Food For Thought: May Anti-inflammatory Recipes

Food For Thought: May Anti-inflammatory Recipes

April Breakfast Recipe – Gingerbread Oatmeal

The taste of a favorite cookie in your morning oats. Not only does this breakfast taste delicious but it starts your day off limiting excess inflammation. Rolled oats are gluten-free whole grains and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Whole oats are high in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. Most notable is a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats. Avenanthramides may help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps dilate blood vessels and leads to better blood flow. Coriander is full of antioxidants that demonstrate immune-boosting, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. Nutmeg is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds called monoterpenes, including sabinene, terpineol, and pinene. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that function in the same way as COX-2 inhibitors and is particularly beneficial to those with arthritis. Though there are not as many studies on the anti-inflammatory effects of cardamom in humans, research shows that supplements may increase antioxidant status by up to 90%. Combining all these spices is a great way to lower inflammation and adds depth of flavor to a simple breakfast staple.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cup old fashion oats – Use rolled oats, not quick/instant cooking oats.
  • 1 ½ tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Sweetener – Avoid using processed sugar. Try sweetening with stevia, honey or maple syrup

 

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a pot
  2. Add the oats
  3. Add the spices
  4. Reduce heat to keep oatmeal at a low simmer
  5. Stir occasionally until the oats are done (around 20-30min)
  6. Add your choice of sweetener and serve
  7. Cooked oats can be stored in an air-tight container for up to three days

 


 

May Lunch Recipe: Spinach with Grilled Chicken Wrap

When following an anti-inflammatory diet, it is always a good idea to avoid red meat. Red meat can increase inflammation. Try instead to stick to lean meats like turkey, chicken, and fish. Spinach is a wonderful source of nutrients that reduce inflammation. In addition to Vitamin E, spinach a great source of anti-inflammatory compounds, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Parmesan cheese offers a reasonable amount of the fatty acids. These fatty acids play a role in reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and improving vascular function. Garlic contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, garlic can help fight inflammation and may even help prevent cartilage damage from arthritis. In addition to its use as a natural sweetener, honey is used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial agent. Eating local honey can also help ward off seasonal allergy symptoms. Whole grains tend to be high in fiber. Fiber has body weight–related anti-inflammatory properties. With its lower energy density, a diet high in fiber has been linked to lower body weight, alleviating obesity-induced chronic inflammation evidenced by reduced amounts of inflammatory markers in human and animal studies.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces grilled chicken, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups baby spinach, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ coddled egg (cooked about 1 minute)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil
  •  salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large wholewheat tortillas

 

Instructions:

  1. The first step requires you to make a coddled egg, most of us do not have an egg coddler but don’t despair it can be easily done using a small ramekin.
  2. Place the ramekins into a pot and fill with water so it reaches halfway up the ramekins. Remove the ramekins and use coconut oil to grease them inside. Crack the egg into each ramekin.
  3. Bring the pot of water to a boil, then carefully place the ramekins into the pot.
  4. Cook for about 7 minutes and CAREFULLY remove the ramekins from the pot. Use a small spatula to remove the egg from the ramekin.
  5. In a bowl, mix together the half of a coddled egg, minced garlic, mustard, honey, lemon juice and coconut oil. Whisk until you have formed a dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the spinach, chicken and cherry tomatoes and toss to coat with the dressing and ¼ cup of the shredded parmesan.
  7. Spread out the two wholewheat tortillas. Spread the salad mixture over the two wraps and sprinkle each with ¼ cup of parmesan.
  8. Roll up the wraps, slice in half and enjoy (best when eaten immediately)

 


 

May Dinner Recipe: Stuffed Red Peppers

Don’t we all enjoy a rich tomato marinara sauce? When at restaurant, it’s often served with heavy rich pasta dishes. Why not try these stuffed red peppers to still get the delicious taste of the sauce while sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet? Bell peppers—especially the bright-red ones—are high in antioxidants and low in starch. Similar to spicy peppers, sweet bell peppers contain the chemical compound capsaicin, which is known to help reduce inflammation and potentially even pain. The tomato is a nutritional powerhouse. Tomatoes in the marinara sauce are high in vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, an antioxidant with impressive anti-inflammatory properties. If you buy a bottle of marinara sauce, opt for one that uses extra virgin olive oil and is low in sugar. Garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties are thought to be due to it modulating cytokines resulting in the inhibition of tumor necrosis factor in the surrounding tissues. A protein found in feta cheese called histidine, when combined with vitamin B6 undergoes a molecular process to become histamine, a compound that provides anti-inflammatory benefits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 3 Red bell peppers
  • 2 Cups marinara sauce (this can be bought but use one low in sugar)
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 10 oz spinach
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup feta cheese

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil, (for easy clean up), coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Wash the red peppers and cut around the stem to remove.
  3. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs inside the peppers.
  4. Cook ground turkey in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Stir and break up the turkey while it’s cooking. When turkey is almost completely cooked through, add the sauce and seasonings to the pan. Stir and continue to cook until the turkey is no longer pink.
  5. Add the spinach and parmesan to the pan, stir until the mixture is well combined.
  6. Add ½ a cup of the mixture to each of the red pepper halves.
  7. Top with a sprinkle of feta and bake for 20-30 min.
  8. Allow to cool slightly after removing it from the oven and enjoy!

 


 

May Dessert: Avocado Brownies

People with a sweet tooth can struggle with anti-inflammatory eating because of the need to avoid processed sugar. Luckily, there are a number of alternatives that still satisfy the need for a sweet treat after your main meal. Avocados are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fat and antioxidants, which can dampen your body’s inflammatory response and have been touted as a way to offset other poor food choices. Applesauce contains about the same amount of fiber as whole apples. Fiber has a lower density energy which is linked to a lower body weight. This helps to dampen obesity induced inflammation. Maple syrup contains a molecule called quebecol which has good anti-inflammatory properties. Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants called flavanols, which reduce inflammation in the body by keeping endothelial cells within the arteries healthy. For the greatest benefit look for dark chocolate which is at 70% cocoa. Hazelnuts are considered an excellent anti-inflammatory ingredient as they are the second richest source of monounsaturated fatty acids among nuts and because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phenolic compounds. So, beat the sugar cravings and eat this delicious dessert guilt free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (replace with 1 large mashed banana if you don’t have applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed (alkalized) cocoa powder (avoid regular cocoa powder as it can result in bitter tasting brownies).
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts (optional)

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a blender or food processor combine avocado, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract
  3. Add these ingredients to a large bowl and whisk in eggs
  4. Add in sifted coconut flour, sifted cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda to the mixture and stir until well-combined
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and hazelnuts
  6. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with coconut oil and add batter
  7. Place in oven to bake for around 25 minutes (cook for slightly less if you like a soft centre or longer if you prefer a more cake like consistency)
  8. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting into 16 brownies
  9. Place in a container in the fridge to extend storage time
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation
arthritisresearch@curearthritis.org

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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