Chronic inflammation can cause chronic pain, lupus, or other age-related illnesses. Although acute, short-term inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it becomes chronic and inappropriately attacks your body’s own tissues. Without inflammation, pathogens such as bacteria could easily take over your body and kill you. Beyond exercise and other healthy habits, incorporating anti-inflammatory recipes that can help you manage, prevent, or reverse the effects of inflammation through your diet. Check out some of our favourites below!
Mediterranean Roast Chicken with Turmeric & Fennel
Tumeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound (try out our ‘Golden Milk‘ recipe which uses turmeric too), which is used to flavour this dish while also making it a great anti-inflammatory dinner.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar, more for later
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- ¾ tablespoon ground turmeric spice
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- 1 large fennel bulb, cored, sliced
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced into half moons
- 6 pieces bone-in, skin on chicken (chicken legs or breasts, or a combination)
- 2 Oranges, unpeeled, sliced
- 1 lime, thinly sliced (optional)
- In a large bowl or deep dish, mix together olive oil, white wine, orange juice, lime juice, mustard and brown sugar to make the marinade.
- Then in a small bowl, mix together the spices: turmeric, garlic powder, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Now, add about half of the spice mix to the liquid marinade. Mix them together.
- Pat the chicken pieces dry and generously season with the remainder of the dry spice mix. Be sure to lift the chicken skins slightly and apply some of the spices underneath the skin.
- Next, add the seasoned chicken and the remaining ingredients to the large bowl of marinade. Work the chicken well into the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (if you don’t have time, you can skip the marinating).
- When ready, preheat the oven to 475°F. Transfer the chicken along with the marinade and everything else to a large baking pan so that everything is comfortably arranged in one layer. Be sure the chicken skin is facing up. Sprinkle a dash of salt and more brown sugar, if you like.
- Roast for 40-45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the chicken skin has nicely browned. The internal chicken temperature should be 170°F.
Baked Turkey Meatballs
Oregano is a Mediterranean herb that is used for cooking and medicinal purposes, ranging from treating infections to repelling insects. It has an anti-inflammatory chemical known as beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP), which may help treat disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis.
- 1 pound ground turkey (an alternative would be chicken)
- ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs, white or whole wheat
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- ½ tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- ½ tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 2-3 tablespoons milk (or water)
- Firstly ensure that you preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Then line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and milk in a large bowl. You may need to adjust the amount of milk you use based on how dry your bread is, etc. The mixture should be wet enough to stick together, but not loose.
- Using a teaspoon (for uniformity) or your hands, roll portions of the meat into approximately 1-inch balls and drop them onto a baking sheet. You should end up with 25-30 meatballs.
- Bake the meatballs for approximately 30 minutes, turning once, so that the meat is cooked through and all sides are lightly browned. You may add a garnish that your desire or just sprinkle some grated cheese for some additional flavor. This is also a perfect appetiser for holiday gatherings.
Salmon and Cauliflower Rice Bowl
Gluten and dairy-free, this bowl will soothe your digestive system with turmeric and salmon’s anti-inflammatory power. It’s filled with nutrients and fiber from the greens and liver-detoxifying enzymes in cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Salmon is full of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. The rosy pink color of salmon is due to carotenoids which also has anti-inflammatory properties.
- 2 salmon fillets, sustainably-sourced or organic
- 10-12 brussels sprouts, chopped in half
- 1 bunch kale, washed and shredded
- 1/2 head cauliflower, pulsed into cauliflower rice (you can use a whole cauliflower head if you wish)
- 3 tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 1 tsp curry powder/ground turmeric
- Himalayan salt
For the marinade:
- 1/4 cup tamari sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Next, line a baking tray and add chopped brussels sprouts. Coat with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt. Then, add to oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make a marinade by combining all ingredients in a bowl and whisking until combined.
- Remove Brussels sprouts after 20 minutes and add salmon fillets to the baking tray. Spoon marinade over salmon fillets and return to oven for a further 13 to 15 minutes, or until salmon is cooked to your liking.
- While salmon is cooking, heat a pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add kale and sauté until wilted (2 to 3 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.
