garlic health benefits

You should never underestimate the power of nature. These 15 foods are proved to have very potent antioxidants along with some quite fascinating natural substances that help fight inflammation, reduce pain or even speed up recovery after hard training session.



Apart from being rich in Vitamin C, it is also a good source of the protein-digesting enzyme bromelain, which makes Pineapple a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Bromelain is quite helpful in reducing swelling, pain in musculoskeletal injuries and also arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis. One study reported that bromelain can improve well-being by reducing knee pain in otherwise healthy adults with mild symptoms. (Walker et al., 2002).


Apples containing abundance of phytochemicals, particularly, flavonoids such as chlorogenic acid, catechin, quercetin and phloridzin, have the second highest level of antioxidants among all fruits. Quercetin has been proved to have a positive effect on recovery from workouts (Gordon et al., 2009), as well as to be effective in improving exercise performance (Davis et al, 2010). A soluble fibre found in the apple peel called pectin, has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and decrease cholesterol levels (Aprikian et al., 2003; Wolfe et al., 2003). In terms of reducing pain and inflammation, apples could reduce it through their content of polyphenol. (Jung et al., 2009). Another not so often mentioned quality of apples is that they also contain rich amounts of boron. Boron is a trace element nutrient that has various beneficial effects in preventing calcium loss, increasing concentration of plasma steroid hormones (i.e. testosterone), increasing brain function and immune response, and even reducing aches and risk of arthritis (Naghii & Samman, 1993; Naghii, 1999; Newnham, 1994; Nielsen, 1998 and 2008).

Blue Berries

Blueberries are believed to have the highest antioxidant contents of any fruit. Polyphenol antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids, make them a great protector against heart disease and cancer. The study published in the “Journal of Bone and Mineral Research” indicates that a blueberry-rich diet could also help develop bone mass.


The benefits come from the anthocyanin content in the cherries. It is one of the few known food sources to contain very potent anti-cancer phytochemical perillyl alcohol (Mozian, 2000). You will also find in cherries quercetin and bioflavonoid that has potent antioxidant properties. Tart or montmorency Cherries especially, have been shown to have significant effects in reducing inflammation, which also leads to pain-reduction and increased recovery. (Jones et al., 2009; Kuehl et al., 2009).


Do you remember anabolic effects that this vegetable had on Popeye. Apparently Popeye was eating one of the most strength-building vegetables around. Research has shown that spinach contains naturally-occurring plant-based steroids called phytoecdysteroids which could lead to a 20% increase in protein synthesis (Gorlick-Feldman et al., 2008). Spinach is also filled with high amounts of B-Vitamins, vitamin E, anti-inflammatory compounds, omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic, and anti-inflammatory properties of which one study reported it to decrease asthmatic inflammation (Heo et al., 2010).


Apart from being a good source of immune system boosting vitamin C, tomatoes contain lycopene- the rare and strong antioxidant which is an essential nutrient for your body’s lymphatic system.
A study conducted by the dermatology department at Charite University, in Berlin, revealed that lycopene based supplements add smoother and less-wrinkled skin. Another research have suggested lycopene may have its contribution in reducing bad cholesterol.

Citrus Fruits

citrus fruits
Grapefruit, lemon, orange or lime, all have high concentrations of flavonoids and vitamin C , both of which bolster white blood cells and immune system in our bodies. Although citrus fruits are very healthy, grapefruit is one to watch if you take prescription drugs. Research has shown that one glass of grapefruit juice can treble the potency of some cancer, heart, cholesterol and painkilling medications, which can lead to serious side effects.


313 percent of your RDA of vitamin C for your cold and flue symptoms, and 67 percent of your RDA of vitamin K, which is necessary for your blood circulation and the vitality of the body’s organs. Papaya also contains the well-known carotenoid – lycopene, which has strong antioxidant properties, and beta-carotene and ascorbic acid which are useful in improving digestion. But papaya’s main pain-reducing secret is the proteolytic enzyme- papain. Research indicates that proteolytic enzymes like papain, has been shown to be just as effective as many common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. (Klein & Kullich, 1999; Rakhimov, 2001).


