. Cerasee

Cerasee

We have already established that bitter is better. The fact that Cerasee tea is known as the “bitter melon” should not come as a surprise. According to a survey published at PubMed Central (PMC) archive at the U.S National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM), this natural remedy is one of the alternative herbal medicines used in Jamaica to treat a myriad of health conditions, from hypertension to diabetes.

4.3. Red Sorell

Red Sorell

The red sorrel plant is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Its leaves contain ascorbic acid and polyphenols that make it a rich and highly potent anti-inflammatory plant. It helps lower cortisol levels which in turn helps reduce inflammation. In Caribbean culture, it is enjoyed as a cold beverage but can also be a warm drink.

4.4. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Known globally as a beauty product, Aloe Vera is also useful against inflammation. This succulent plant contains active anti-inflammatory compounds, anthraquinones, and vitamins, making it a healing powerhouse.

4.5. Ginger

Ginger

This rhizome is primarily used as a condiment worldwide. However, in the Caribbean, it is cherished for its medicinal benefits. The main health-promoting compound, gingerol, exhibits anti-tumor properties. Hence, it is a shield against inflammation, tumor, and malignant cancers.

An in vitro study by PubMed proposes that ginger has a bioactive component six-shogaol. This component can alleviate chronic lung inflammation and can also be used to treat asthma patients in the near future.

4.6. Jamaican Sarsaparilla

Jamaican Sarsaparilla

A woody tropical vine, sarsaparilla is indigenous to the Caribbean. The plant contains anti-inflammatory chemicals known as saponins. Saponins kill bacteria, help alleviate pain in inflamed joints, and protect the liver from damage.

4.7. Soursop

Soursop

The soursop, sometimes also called “custard apple,” is a luscious fruit enjoyed for its taste and medicinal benefits. The fruit can be eaten fresh or its leaves can be used to prepare tea.

Soursop boosts immunity and helps cure rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and general inflammation.

5. Conclusion

Conclusion

Chronic inflammation slowly damages the body, and since we tend to ignore the tell-tale signs, the condition becomes worse.

If you wish to reverse the damage that inflammation causes or want to prevent it altogether, adopting the Caribbean diet can do wonders for your health.

Caribbean foods such as cocoa beans, ginger, and red sorrel are rich in anti-inflammatory chemicals and can combat inflammation.

Ensure good eating habits, get enough sleep, and incorporate light exercise to reap the benefits of the Caribbean miracle diet.

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