I know I left you hanging for a week but I’m back! Last week we talked about inflammation and our diet. Now let’s talk about what foods to eat to quell the fire of inflammation. There are quite a few foods that are proven to cause chronic inflammation and they are unfortunately the foundation of the American diet. Foods like wheat (gluten), milk, alcohol, sugar, MSG, preservatives and food colorings are enemies of the immune system. Low fat, high carb diets have been discovered to cause inflammation too.
Also many of our oils like partially hydrogenated oils and Trans fats are big culprits. Surprisingly the polyunsaturated vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower and soybean oils are just as bad. They are loaded with omega 6s which are proven fire starters for sure. Our ancient ancestors ate a diet with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 1:1 and now our current diet is on the average 16:1 with it going up 200% just in the last 50 years. That is due to the obscene rise in process foods filled with these bad oils.
Consequently foods rich in Omega 3s like fatty cold water fish (i.e. salmon and sardines), pasture raised, grass fed meats and eggs, macadamia nuts and flax oil are powerful anti-inflammatory foods. The foods ginger, turmeric, onions, garlic, vegetables, fruit, dark leafy greens and green tea are your friends too. It’s actually pretty easy to remember what foods are anti-inflammatory, just think of whole foods that are intense in color and flavor. (I’m not talking Jelly Belly beans either) Whole foods are where ya want to go.
Eating clean proteins that you know where they came from is another thing to consider when reducing inflammation. Pick grass fed meats like buffalo and beef, and if possible, wild game, for the best results. Chicken and turkey can be impossible to find “grass finished” as they eat grains in the wild but you can pick organic, which I highly recommend.
I also enjoy eating ground chicken and turkey. It is so easy, low in fat for my lean days, and super tasty! I discovered these Thai chicken patties on cabbage slaw a few years ago and it has been one of our week night go to meals every since. It is easy, delicious and low in inflammatory foods. Here’s to a happy immune system and a body NOT on fire!
- Cabbage slaw
- 4 cups of purple and white cabbage, sliced thin
- Zest of one lime
- 1-2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of honey, warmed or thin
- 1 tablespoon of dark sesame oil
- ¼ cup of chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeno pepper, de seeded and minced
- 2 ripe avocados
- The patties;
- 1 pound of ground chicken or turkey
- ½ cup of green onions sliced diagonally
- 2 tablespoons of dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of coconut amnions or gluten free soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
- 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- ¼ cup of cilantro, chopped fine
- 1 large egg
- A squirt or two of sriracha
- For the slaw; Combine everything but the avocado and mix well. Chili for at least 15 minutes up to an hour. Serve with patties on top and slices of fresh avocado.
- For the patties; Get out a nice large bowl and add the ground meat and break up into small pieces. Plop all the other ingredients in there and mix well with hands. (yes, you have to get your hands dirty here.) Shape the meat mixture into 4-8 patties, depending on what you want. Lay on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will give the patties a little firmness to hold up better during the frying.
- Meanwhile over at the stove, heat about 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium high heat, in a large skittle and add the patties to the pan. Hopefully you can fit them all in there, cause it is SO much easier to do one batch. Fry about 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on how thick they are, till they are done. Serve immediately over the cabbage slaw and serve with homemade mayo mixed with some sriracha till it makes it pink. Sprinkle with a bit of cilantro for beauty. Nom nom!