Are you familiar with the term "superfood”..?
This title is granted to highly nutrient-dense foods and herbs that are believed to have superior abilities when it comes to positively affecting health.
What are some popular superfoods?
Some of the most well-known and widely accepted superfoods generally include:
‣ Avocados, blueberries, exotic berries (like acai and goji), kale and other dark, leafy greens, turmeric, olive oil, ginger, seeds (such as chia and flax), ancient grains (such as quinoa and farro), nuts, and beets.
Originally created for marketing purposes, this term has no set qualifications and therefore it’s really up to us to decide which foods are worthy of the superfood title.
Since this popular term doesn’t look like it’s going to disappear anytime soon, we’ve selected what we believe to be two of the most potent anti-inflammatory “super roots” and have pinned them against one another in this Superfood Showdown.
1. Popularly used to add flavoring and fragrance to many Indian and other Asian cuisines
2. Both flowering plants belonging to the Zingiberaceae family and are rhizomes (underground stems).
3. The roots of both plants have both been used for centuries for holistic healing and medicinal purposes
4. Both popular in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of arthritis
5. Both high in essential nutrients and highly esteemed for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
6. Generally both accepted as one of the world’s healthiest foods
7. Both believed to be generally safe for consumption with little to no side effects
8. Can both be taken either fresh, dried, powdered, or in capsule form.
➣ Turmeric originates from India and has a bright orange interior and bitter, earthy, and more mild flavor than ginger.
➣ Contains curcumin as its main chemical compound, which is proven to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.
➣ Packed with impressive amounts of nutrients and phytonutrients such as iron, manganese, potassium, copper, vitamin B6, fiber, tumerones, and tumenorols.
Turmeric has been shown to:
➣ Decrease inflammation in the body, improve joint mobility, lessen joint pain, prevent the onset of age-related chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, improve circulation and digestion, help improve mood and treat depression, improve brain health, and reduce risk for cardiovascular disease.
➣ Ginger originates from China and has a pale yellow interior and more pungent, sharp aroma.
➣ Contains gingerol, a chemical compound with powerful medicinal properties shown to help prevent and treat many illnesses.
➣ Loaded with health-boosting nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, copper, and calcium.
Ginger has been shown to:
➣ Treat many forms of nausea and chronic indigestion, help cure colds, reduce muscle pain and soreness, relieve menstrual pain, improve brain function, prevent illness such as heart disease, and assist with osteoarthritis inflammation.
➣ Both can provide incredible health benefits, especially when it comes to preventing and treating joint pain and arthritis.
➣ However, there seems to be more clinical research behind the medicinal uses of curcumin (the main compound in turmeric) when it comes to treating inflammation (especially when taken as a potent standardized extract such as our Turmeric Complex).
In this case, both supplements made it onto the Arthritis Foundation’s list of “9 Best Supplements For Arthritis,” leaving us to ultimately call this battle a tie, but with different ‘best practices’ for both turmeric and ginger uses.
More clinical studies are still needed before there can be a clear winner between these two but luckily, both of these superfoods can be safely combined for maximum benefits.
➣ Current research generally points to turmeric (curcumin) being more beneficial for preventing inflammation and maintaining good health in the body, whereas ginger may play a better role when it comes to soothing existing inflammation once it has occured.
➣ In combination, these two make an unbeatable pair!
➣We recommend using turmeric to prevent illness and decrease inflammation, and ginger for helping to calm existing digestive and inflammatory issues.
It’s important to remember that no single food or dietary supplement can provide us with all the essential nutrition needed for healthy living. With that being said, superfoods certainly do warrant special recognition for their ability to greatly enhance any healthy lifestyle. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietician when considering dietary supplements to aid with existing medical conditions or issues.