Are you aware that chronic inflammation is the root cause for several serious illnesses including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s and even many cancers.
While we are more familiar with inflammation on the surface of our body, when inflammation persists it can damage the body and cause illness. When chronic inflammation is caused due to stress, lack of exercise, genetic predisposition and exposure to toxins, dietary choices can play a big role in making a difference. Inflammation plays a far greater role in certain maladies. In fact, it triggers chronic diseases over time. Establishing regular fitness regimen helps prevent systemic inflammation from building up.
Hence, it is imperative to understand the influence of specific foods that influence the inflammatory process and thereby contain/reduce long-term disease risks.
Why anti-inflammatory foods ?
Preparing and selecting anti-inflammatory foods based on scientific knowledge is crucial not only to help your body maintain optimum health but also provide protection from lifestyle and other diseases.
An anti-inflammatory diet is the key to sustained energy, ample vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids and dietary fiber as well as protective phytonutrients.
It also slows the aging process by stabilizing blood sugar and increasing metabolism. And as a bonus, many persons find that they also lose weight by following an anti-inflammatory eating routine.
Antioxidant foods, essential fatty acids, minerals, sprouted seeds and leafy and cruciferous vegetables have been associated with lowered inflammation. Swiss chard, (bok choy) Chinese cabbage, celery, broccoli, berries, salmon and pineapples work wonders on protecting the body from oxidative stress and have also shown positive effects on reducing inflammation. Coconut oil, walnuts and chia seeds are powerful anti-inflammatory powerhouses.
Cardinal principles of anti-inflammatory diet
Dishing out healthy recipes does not involve slaving for hours over the stove. Here are some anti-inflammatory recipes, low in calorie but rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Beet Detox salad
Beet, coarsely grated 1 gram
Carrot, coarsely grated 1 gram
Apple diced 1 gram
Almonds, finely chopped, 1 tablespoon
Flax, hemp, or pumpkin seed oil 2 tablespoon
Lemon juice 2 tablespoon
Greens mixed 4 cups
Fresh parsley finely chopped 2 tablespoon
Garlic cloves, minced 2
Sea salt or pink rock salt ¼ teaspoons
Toss all ingredients except greens together into a large bowl. Mix in choice additions if necessary. Make the dressing up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate. Divide mixed greens between 4 plates and top with apple mixture.
White bean and chicken chili Blanca
Chicken, tenders or boneless, 1 pound
Extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoon
Onion, diced, medium 1
Garlic cloves 2
Beans, drained and rinsed 215 ounce cans white or otherwise
Corn kernels, fresh or frozen 1 cup
Green Chiles, chopped 14 ounce
Cumin powder 2 teaspoons
Chili powder 2 teaspoons
Cayenne pepper 1/8 teaspoon
Water 3 cups
Cheese grated 2 cups
Cilantro, chopped 2 tablespoons
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan, heat oil over high heat and chicken pieces and cook, stirring until brown for 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, and add onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent for 5 minutes. Add beans, corn, chilies, spices and water and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for an hour. Top each serving with a spoonful of cheese and sprinkling of cilantro.
Cucumber seedless ½
Plum tomatoes 2 small
Onion, finely chopped, divided ¼
Mustard 2 tablespoons
Sugar 2 tablespoons
White wine vinegar ¼ cup
Virgin olive oil ½ cup
Fresh dill finely chopped ¼ cup
Salt to taste
Black pepper freshly ground
Salmon fillets, skinless 4
Dice cucumber into ¼ inch pieces to peel or not to peel. Seed and dice the tomatoes into ¼ inch pieces and combine cucumber, tomatoes, half the red onion in a bowl and set aside. Whisk mustard, sugar, wine vinegar and remaining half of the shallots, stream in virgin olive oil while continuing to whisk.
Stir in dill and season dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Season the salmon with seafood seasoning and little black pepper. Heat the non stick skillet with a drizzle of virgin oil over medium heat and place salmon rounded side down and cook until golden and little crispy at the edges for about 3 minutes.
Flip and cook for 2 more minutes for a pink center and 4 minutes for opaque fish. Transfer salmon to dinner or serving plates, top with cucumber and tomato relish and cover with a liberal amount of dill dressing.
Curried potatoes and poached eggs
Ginger, fresh 1 inch
Garlic cloves 2
Olive oil 1 tablespoon
Curry powder 2 tablespoon
Tomato sauce 115 ounce
Eggs large 4
Cilantro fresh ½ bunch
Wash and cut the potatoes into ¾ inch cubes and place them in a large pot and cover with water. Cover the pot with a lid and bring it up to a boil over high heat and boil potatoes for about 5 minutes or under they are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the cooked potato water. Peel the ginger with a vegetable peeler and scrape the skin and grate about 1 inch of ginger.
Sauté the ginger and garlic over medium low heat for about 2 minutes and add the curry powder to the skilled and sauté for about a minute more to toast the spices. Add tomato sauce and stir to combine and turn the heat to medium and heat the sauce through.
Add the cooked and drained potatoes to the skillet and stir to coat in the sauce. Add water if the mixture seems dry or pasty. Create four small wells in the potato mixture and crack an egg into each. Place a lid on the skillet and let it come up to a simmer with the eggs in the sauce for about 10 minutes or until cooked. Top with chopped fresh cilantro.
Water 4 cups
Steel cut oats 1 cup
Cinnamon ground 1 ½ cups
Coriander, ground ¼ teaspoon
Cloves ground 1 teaspoon
Ginger ½ teaspoon
All spice ¼ teaspoon
Nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon
Cardamom ¼ teaspoon
Maple syrup to taste
Cook the oats to package directions but include the spices when oats is added to the water. When finished cooking, add maple syrup to taste.
Anti-inflammatory diet principles
Understand that in addition to lowering inflammation, a more natural and less processed diet can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health. It is beneficial not only to reduce chronic diseases but also for improving the general wellness and quality of life.