As we approach the change of seasons look to anti-inflammatory foods to reduce your aches and pains. "Inflammation is a natural process where the body fights infection or injury. Inflammation can manifest as pain, swelling and redness. Acute and chronic inflammation can be reduced with food.", says Joanna Chodorowska, owner of Nutrition in Motion.
Foods known to fight inflammation include cabbage, spices like turmeric root and ginger, olive oil, nuts, dark leafy greens, some fruits like pineapple and fatty cold-water fish. The good news is that all of these are quite common and are easy to incorporate into your meals every day. Yet for many people eating enough greens and fish seems to be the greatest challenge. "They don't taste good.", "I don't know how to cook them.", "My family won't eat anything green.", and "I don't like anything fishy.", are all frequent reasons why we don't eat enough of these staples. But the fact is that greens are the easiest to sneak into our meals and fish can be cooked up in minutes with little to no mess.
Greens like cabbage, spinach and some kale varieties are mild in flavor, are great in salads and can be easily hidden in smoothies and meatloaf. Others like collard greens and Swiss chard are tougher in texture and are best sauteed or braised. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are great simply prepared with a little olive oil and seasonings then grilled, baked, pan-seared or broiled.
This recipe is one of our client favorites, which we had Joanna tweak for us to give it an extra anti-inflammatory punch!
"Zest"-y Braised Greens
2 Tbsp olive oil + additional for fish
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1" turmeric root, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP honey or 1/2 TBSP pure maple syrup
2 lb any combination of dark leafy greens (e.g. Swiss Chard, Kale, Collards), rough chopped
1# fresh salmon or tuna fillets
Dried or fresh herbs to taste (bonus points for using anti-inflammatory rosemary)
Saute onion, garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and herbs in large pot over medium-high heat cooking until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, vinegar and honey or maple syrup. Gradually add greens, stirring until wilted. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes. While greens are cooking, brush salmon or tuna with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper and your favorite herbs. Bake, grill or broil until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve over greens.
Joanna Chodorowska is a holistic sports nutrition coach and owner of Nutrition in Motion. Her mission is to help uncover the real reason your body is out of balance, in pain, tired, stressed or suffering from GI stress. Click here to learn more.