Grilled salmon on fresh vegetables on wooden table

Chronic Pain-Friendly Recipes

Easy, Healthy Options to Boost Your Immune System

Learning about the connection between diet and chronic pain is an important piece of any integrated treatment plan. 

At Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, we are dedicated to finding multiple solutions to relieve your pain. Below is a collection of chronic pain-friendly recipes that will help boost your immune system and your taste buds at the same time.

Rainbow Fruit Skewers 

Flatlay photo of rainbow fruit skewers, chronic pain-friendly recipe

“Eating the rainbow” provides your body with phytonutrients that help protect it from disease. With these simple skewers, you can accomplish that in a single breakfast or snack.

Ingredients

  • 7 raspberries
  • 7 hulled strawberries
  • 7 tangerine segments
  • 7 cubes peeled mango*
  • 7 peeled pineapple chunks*
  • 7 peeled kiwi fruit chunks
  • 7 green grapes
  • 7 red grapes
  • 14 blueberries
  • Wooden skewers

To assemble, slide one piece of each onto the skewer in the order listed. If it’s challenging to find wooden skewers, you can mix everything into a bowl and enjoy it with a spoon! 

* If mango is difficult to come by, replace it with cantaloupe. And banana chunks may substitute (or be an addition to) the pineapple. 

Pan-Seared Fatty Fish

Grilled salmon on fresh vegetables on wooden table, chronic pain-friendly recipe

Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids — essential fats for inflammation reduction. Because our bodies cannot generate these fats on their own, getting them from your diet is important. 

Healthline recommends 12 different fatty fish, including mahi-mahi, striped bass, and wild Alaskan salmon. Though finding the fish flavor you enjoy most may take some experimenting, cooking it doesn’t have to.

When selecting your filet, The Stay at Home Chef recommends finding the freshest possible — one with only a mild fish smell. 

For pan-searing, you’ll need:

  • fish fillets
  • seasoning or marinade (your choice)
  • cooking oil
  • acid (lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, etc)
  • heavy skillet
  • sharp knife

Trim the skin from your filets if you prefer not to eat it. Then sprinkle both sides with your seasoning (simple salt and pepper can do the trick), or marinate it for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your heavy skillet with a coating of cooking oil until the oil shimmers. Place your filet in the oil, and cook until it is ⅔ done. (Cooking time will change based on the thickness of your filet, but you’ll be able to see the color change from translucent to more opaque along the side of the filet.) Flip the filet over, sprinkle with your acid of choice, and cook the rest of the way through. You’ll know your fish is finished when it flakes off with a fork and is fully opaque.

Whole Grain and Legume Salad

Flat lay of a quinoa salad with broccoli, legumes, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes, chronic pain-friendly recipe

It’s easy to combine these two health foods into one meal, once you understand the basics. Though you may be concerned that cooking grains will be time-consuming and fussy, Epicurious recommends treating them like pasta by boiling them in water and draining them through a sieve.

Select whatever legumes you’d like to add (many are easy to find canned). Other vegetables, cheese, nuts, and dressing can also change up the flavor and texture. As with your fish, experiment to find the flavors you enjoy most.

If you’d like to talk about how your lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise, can help manage your pain, schedule an appointment by calling 770-929-9033 or reach out to us online.