- Heat remaining oil in a pan and add cauliflower rice. Season with 1 teaspoon curry powder and salt and sauté until cooked (2 to 3 minutes).
- Lastly, remove salmon and Brussels sprouts from oven and divide into two bowls. Add sautéed kale and cauliflower rice to bowls.
Crockpot Bean Bolognaise
Beans have strong anti-inflammatory properties. It has high COX-inhibiting that is stronger than aspirin. These are prostanoids which are important biological mediators that play a crucial role in the development of pain and inflammation in the body. So it is possible to get relief from pain and inflammation by inhibiting the COX enzyme.
- 1 medium-size onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14-ounce of can white beans (such as Cannellini, Great Northern, or Navy)
- 1 28-ounce of can crushed tomatoes
- Pasta (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a crock pot set on low.
- Cook for approximately 4-6 hours until all ingredients are tender.
- Serve as a chunky stew (add a ½ cup water to the mix if you prefer a looser consistency!) or as a sauce on top of cooked pasta.
Bell peppers and chili peppers are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups grass-fed ground turkey
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup onions, diced
- 1 2/3 cups sweet potato, diced
- ½ cup homemade tomato sauce
- Crushed red pepper to taste – optional
- Salt and pepper
- 2 big bell peppers cut in half
- Feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Next, add ground turkey and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Make sure to break apart the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
- Other than that, add onions and cook until onions are golden brown.
- Add the sweet potato, cover the skillet and cook until they are tender. It takes around 8 minutes.
- Always remember to stir occasionally. Next add tomato sauce, ground chili pepper, salt, and pepper to taste. If necessary, add more olive oil or a little bit of water to cook the sweet potato.
- Take the peppers and arrange in a greased baking dish. The cavity side is facing up.
- Fill each bell pepper half with the ground turkey-sweet potato mix.
- Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cooked and soft.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with feta and parsley and it’s ready to be served!
Spaghetti Squash Alfredo
Squash has vitamin C that acts as a powerful antioxidant has immune-supporting and has anti-inflammatory properties. Other than that, carotenoids, provitamins A, vitamins C and mineral manganese in squashes are also anti-oxidant powerhouses.
- 2-3 pound squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons brown rice flour OR whole wheat flour OR white flour
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Then, using a knife, poke several small holes in the exterior of the squash. This will allow some steam to escape the squash while roasting it in the oven—and prevent it from exploding!
- Place the whole squash on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 45 minutes to an hour, until the squash is soft to the touch, and water is starting to seep out.
- Once done, remove from the oven, and allow the squash to come to room temperature before slicing it in half lengthwise. Remove all of the seeds and any fibrous portions from the center.
- Meanwhile, make the Alfredo sauce. Place the oil in a saucepan set over medium heat.
- Add the garlic to the pan, and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, just until fragrant.
- Add the flour to the pan, and stir, allowing it to “toast” for a minute or so.
- Whisk the milk into the pan, incorporating the flour, stirring out any lumps as you go.
- Bring the milk to a gentle boil. The sauce will thicken as it warms.
- Once boiling, remove the sauce from the stovetop, stir in the yogurt, Parmesan cheese, and dried thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- With a fork, gently “shred” the interior of the spaghetti squash halves. It will resemble pasta!. Pour the sauce over each half.
- Lastly, broil the halves, just until bubbling, and the sauce is lightly browned. Serve out of the oven.
Green Edamame Spinach Hummus Pesto
Edamame is young soybean, which has the ability to reduce inflammation marker-C reactive protein, which is linked to cardiovascular disease.
- 1¾ cups cooked edamame beans
- 7 ounces fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon hummus
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional, but highly recommended)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or any other herb you like)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Mix all the ingredients except the spinach in a blender or food processor. Make it as smooth or as chunky as you like.
- Quickly sauté the spinach on medium-high heat until wilted, without oil. Use a tiny bit of water, if needed.
- Lastly, fold in the spinach in the edamame mix and serve over pasta. Recipe for minimalist!
Always consult your doctor before changing your diet. However, you may incorporate some of these recipes into your daily meals.
Photo Credits: Everyday Health, Medical News Today, Spoon University, Pain doctor and Redmart