#9 in our series is Artificial Food Additives:
Pro-inflammatory Agent: Some artificial food additives like aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG) reportedly trigger inflammatory responses, especially in people who are already suffering from inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Find them in: Only packaged foods contain artificial food additives. If you need to buy them, read the labels carefully and weigh your risks. If you order Chinese takeaways, make sure you’ve the option to ask for no MSG. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Besides limiting the consumption of processed foods, use anti-inflammatory herbs, spices or natural sweeteners to add flavor to your dishes instead of relying on food additives.
Anti-Inflammatory Herbs recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil on his website are:
Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Turmeric accounts for the yellow color of curry and American mustard and has a distinctive sharp flavor. I recommend turmeric for all inflammatory disorders, including arthritis, tendonitis, and auto immune conditions. Take 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric extracts (available in tablets or capsules) three times per day or as directed on the product label. Whole turmeric is more effective than isolated curcumin, its major constituent. Look for products standardized for 95% curcuminoids. Be patient: the full benefit takes two months to develop. Don’t use turmeric if you have gallstones or bile duct dysfunction. Pregnant women shouldn’t use it without their doctors’ approval. In rare cases, extended use can cause stomach upset or heartburn.
Ginger: Powdered dry ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Take one to two capsules (500 to 1,000 mg) twice a day with food. As with turmeric, you won’t get the full effect for two months.
Boswellin: This is the extract of the herb Boswellia, used in Ayurvedic medicine and available in capsule form. It may be useful for generalized inflammatory conditions such as fibromyalgia. The dosage is two capsules twice a day unless the product label directs differently.