If you eat a diet filled with processed foods and sugar, almost every aspect of your health may suffer. Foods that are high in processed fats and sugar may negatively impact your body's immune system and inflammatory response. (2) Unfortunately, the standard Western diet is high in both these types of foods, which may also negatively affect optimal heart health and hormone function, among others. (1)
A simple way to support your body's overall health 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, as well as include healthy ingredients, such as low-glycemic fruits, vegetables, and brightly colored spices.
Here are three recipes you can whip up at home that are loaded with healthy nutrients to support your body's inflammatory response.
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 antioxidant ingredients that may help support your body's inflammatory response 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.
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 antioxidant effects for your gut and overall health. (4)
Research shows that the bright red pigment in beets and beetroot juice can support a healthy blood flow. (5)
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 antioxidant foods you can find to support your body's inflammatory response.
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 antioxidant 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.
Contains turmeric which is a powerful antioxidant that can support healthy joints and overall welness. (6)
Contains black pepper, which contains the active ingredient piperine. Piperine may increase the bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric.
Provides you with ginger root which contains the ingredient gingerol, which is a powerful antioxidant. Ginger also promotes healthy joints. (7)
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.
Contains blueberries, which are one of the foods highest in antioxidants
Contains cinnamon which can help support healthy blood sugar levels (8)
Avoids refined sugar
4 cups of frozen blueberries
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp of salt
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.
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