3 Meals to Fight Inflammation

September 5th, 2013

fightinflammation

As a functional medicine physician, I believe that inflammation is the root cause of most illnesses. Whether you struggle with digestion, energy, depression, or weight, my approach to healing always aims to reduce inflammation. The majority of our inflammation comes from our diets and our guts. For this reason, my first step in helping to restore the health of my patients is to change their diet and heal their gut.

Want to kick the inflammation? Try my one-day kick-starter!

Breakfast

Smoothies are a super easy breakfast option if you’re pressed on time in the mornings.  Below is one of my favorite smoothies that will help to stop inflammation and heal your leaky gut at the same time. Breaking away from the typical ‘green smoothie’, this recipe incorporates nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices to help combat your daily inflammation.

Doctor Designed Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups of unsweetened flax milk
  • ½ cup frozen mangos
  • ½ cup fresh papaya
  • ¼ cups walnuts
  • ½ inch fresh ginger root
  • ½ inch fresh turmeric root
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 scoop L-glutamine powder *
  • ¼ teaspoon probiotic powder*

Method:

Place the flax milk in the blender first and then add the remaining ingredients. If you have a Vitamix you will not need to grind the nuts or seeds prior. If you do not have a powerful blender, I recommend grinding the nuts and seeds in a coffee grinder before placing them in the blender.

*You can make the smoothie without these if you choose. I personally use them daily in all my smoothies. I also recommend using all organic ingredients if possible.

This recipe is approved on The Myers Way®.

Anti-inflammatory and gut healing ingredients:

Mango has various antioxidant compounds like quercetin and isoquercetin, which help to protect the body against colon cancer. It’s also filled with Vitamin A, C, and many different carotenoids that help to boost the immune system and fight inflammation.

Papaya has several proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes called papain and chymopapain that lower inflammation and improve healing. It is also high in vitamins C, E and beta-carotenes, which are good at reducing inflammation.

Ginger has high levels of gingerol, which gives it its natural spicy flavor, and acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body.

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family that contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Turmeric itself has anti-bacteria and anti-fungal properties as well.

Cinnamon has been shown in studies to reduce levels of cytokines (inflammatory regulatory molecules) in the body. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are potent anti-inflammatory aids.

Lunch

Salads are some of my favorite lunch options. Whether you top them with salmon, avocado, nuts, or fruit, salads are a very versatile and delicious lunch option. Check out my Summer Salad recipe with mango and walnuts for an anti-inflammatory salad option. It goes great with some chicken or fish for protein.

Summer Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups mixed greens (arugula, mache, frisee)
  • 1 large pear, sliced thinly
  • 1 large mango, sliced thinly
  • 1/4-1/2 cup walnuts
  • 4 oz grilled chicken or fish of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of sea salt, to taste
  • Dash of ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

Arrange greens on serving plate or bowl.  Scatter pear and mango slices on top.  Add walnuts. Top with chicken or fish for added protein, if desired. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, salt and pepper.  Drizzle over salad and serve.

This recipe is approved on The Myers Way.

Anti-inflammatory and gut healing ingredients:

Olive oil contains polyphenols, vitamin E, and other carotenoids that act as antioxidants and can protect against cancer and heart disease.

Arugula is a great source of vitamin A and C, which are both powerful antioxidants.

Mango is also packed with vitamin A, C, and other carotenoids that help to boost the immune system and fight inflammation.

Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are potent anti-inflammatory aids.

 

Dinner

The possibilities for dinner are endless, but salmon and avocado are two of my favorite inflammation-fighting foods. This Salmon Stuffed Avocado recipe combines the two into one refreshing and delicious meal! Other fatty fish include trout, mackerel, and herring. If you get tired of one recipe, try to change it up a little. Add a pecan crust or mango glaze to your fish – get creative!

Salmon Stuffed Avocado

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados, sliced in half
  • 5 ounce wild-caught salmon, cooked and cut into small chunks (can also use pre-packaged boneless salmon)
  • ½ cup lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix gently by hand. Season with salt and pepper as desired.  Spoon mixture into each avocado half.

This recipe is approved on The Myers Way.

Anti-inflammatory and gut healing ingredients:

Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated oleic fatty acids, phytosterols, and many more anti-inflammatory nutrients. They are particularly effective at lowering inflammation of the joints, by preventing the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 in the connective tissue.

Salmon and other oily fish are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which inhibit the body’s inflammatory response process.

Seek out an integrative practitioner or functional medicine physician to help guide you as you fight inflammation.

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