Peppers are an anti-inflammatory superfood—but go red to reap the most benefits. Out of the three colors of bell pepper, red have the highest amount of inflammatory-biomarker-reducing vitamin C along with the bioflavonoids beta-carotene, quercetin, and luteolin, according to research in the Journal of Food Science . Luteolin has been found to neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. And allergy research has shown that quercetin acts as a mast-cell stabilizer, which decreases the number of cells reacting to an allergen. Mast cells are responsible for releasing histamine during inflammatory and allergic reactions.
Inflammation plays an important role in various diseases with high prevalence within populations such as rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis and asthma. Here we demonstrate the anti-inflammatory activity of various fruits, herbs and spices in a lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophage model. These compounds acted by reduction of pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 or tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha production, enhancement of anti-inflammatory IL-10 production, or reduction of cyclooxygenase-2 or inducible nitric oxide synthase expression. The highest anti-inflammatory potential was detected with chili pepper. Among the plants that improved the secreted cytokine profile were allspice, basil, bay leaves, black pepper, licorice, nutmeg, oregano, sage and thyme. The compounds apigenin, capsaicin, chrysin, diosmetin, kämpferol, luteolin, naringenin, quercetin and resveratrol moderately reduced IL-6 and TNF-alpha secretion. Resveratrol and rosmarinic acid increased secretion of IL-10. Our findings further the idea that a diet rich in fruits, herbs and spices may contribute to the reduction of the inflammatory response and related diseases.
Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which the body converts to powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals. Fish oil has been studied extensively in RA and other inflammatory conditions. Studies have shown that fish oil can relieve joint tenderness and morning stiffness, reduce the duration of morning stiffness and reduce disease activity in people with RA. For some people, it has allowed them to lower the amount of conventional medicine they take for their RA. Early studies show that fish oil may have similar effects in people with osteoarthritis.