Looking to upgrade your golden latte with even more inflammation-fighting power as we head into cold and flu season? This ginger turmeric latte helps minimize inflammation in the body, plus it tastes delicious and only takes a few minutes to make.
Inflammation is part of the body’s innate healing response to injury or infection. At the microscopic level, it’s a sign of damage to your cells and DNA. Day in and day out, we can fight chronic inflammation in many ways, including by minimizing our exposure to chemicals, pollutants, or excessive sunlight and helping our bodies prevent free radical damage by eating and drinking antioxidant-rich foods. Herbs and spices, fruit (especially berries), vegetables, dark chocolate, and nuts all fall under the anti-inflammatory category.
The two stars of this latte—ginger and turmeric—also have powerful inflammation-fighting benefits of their own.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been clinically shown to fight inflammation and has a long history of use for joint pain. But even if you don’t have a health condition, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can still be beneficial. As an antioxidant, curcumin scavenges different free radicals, including reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, and even slows the production of some types of free radicals. By neutralizing free radicals before they can damage cells or DNA, curcumin minimizes the body’s need to fire up its inflammatory response.
Like turmeric, ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used for millennia as a tonic to support health. And more recently, scientific studies have confirmed that the phytochemicals in ginger—gingerols, shogaols, paradols, and zingerone–have anti-inflammatory properties. These bioactive molecules scavenge free radicals, minimizing the oxidative stress that damages cells and DNA. Because oxidative stress and inflammation can trigger one another, keeping oxidative stress low keeps the inflammatory cycle in check.
There’s also evidence that ginger and turmeric work synergistically to support a healthy inflammatory response in the body, hence why they are sometimes found together in supplements that target inflammation.