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August 21, 2015

The anti-inflammatory pantry

by Helene van den Berg
MUST HAVES BENEFITS USES
FATS AND OILS    
Avocado oil Monounsaturated fat; more heat stable than olive oil. Frying, sautéing, roasting, grilling, dressings, marinade
Coconut oil Energy; cholesterol-free Sautéing; butter replacement
Flaxseed oil Omega-3 Dressings, smoothies (no heating); refrigerate
Grape seed oil Does not oxidize at higher temperatures Frying, sautéing, roasting, grilling
Extra virgin olive oil Monounsaturated fat with unique antioxidant polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory properties. Light sautéing, dressings, marinade.

MUST HAVES BENEFITS USES
     
NUTS AND SEEDS    
Almonds Healthy fats to decrease inflammation; lower cholesterol, rich in vitamin E Snacking, salads, toppings, almond butter, almond milk
walnuts Highest amount of omega 3’s of all the nuts; anti-inflammatory phytonutrients Snacking, salads, toppings
Pumpkin seeds Diverse blend of antioxidants; good source of magnesium, iron, zinc Keep in airtight container
GRAINS AND LEGUMES    
Buckwheat
 

(flour)

Nourishing fruit seed; gluten-free; good flour alternative for those avoiding wheat or gluten. Soups, stews, grain dishes; flour replacement; keep flour sealed in freezer
Legumes
 

(chickpeas, lentils, navy, black, pinto beans

Excellent soluble fiber source; plant-based protein; gluten-free; essential nutrients Soups, stews, grain dishes, salads
Quinoa
 

(flour)

Only grain that is a complete protein; gluten-free Soups, stews, grain dishes, salads
Rice
 

(flour or whole; red, brown, black)

Fiber; antioxidants that protect against type 2 diabetes; gluten-free Soups, stews, grain dishes, salads
HERBS AND SPICES    
cinnamon Regulate blood sugar; inhibits release of pro-inflammatory messengers Fruit, oatmeal, smoothies, stews, chili
cumin Stimulate digestive enzymes; contains cancer-preventing compounds Vegetables, beans chili, dips, marinades
Ginger
 

(dried/fresh)

Contains anti-inflammatory compound gingerols; immune boosting Smoothies, dressings, vegetables, desserts, teas
 

Dried: pantry;

Fresh: refrigerate

Oregano
 

(dried/fresh)

Excellent source of Vitamin K (regulate body’s inflammatory processes Vegetables, beans, chili, dips, marinades
Rosemary
 

(dried/fresh)

Stimulate immune system, decrease inflammation, improve circulation Beans, vegetables, chili, dips, marinades
Turmeric
 

(dried/fresh)

Contains curcumin – powerful anti-inflammatory Curries, soups, stews, vegetables, lentils, rice

NOTE: Fasting or juice cleanses as a method for reducing inflammation are not long lasting, but fleeting at best! The elimination diet is the best method for diagnosing food allergies.

TIPS:

  • Take a break from possible pro-inflammatory vegetables in the nightshade category, including potatoes, peppers and eggplant. They contain alkaloids, which some people have difficulty breaking down.
  • Too many tomatoes could worsen your arthritis.
  • Focus on the nourishing foods you CAN EAT during an elimination diet, NOT on those you can’t eat!!
  • During an elimination diet, wean yourself off caffeine and sugar and start drinking water!!
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