By David Gutierrez, contributing writer to Natural News
It’s easy to think that all superfoods must be pricey fruits such as blueberries, pomegranates or goji berries. But as potent as some of the more expensive superfoods are, you don’t have to break the bank to get the benefits of superfoods. Three of the most potent superfoods out there are quite inexpensive — even if you buy organic — and they taste great together!
Carrots, turmeric and ginger are all rich in the antioxidants that have been shown to fight chronic disease. Turmeric and ginger are also potent anti-inflammatories, reducing the chronic inflammation linked not just to conditions such as arthritis, but also to other chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Inflammation can also be a cause of pain, and so ginger and turmeric are also powerful natural painkillers!
Read on to learn about the benefits of this remarkable superfood trio.
Ginger: Not Just for Nausea
Most famous for its digestive and anti-nausea benefits, fresh ginger is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and natural painkiller. It is an effective natural remedy or both tension and sinus headaches.
In fact, research has shown that ginger extract can be as effective at reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis (more commonly called just “arthritis”) as over-the-counter painkillers. Ginger oil and orange oil used together in a massage have been shown to reduce knee pain and stiffness.
Studies have also shown that ginger extract may be an even more effective anti-cancer agent than chemotherapy drugs, killing cancerous cells while leaving healthy ones untouched. Its anti-inflammatory properties might also help prevent the progression of precancerous cells to cancer.
The Magic of Curcumin
Turmeric root — typically ground up and used in dishes such as curries — also has high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Research has particularly focused on the three chemicals (known as “curcuminoids,” or simply “curcumin”) that give the root its distinctive orange-yellow color. Research has shown that turmeric and curcumin can boost the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. In fact, a series of studies conducted by researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan and published in 2013 found that curcumin supplements protect the heart from aging as effectively as moderate aerobic exercise. When the two are combined, the effect is even stronger. Turmeric and curcumin have also been linked to cancer-fighting effects.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Research also suggests that turmeric may help prevent or even reverse cognitive decline and dementia. For example, a study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2014 found that just a single gram of turmeric a day improved short-term memory in people at risk of memory loss. Another study, conducted by researchers from Duke University and published in 2009, found that curcumin actually caused changes in the brain that reversed some of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin has also been shown to help ease the severity of autoimmune diseases, many of which are mediated by inflammatory responses.
Although much research has been conducted on curcumin specifically, the body absorbs these chemicals best from actual turmeric root, rather than from supplements.
Eat Carrots, Live Longer
Last but not least, the humble carrot! These vegetables are famous for their high levels of carotenoid chemicals, including beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A. In addition to playing a key role in eye health, carotenoids are powerful cancer-fighters. Studies have shown that people who eat more carotenoids actually live longer. Carrots also contain another chemical, falcarinol, which has been shown to reduce the risk of tumor formation.
So what’s the best way to consume this superfood trio? You could lightly cook them into a curry or blend them into a dip. Or you could mix them with some lemon and apple, and blend or juice them into a delicious, fortifying beverage—and get the added boost of consuming them all raw!
*Image of “woman” via Shutterstock