Five Ancestral Anti-Inflammatory Superheroes
Every 4th of July the U.S. celebrates the 1776 Declaration of Independence, marking the United States' independence from Great Britain. Favorite ways to celebrate the 4th of July include (of course) picnics and BBQs with family and friends, as well as fireworks, parades and parties. While we don’t currently have any post-colonial American dishes on our menu, we are working on this! Watch this space.
We hope you had a wonderful celebration, whatever it looked like. And you can call us out for presumption, but just in case your festivities verged on excess or left you feeling a little overspent, we are here as your nutritional guardian angels. Can you feel us on your shoulder, whispering words of freshness and renewal? It’s not over yet!
Join us as we explore five ancestral anti-inflammatory superheroes that can combat the oxidative stress arising from a healthy overindulgence, and support your body’s return to balance, nourishment and vitality.
Turmeric, with its vibrant golden color and earthy flavor, has a rich history rooted in ancient Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. It has been valued for centuries as a potent anti-inflammatory spice and features in many medicinal Laroot dishes. Its active compound, curcumin, has been used to alleviate various ailments, including joint pain, digestive issues, and skin conditions. In Ayurveda, turmeric is revered as a rejuvenating herb, promoting balance and vitality in the body. Pro tip: eat with black pepper to activate the curcumin’s fullest healing capacity.
Ginger (also a Laroot hero) is loved in many cultures for its warming and invigorating properties, and is a staple in traditional medicine systems across the globe. With its comforting spicy and warm flavor, the root has been used to ease inflammation, aid digestion, and boost immune response. In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, ginger is treasured for its ability to promote healthy circulation, relieve pain, and calm an upset stomach. Short on time or inspiration? We like it chopped or grated fresh into boiling water for an easy, haling infusion.
Berries are not only full of nutritional goodness but also have a low glucose level and glycemic load, with a long-standing history of medicinal benefits. Indigenous cultures have revered these small but mighty fruits for their high antioxidant content, which helps neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Native American tribes in North America traditionally used berries as tonics to boost immunity and support overall well-being, and they almost always carry high amounts of vitamin C, which supports the body’s immune response. Summer is their season: add some nutrient-rich color to your breakfasts and desserts, or eat fresh as a pick-me-up snack. NB - since berries are one of the most chemically sprayed foods, it’s more important than ever to buy them organic. Even better: keep your eyes out for wild ones to forage.
Garlic, another of our core healing ingredients, has been used for centuries as both a culinary delight and a medicinal remedy. The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans recognized its powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and modern medicine still does so today. Its potent bulbs help fight infections, reduce inflammation and support heart health. Garlic's sulfur compounds, including allicin, contribute to its potent anti-inflammatory effects: a little known tip is that if you crush it, you release its medicine to be taken up more effectively.
- Leafy Greens
Leafy greens, including kale, spinach, and collard greens, have been consumed by various cultures since ancient times. And since it is summer, so can you! These humble powerhouses (easily overlooked) are loved throughout time and space for their high nutrient content, including vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Traditional indigenous cultures often incorporated wild greens into their diets, recognizing their ability to support overall health, well-being and bounceback.
Food is medicine, and at Laroot we never forget this: over generations, these plant-based anti-inflammatory foods have been cherished for their diverse healing properties. We love nothing more than the invitation to honor our bodies and get creative with their flavors, textures and endless culinary potential - cooking with the wisdom of our ancestors, who harnessed their benefits to combat inflammation and promote wellness.
Join us, and revive your body and soul. Here’s to a long and healthful summer.