One inquisitive omnivore’s journey towards healthier and more compassionate eating…
(MEATLESS/VEGETARIAN RECIPE) Since starting my quest for a healthier and more compassionate lifestyle, I’ve been drinking lots of smoothies—practically one every morning since I began.
I’m eating more fruits and vegetables than I ever have, I feel healthier, and it makes a delicious breakfast. The thing is, I’ve been pretty much having the same thing everyday. I may switch it up a little depending on what I have on hand, but it’s basically some variation of my spinach, kale, blueberry & apple concoction.
This week I decided to shake things up a bit.
I suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a severe pain and tightening of the muscles around my jaw. My chiropractor, who’s also an alternative health professional, recommended I eat foods that help fight inflammation naturally.
Since my TMJ’s been flaring up a lot lately, I thought it was time to take his advice and create the perfect anti-inflammatory smoothie. These are some of the foods he suggested:
- Pineapple – contains bromelain that helps reduce swelling and inflammation in the body
- Cinnamon – regular use has been shown to increase mobility in arthritis patients due in part to its anti-inflammatory properties
- Ginger & Tumeric – have been shown to reduce inflammation and aid in digestion
- Beets – rich in a compound called choline which helps detoxify the liver and fight inflammation on a cellular level. Eating detoxifying foods naturally decreases the amount of inflammation in the body.
- Chili & Cayenne peppers – rich in capsaicin, a chemical used in topical creams that reduce pain and inflammation
- Soy – contains isoflavones believed to help lower inflammation levels in women
- Nuts – contain healthy omega-3 fats and antioxidants that help fight and repair the damage caused by inflammation
- Dark Leafy Greens – contain vitamin E which studies have shown may play a key role in protecting the body from pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines
- Berries – help fight inflammation because they’re low in fat and calories and high in antioxidants
- Avocados – contain a fat called phytosterols that helps to reduce the amount of pain and inflammation in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
PINEAPPLE BERRY ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SMOOTHIE
(Serves 2, 218 calories/11.5 g protein each)
- 1 cup pineapple
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 cup kale
- 1 cup swiss chard
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp ginger, peeled & finely grated
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp almond slivers
Blend & enjoy!
The ginger has a bit of a kick, but combined with the pineapple’s sweetness it really gives the smoothie a delicious and refreshing flavor. The Pineapple Berry Smoothie will definitely make its way into my morning smoothie rotation. As far as the anti-inflammatory qualities—still too soon to tell, but I’m hopeful.