This potassium-rich fruit is the best-known source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects us from many diseases and helps maintain overall health. Avocados also contain high concentrations of an antioxidant- glutathione, which improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Sweet Potato

sweet potato
Sweat potato is a starch vegetable, but a vegetable nonetheless and the one incredibly rich in beta-carotene, a precursor used by your body to make vitamin-A. One cup of sweet potatoes offers a massive 30 milligrams of beta-carotene. It’s also rich in fibre, alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid and anthocyanins (Bovell-Benjamin, 2007; Mozian, 2000). Its anti-inflammatory properties come from high amounts of antioxidants- mainly ascorbic acid, beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol (McAlindon et al., 1996; Seki et al., 2010).


jar of honey
From cosmetic use through treating wounds and flue symptoms, honey’s antiseptic and antibacterial properties were already known in ancient Egypt. Methylglyoxal (MGO) is an ingredient that gives honey its antibiotic properties. MGO levels are usually quite low in most honeys, but manuka honey, which contains very high levels of MGO and according to recent studies, it may in fact be as effective as many common cough medicines. WARNING!!! Giving honey to infants under the age of one, may cause infant botulism, a rare but serious gastrointestinal condition that can be life-threatening.


I’m sure some of us heard the old wives’ tale about onion’s magic properties of absorbing Flue Virus and Cold Bacteria. Although this statement is probably far-fetched, we can’t deny curative powers of this historically preventative medicine which was used during epidemics of cholera and the plague. Roman emperor Nero also used to use it as a cure for colds. Onions are rich in sulphur-containing compounds, which not only are responsible for their pungent odours, but also inhibit the activity of macrophages, white blood cells that play a key role in our body’s immune defence system by triggering of large-scale inflammatory responses. It’s anti-inflammatory properties can also be attributed to number of antioxidants- including flavonoid and quercetin. Other studies have shown that onion can help increase our bone density and might lower our risk of several cancers. Another of onion curative properties have been attributed to a compound called allyl propyl disulphide. It is thought that allyl propyl disulphide has a similar effect of balancing blood sugar levels to that of insulin, and may be of help to those suffering from hypoglycaemia.


Garlic, like its cousin onion, also contains a number of potent, smelly sulphur-containing compounds which have many great benefits for your health. One of this compounds- Allicin, is believed to be a main reason of its antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Allicin, along with other compounds like alliin and  ajoene, also have an effect on the digestive, circulatory and immunological systems of our bodies. They can help in lowering blood pressure, detoxification, healing, etc. Allin is known to fight free radicals from spreading throughout our bodies, and the chemical ajoene may help in treating fungal skin infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm.


Strong anti-inflammatory effects of ginger can not only help during flu season, but also has been clinically proved to reduce knee pain in osteoarthritic patients (Altman & Marcussen, 2001), and muscle pain associated with post-exercise soreness (Black et al., 2009; Herring et al., 2009). Ginger’s phytochemicals- gingerol and shogoal act as antitussives, being also useful for congestion associated with colds and flu (Mozian, 2000). Other benefits are: reduced discomfort associated with seasickness & morning sickness (Ernst & Pittler, 2000), cardiovascular benefits (Kim et al., 2005), cancer preventive properties (Shukla & Singh, 2007), and anti-tumor promoting activities (Surh et al., 1999; Surh, 2002).


This powerful spice which gives curry powder its major yellow colouring, has long been used in the traditional Chinese and Indian medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a variety of conditions, including flatulence, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, bruises, colic, toothache and many more. Curcumin, the principal active ingredient in turmeric, is believed to be a main reason for its anti-inflammatory benefits (Aggarwal et al., 2007; Mozian, 2000). One research (Davis et al., 2007) has even specifically shown that curcumin has positive effects on enhancing recovery through reducing inflammation, and on assisting in recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage.

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