Maintaining our health is trickier than most people realize, but there are ways to simplify it. Ultimately, the most effective way to protect our health and prevent long-term issues is to follow a dedicated lifestyle focusing on proper diet and exercise. This can reduce the risk of chronic health issues and keep your body in top condition; unfortunately, certain issues arise regardless of these things.
Some conditions are genetic or caused by certain physical injuries that can affect us despite our general health, making them slightly more dangerous. Furthermore, certain issues can arise because overly "healthy" lifestyles prevent the body from getting what it needs. That said, some of the main concerns with human health are inflammation and immunity, both of which can be compromised.
Despite the complexity of our biology, it is surprisingly easy to damage our health and inhibit our health in unpleasant ways. Fortunately, it is possible to reinforce our body's natural defenses through certain adjustments and additions to our regular diet. Some health enthusiasts have taken to creating specialized shots made with certain ingredients designed to enhance and optimize the drinker's health.
These drinks are no larger than an average shot from a bar but are specifically created to introduce nutritional substances to their body. These substances vary depending on personal preference but can be fairly effective for revitalizing your health. The question is, which of these wellness shots is best suited to fighting inflammation?
What Are Wellness Shots?
Wellness shots are a relatively new concept that has become popular among health enthusiasts and holistic practitioners. Despite their name, the shots do not contain alcohol and are simply concentrated vials of juice. They are made by combining fruits and plants with beneficial nutrients that complement each other and enhance the consumer's physical condition.
Wellness shots are so named because they enhance the wellness of the person who drinks them, but the key lies in the ingredients. Depending on what you use to make the shots, the properties and effects of the drink change, and the overall benefit changes. Some ingredients focus on fortifying gastrointestinal health, while others can enhance the body's immune response.
In the latter case, countering inflammation is one of the main focuses since inflammation is a key aspect of our immune system.
The shots are made by blending these ingredients together and following these steps:
- Gather your produce and wash it. Depending on the produce, there might be skin, but you do not have to peel it.
- Add the produce you want for your shot to a blender and add water. Run the blender until the liquid is as smooth as possible (ignoring pulp).
- Strain the liquid into a bowl through a colander or similar device to separate the liquid from the pulp. Repeat as necessary until the pulp is completely removed from the liquid (dispose of the pulp as you see fit).
- Transfer the pulp-free liquid into the vessel of choice (ideally a 2-ounce jar or another sealable glass vessel).
- Store the shots in the fridge (do not store them in the freezer if you are using a glass container since the cold will cause the glass to weaken and shatter).
Wellness shots stored in the fridge remain viable for a week, whereas shots stored in the freezer (in plastic containers) last a month. Regardless, the main focus of a wellness shot is the produce you use to make them since this will alter their value. It is important to remember that these wellness shots cannot replace proper diet and exercise to maintain your health.
These shots can help reinforce your body against certain issues and are, therefore, still viable. The biggest problem is knowing which substances are best suited to combatting specific health issues. Insofar as inflammation is concerned, multiple plants specialize in protecting against it. Not all of them are compatible with wellness shot recipes, so identifying viable compounds is essential.
What is Inflammation?
"Inflammation" is a term most people hear at some point in their lives, but there is a significant amount of misinformation surrounding the issue. The biggest misconception is that inflammation is inherently a problem and must be avoided at all costs. The truth is that inflammation is a vital immune response our bodies trigger after we are injured or sick. When our bodies are exposed to an injury or illness, they respond by sending out the first response team, consisting of inflammatory cells and cytokines (which stimulate the former).
These cells generate an inflammatory response to trap bacteria and heal injured tissue while discouraging us from exposing the affected area to further strain. As a result, inflammation is an unpleasant sensation that elicits discomfort or pain depending on the severity. Inflammation usually triggers the following symptoms:
- Red skin around the injury.
- Pain or tenderness on or around the injury.
- Swelling around the injury.
- Heat from the affected area.
Despite these symptoms, inflammation is usually a good thing and a natural part of how we heal from injuries and illness. Unfortunately, our immune responses can malfunction and trigger the responses more often than is necessary and keep us from recovering. Inflammation is no exception, and it is common for people to experience chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is a condition where the immune system continues sending inflammatory signals through the body even when no injuries or illnesses warrant it. As a result, we experience the unpleasant effects of inflammation for no reason. Typically, this is viewed as a painful inconvenience, but modern research has determined that chronic inflammation is dangerous for our health. It has since come to light that chronic inflammation, even low-level cases, can contribute to:
- Heart Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Degenerative Conditions (i.e., osteoporosis and arthritis)
There are other conditions influenced or caused by chronic inflammation, but heart disease alone makes the issue potentially fatal. The biggest problem is that chronic inflammation is terrifyingly easy to trigger, and several vices and lifestyles promote the condition, such as:
- Overconsumption of alcohol.
- Having a high body mass index (BMI) that falls within the bounds of obesity.
- Exercising at maximum intensity too often.
- Chronic stress.
- Smoking tobacco.
Chronic inflammation can also be caused by autoimmune disorders, exposure to toxins, and even untreated acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation is easy to trigger and is extremely common in today's society. Therefore, finding ways to inhibit our inflammatory response when it becomes a problem is essential.
Option #1: Ginger
One of the most common roots used in cuisine and holistic medicine is Zingiber officinale, better known by its common name, "ginger." Ginger is primarily used as a spice but has a long history of being used in folk medicine. While most scoff at the idea of folk medicine now, there was actually merit in using ginger to treat certain afflictions. Ginger was originally cultivated in Southeast Asia and was linked to the Austronesian peoples, but it has since expanded across the world and is now used in several dishes and holistic products.
While there are well-known mainstream uses for ginger, there are others you might not have known about. What might surprise you is that ginger is an ideal ingredient in wellness shots because of the properties that make it so useful in folk medicine.
Despite primarily being used in cuisine, ginger contains several nutritional compounds that benefit our health. Like most substances in its classification, it cannot replace modern medicine when treating major health issues. However, ginger can provide benefits to reinforce the body's natural capacity for healing and protect against certain issues.
One of the main compounds that makes ginger so useful is gingerol, which lends itself to Z. officinale's common name. Gingerol is a natural oil that contributes to ginger's distinct taste and scent but is also the primary source of ginger's medicinal value. Perhaps the most important benefit of gingerol is that it is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, which cause inflammation in the affected areas as the body tries to heal. Furthermore, gingerol has standard anti-inflammatory properties, making it a capable tool for reducing overall symptoms.
Adding ginger to your wellness shot will infuse it with the spice's natural capacity for reducing chronic inflammation. Unfortunately, gingerol's effects are mild and not always sufficient for longstanding issues. The good news is that ginger can be combined with other substances without endangering your health. Knowing which substances are worth using alongside ginger to treat chronic inflammation is the trick.
Option #2: Turmeric
There is another plant that is very closely related to ginger but is different enough to warrant special mention. The Curcuma longa plant, also known as turmeric, is a common addition to several Indian dishes since it was originally discovered within India's borders. India is home to the most diverse population of turmeric plants, though C. longa remains the most commonly used.
Like ginger, turmeric is frequently used in cooking as a spice but also has a history of being used in holistic medicine, specifically Ayurvedic medicine. Most people do not know that the plant itself is not the source of turmeric's benefits. Turmeric and all plants from the Curcuma family contain curcuminoids, which are the genus' namesake.
The most valuable curcuminoid in turmeric plants is curcumin, which imbues the plant with the health-enhancing qualities for which it is lauded. Curcumin is renowned for its holistic effects, which extend to issues like chronic inflammation.
Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory compound that has been scientifically linked to reducing the severity of natural inflammation. Curcumin's other effects are significantly more pronounced than its impact on inflammation, but its anti-inflammatory effects cannot be ignored. The main catch is that you must consume large quantities of curcumin to see medical-level results from the substance.
Fortunately, introducing the proper dosage is not difficult, but there is still a major hurdle involved with curcumin consumption. Ginger has the benefit of being a highly bioavailable substance, meaning it is easy for our bodies to absorb. Unfortunately, curcumin does not have the same benefit and is infamous for having extremely low bioavailability. Consuming curcumin directly from turmeric is unlikely to offer the proper amount for us to enjoy the full range of benefits.
Thankfully, curcumin's bioavailability can be enhanced with other natural compounds that mesh well with curcumin's flavor. The main resource for enhancing curcumin is piperine, the chief compound in black pepper. When combined with piperine, the bioavailability of curcumin skyrockets by an average of 2,000%, making it much easier for our bodies to take advantage of it.
Unfortunately, you might be somewhat averse to adding pepper to your wellness shot since it can impact the flavor somewhat. That said, the flavor of curcumin tends to overpower the pepper, and you can combine turmeric with ginger to ensure a more cohesive flavor.
Keeping it All Natural!
Wellness shots are an interesting product that has grown in popularity among holistic enthusiasts (though many still disregard them). Treating inflammation requires anti-inflammatory substances, which can be acquired through fairly simple foods. Ginger and turmeric provide natural anti-inflammatory effects that we can use to protect against chronic inflammation and reduce its impact on our bodies.
Adding one or both to your wellness shot allows you to enjoy the full range of benefits provided by both. You might have to add a little black pepper to ensure the curcumin in your turmeric is viable, but these substances can be safely combined. The trick is finding a reliable vendor.
We at Bella All Natural have always maintained the idea that the best solutions in life come from nature. That is why we have dedicated ourselves to creating natural products to enhance our health and appearance. Insofar as wellness shots are concerned, we definitely recommend our Turmeric & Ginger Powder, which can be easily mixed with water to create an instant wellness shot. We highly encourage you to visit our website and try our product firsthand, but regardless of your decision, remember to always keep it All Natural!