Reduce Inflammation with These 3 Delicacies

If you eat a diet filled with processed foods and sugar, almost every aspect of your health suffers.

There are two main types of inflammation—acute and chronic. (1) Acute inflammation occurs when you have an infection or if you injure yourself (like a sprained ankle). Acute inflammation is a vital part of the healing process and your body’s defense system.

Chronic inflammation is when inflammation lingers for months or years. It can be caused by slow-healing injury or poor dietary habits. Foods that are high in processed fats and sugar promote chronic inflammation. (2) Unfortunately, the standard Western diet is high in both these types of foods, which can increase your risk of developing heart disease or cancer. (1)

A simple way to reduce chronic inflammation is to cook more meals at home. When you prepare food yourself, you can control how much sugar you use and what types of oils go into your cooking.

Some of the best foods for reducing inflammation include fruits, vegetables, and brightly colored spices.

Here are three recipes you can whip up at home that are loaded with healthy nutrients that help you reduce your inflammation levels.

1. Pomegranate and Beet Dip

Instead of cutting yourself a slice of cake or pie for dessert, try treating yourself to this pomegranate and beet dip with veggies. The key anti-inflammatory ingredients in this recipe are the beets and pomegranate seeds.  

Feel free to experiment by adding other fruits and vegetables you think would go well in the dip. Kiwi, blueberries, or a few slices of mango can add an extra touch of sweetness to help curb your sugar cravings.  

Nutrition Highlights

  • 100g of tahini contains 81% of your DV of thiamin, 27% of your DV of niacin, 28% your daily riboflavin, 50% of your iron, and 73% of your copper.
  • Pomegranates have extremely powerful anti-inflammatory effects for your gut and overall health. (4)
  • Research shows that the bright red pigment in beets and beetroot juice can improve blood flow and decrease blood pressure. (5)

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of kefir or yogurt
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • ¼ cup beets
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of pomegranate juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • *Optional: ¼ cup of strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, or other fruit

Step 1: Finely grate beets into a medium-sized bowl.

Step 2: Whisk in the tahini, kefir, and other ingredients.  

Step 3: Continue to whisk until the ingredients are smoothly combined.

2. Turmeric Ginger Smoothie

Turmeric contains a bright yellow chemical known as curcumin. Curcumin is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods you can find.  

You don’t have to eat curry every day to get more of this spice into your diet. This smoothie is perfect for anybody looking for a way to benefit from turmeric. This smoothie also contains ginger root as well. Ginger is another powerful anti-inflammatory food that you can include in your diet daily.  

If you find that the smoothie is too runny, you can experiment by changing the amount of water you add. You can also use chilled milk substitutes like coconut milk or almond milk.  

Nutrition Highlights

  • Contains turmeric which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can lower your risk of developing certain cancers and reduce joint pain. (6)
  • Contains black pepper, which contains the active ingredient piperine.  Piperine increases the bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric.
  • Provides you with ginger root which contains the ingredient gingerol, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Ginger can reduce joint pain and is anticarcinogenic. (7)

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of frozen cherries
  • 2 cup of frozen/fresh strawberries
  • 3 cups of cold water
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tsps of chopped ginger
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tsps black pepper
  • ½ cup of powdered turmeric

Step 1: In a small frying pan, combine the turmeric and cup of water and mix on a low heat. Stir together until they combine into a paste. Add the black pepper.  

Step 2: Refrigerator the paste for at least two hours.

Step 3: Combine the paste with the other ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  

*Note: If you only have a small blender, you may want to half all the ingredients and make one serving at a time. Additionally, you can store the turmeric paste for up to a couple weeks in your fridge, so if you foresee making this smoothie a few times, you can make a larger batch.

3. Healthy Blueberry Crumble Recipe

If you have a sweet tooth but are looking for a healthy recipe to avoid your usual dessert, this recipe makes a suitable substitution. Not only does it avoid refined sugar, but it’s also loaded with blueberries, which are one of the foods highest in antioxidants.  

If you want to avoid the sugar in ice cream but still want to top it with something, try a lactose-free Greek yogurt.  

Nutrition Highlights

  • Contains blueberries, which are one of the foods highest in antioxidants  
  • Contains cinnamon which can help regulate your blood sugar (8)
  • Avoids refined sugar

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of frozen blueberries
  • 1 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon  
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Blend ¾ cup of oats in a blender until it makes a flour.  

Step 3: Mix the flour you made from the oats with the rest of the oats. Add melted coconut oil and cinnamon until the ingredients are smoothly mixed.  

Step 4: Spread out the blueberries on the bottom of a baking dish roughly 8 inches by 8 inches. Spread the mixture evenly over the blueberries.  

Step 5: Bake the mixture for 25-35 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool.  

*Note: If you have problems digesting oats, you can try substituting them with coconut flakes. If you find this recipe isn’t sweet enough to your taste because you're used to eating sugary desserts, try adding up to ¼ a cup of maple syrup. Over time, lower the amount you use until your taste buds become accustomed to eating low sugar food.  


Quick Disclaimer

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. Readers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither the author(s) nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or person reading or following the information in this educational content. All readers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Sources


1. Bengmark S. Curcumin, an atoxic antioxidant and natural NFkappaB, cyclooxygenase-2, lipooxygenase, and inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibitor: a shield against acute and chronic diseases. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2006;30(1):45-51.

 

2. Dinicolantonio JJ, O'keefe JH. Importance of maintaining a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio for reducing inflammation. Open Heart. 2018;5(2):e000946.

 

4. Zarfeshany A, Asgary S, Javanmard SH. Potent health effects of pomegranate. Adv Biomed Res. 2014;3:100.

 

5. Sengupta A, Ghosh S, Bhattacharjee S. Allium vegetables in cancer prevention: an overview. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2004;5(3):237-45.    

 

6. Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A Review of Its' Effects on Human Health. Foods. 2017;6(10)

 

7. Mashhadi NS, Ghiasvand R, Askari G, Hariri M, Darvishi L, Mofid MR. Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence. Int J Prev Med. 2013;4(Suppl 1):S36-42.

 

8. Rao PV, Gan SH. Cinnamon: a multifaceted medicinal plant. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:642942.

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