Top 10 Ingredients from the Indian Diet (Against Inflammation)

Blog Nutrition & Recipes Top 10 Ingredients from the Indian Diet (Against Inflammation)

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3.15.2024 0 comments

The Indian diet may not be ranked as one of the world’s healthiest diets [1], but it does include a lot of crucial elements that make for a very healthy diet.

It is rich in diverse spectrum of plant-based ingredients. Specifically, it is replete with anti-inflammatory spices and herbs, all of which can be amazing for your health.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the top 10 ingredients that are common to the Indian diet, examining what they do and how they can improve your wellbeing.

By the end of this post, you’ll be eager to find new and tasty ways to add these anti-inflammatory spices to your meals, too!

The Top Anti-Inflammatory 10 Ingredients from the Indian Diet

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a highly potent anti-inflammatory spice, one that’s rich in a wide range of active and highly beneficial compounds.

Chief among them is curcumin, a polyphenol that is well-known for its inflammation-fighting properties. Research [3] has linked curcumin to decreased inflammation, improved mood, lower depression rates, and even a decrease in joint pain among those suffering from arthritis. It may also help with hyperlipidemia, anxiety, post-exercise muscle soreness, and even improve kidney health.

The high antioxidant content of turmeric [4] makes it an incredible longevity-booster and anti-inflammatory spice that definitely deserves a place in your diet.

2. Black pepper

Black pepper was once called “black gold” because of not only its amazing flavor, but also the many health benefits that has made it one of the most sought-after spices in the world.

Black pepper is packed with piperine [5], a highly potent compound that has antioxidant properties and can help to combat neurological conditions, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease. Adding it to your food increases the bioavailability of micronutrients (like minerals and vitamins), which makes it easier for your body to absorb and utilize those micronutrients.

One amazing thing about black pepper: when you combine piperine with the curcumin in turmeric, it helps your body to absorb more curcumin and makes the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric even more potent. That’s why most turmeric supplements are also mixed with black pepper so the piperine and curcumin work exponentially more effectively when combined.

Piperine is also known to improve digestion, stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach, boost your immune system, and prove a wide range of minerals and vitamins.

3. Ginger

Ginger is an amazing food, not only for its potent and tangy flavor, but also the many, many health benefits it can provide.

According to research [6], ginger can:

  • Reduce the effects of chemotherapy and combat the post-chemotherapy nausea that is such a common side effect of cancer treatment.
  • Decrease nausea and increase stomach emptying.
  • Reduce morning sickness and queasiness during pregnancy.
  • Prevent the fermentation of carbohydrates and sugars in your gut that may lead to gas and bloating.
  • Protect your cells against oxidative stress and free radical damage. Ginger is rich in zingerone, a powerful antioxidant that prevent damage to and deterioration of your cells.
  • Combat inflammation, thanks to zingerone and more than 400 other anti-inflammatory compounds. It may even be useful for treating respiratory inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis (though further research is needed).

Ginger is definitely one of the Indian diet ingredients you want to include in your Western diet, thanks to its many amazing properties!

4. Mint

Mint—both peppermint and spearmint—are common staples of the Indian diet, and both can provide a wide range of health benefits.

One of the most common benefits of mint is its ability to reduce bloating, gas, and indigestion [7]. Mint relaxes the muscles in your stomach and speeds up the digestion of fat by improving the flow of bile. When food passes through your stomach more efficiently, thanks to the effects of mint, there is less risk of irritation or indigestion.

Mint is a natural headache reliever, anti-irritant for your skin, and may have effects in combating depression and anxiety. It also has natural antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

And, don’t forget, mint is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Mint can combat microbes and stop inflammation—particularly inflammation in your stomach and digestive system—in its tracks [8].

5. Cardamom

Cardamom is a truly marvelous spice. In addition to its unique and highly potent flavor, it’s also packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can combat disease [9]. It has long been used (since the time of Ancient Egypt, in fact) as a natural mouthwash and/or toothpaste thanks to its ability to increase salivary output and combat oral bacterial.

It’s rich in Vitamin C, niacin, potassium, and magnesium, as well as antioxidants that can combat inflammation and oxidative stress. It aids in the regulation and production of insulin, and can regulate your blood sugar to prevent hypertension and high blood pressure.

6. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has long been regarded as one of the most potent and health-boosting spices on the planet.

For millennia, cinnamon tea has been used as a dietary aid, as well as a blood sugar regulator. Cinnamon can lower blood sugar and combat diabetes, and may be useful in the fight against weight gain and obesity [10].

Cinnamon is also rich in anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, as well as antibiotic and antibacterial compounds. It has been linked to reduce inflammation, the slowing-down or prevention of angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) to feed tumors (leading to tumor cell death), and protection against oxidative stress thanks to its high polyphenol content.

7. Cloves

Cloves are packed with an antioxidant compound called eugenol [11], which is capable of decreasing your body’s natural inflammatory response so there’s less inflammation triggered as a result of autoimmune conditions or inflammatory conditions like arthritis. The antioxidant properties of eugenol also aid in the fight against oxidative stress and prevent free radical damage, protecting your body on a cellular level.

Cloves may also protect your stomach against the formation of ulcers and improve your liver function, fighting off fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. Clove oil is an ancient remedy against toothaches, dental decay, and a natural preventer of dental erosion (of the enamel that protects your teeth).

Whether you eat whole cloves, ground cloves, or clove oil, you can trust that it’s a potent ingredient capable of offering impressive health benefits.

8. Pomegranate Seeds

Most people have consumed pomegranate for the tart, sweet flavor of the fruit, but did you know that a lot of the benefits are in the seeds?

Pomegranate seeds contain an antioxidant called ellagitannin, which have been shown to have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits [12]. This antioxidant can reduce oxidative stress and free radical damage to your brain cells, which increases cellular survival and maintains healthy brain function. It can also combat the inflammation that contributes to chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Further benefits include:

  • An amazing source of nutrients, including Vitamin C, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, fiber, and potassium.
  • Anti-cancer properties.
  • Boost to your heart health, thanks to the phenolic compounds they contain.
  • Improved urinary health and better kidney function, as well as reduced risk of kidney stones.
  • Antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
  • Improved endurance during exercise as well as faster post-exercise recovery.

9. Indian gooseberry (Amla)

Amla, also called “Indian gooseberry”, is loaded with Vitamin C and other antioxidants that can have potent anti-inflammatory effects [13]. The flavonols in amla berries can fight off free radicals and prevent oxidative stress from damaging your brain.

It’s also useful for slowing blood sugar absorption, fighting diabetes, improving digestion, and increasing the absorption of the Vitamin A your body needs for better eye health. It’s an amazing immune-booster, too, and is loaded with antioxidants and anti-bacterial compounds.

10. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is another antioxidant-rich spice that can offer significant anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and antimicrobial benefits [14].

The high antioxidant content of fenugreek can not only reduce inflammation, but also lower your risk of heart conditions, control your blood pressure, reduce and relieve pain (including the pain of menstrual symptoms), aid in weight loss, improve digestive health, combat diabetes, and even raise testosterone levels.


These spices are all staples of the Indian diet and bringing them into your diet can have some pretty amazing benefits, as you saw above. Not only will they make your food exponentially more flavorful, but they’ll provide you with direct anti-inflammatory and a wide range of anti-disease benefits.

If you’re looking for simple yet highly effective ways to improve your diet, we strongly recommend you start with these spices. Just these small additions can have immense changes to your overall health—from inflammation to oxidative stress to heart health to cancer to diabetes, these spices can aid you in the right against all manner of diseases and disorders.
















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