May is National Arthritis Month – and you might be wondering what does that have to do with me? Everybody can benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet. After researching the correlation between nutrition and inflammation, I was amazed at the results. Did you know that arthritis is the 2nd most frequently reported chronic condition with over 100 different types?
Chronic inflammation (from environmental causes to stress and unhealthy diet) results in long-term tissue destruction and may be the underlying cause of chronic diseases such as some cancers, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis – and yes even aging!
But the good news is you can start now by eating nutrition-rich foods that work against the inflammation from the inside out. Eating Well to Fight Arthritis cookbook focuses on specific well-researched nutrients that reduce inflammation, and to help fight off disease in the future! I have lots of anti-inflammatory recipes but there are a few standout nutrients that are real power players in reducing inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the body to work properly and we must get them through diet as they are not made in the body. Research has found that omega 3 fatty acids can reduce joint pain from inflammation. Omega-3 supplements are quite popular, however, the body absorbs and uses the fatty acids much better from food. Food sources of omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, shrimp, tuna, soybeans and my most popular walnut recipe.
Along with omega 3 fatty acid, soybeans, or edamame, are also a good source of fiber and a great vegetarian source of protein. If you love chips and dip, then Guacamame is the best mix between guacamole, edamame and salsa. Guacamame is gluten-free and so easy to make, you can put all of the ingredients in the food processor and blend.
Vitamin C and vitamin A (carotenoids) are powerful antioxidants found to have both antioxidant and immune boosting properties. These vitamins are found in bell peppers, strawberries, sweet potatoes and spinach like in this Spinach Artichoke Dip. Did you know that bell peppers provide almost 3 times more vitamin C than an orange? Why not toss the chips and dip with bell pepper squares, cucumber and squash rounds.
Brunch doesn’t get more flavor-packed than Shrimp and Peppers with Cheese Grits from my anti-inflammatory cookbook! Nutrition packed with omega 3 rich shrimp and vitamin C loaded bell peppers – this tasty meal is a good-for-you delicious dish to serve any time of the day. If you’re not familiar with grits, serve over quinoa, couscous or your favorite grain as the shrimp and peppers pack flavor with all that nutrition.
- 3 assorted bell peppers, (red, green, yellow) seeded and chopped
- 1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds peeled medium shrimp
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup quick grits
- 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1. In large nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté bell peppers, tomatoes, and shrimp, cooking until shrimp are done, about 7 minutes. Add green onion.
- 2. Meanwhile, in nonstick pot bring milk and water to boil. Stir in grits. Return to boil, reduce heat, cover and cook about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese and Worcestershire sauce.
- 3. Serve shrimp over cheese grits.
- Calories 301 Calories from Fat 19% Fat 6g Saturated Fat 3g Cholesterol 158mg Sodium 496mg Carbohydrates 32g Dietary Fiber 2g Total Sugars 8g Protein 28g, Dietary Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat