We’re ever on the lookout for new ways to treat and reduce chronic pain — including physical exercises, cutting-edge technologies, and the connection between diet and inflammatory pain. Sharing inspiring and delightful recipes through the seasons is a fun way for us to help with your pain and your whole-body health. Here are five new ones to try as the blossoms (and your taste buds) begin to wake up this spring.
Easy to adjust to your flavor preferences, this zingy tea involves two key, readily-available anti-inflammatory ingredients. Stir together 1 ½ quarts of boiling water, half a lemon, 1” of fresh ginger root (roughly chopped), 2 Tbsp maple syrup, plus ground cinnamon and turmeric to taste, then steep it all for at least 10 minutes. You can strain and enjoy it immediately hot, or chill it overnight for deeper flavor and cooler temperature.
The bromelain found in fresh pineapple may help reduce pain and inflammation. For a sweet and smoky twist, try grilling it slowly over low, indirect heat (for up to 2 ½ hours) before firing up the coals further for your main dish of steak, chicken or fish. The flesh can then be scooped out to add to salsas or sauces — or sliced up and enjoyed all on its own.
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University suggest tart cherries have the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.” This bright relish can add fruity tartness to a turkey sandwich, pork tenderloin, or your morning yogurt.
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 cups frozen pitted sour cherries
- 1 Tbsp finely grated orange rind
- 1⁄4 cup orange liqueur
- 1⁄3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme, cooking for 1–2 minutes or until just golden. Combine in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, cooking at a slightly lowered heat for 30–35 minutes or until reduced and glossy. Cool completely to room temperature before serving or chilling.
Both salmon and avocado are recommended as staples in an anti-inflammatory diet. Paired here together, they make a unique and healthful alternative to your Friday night pizza.
- 4 Tbsp low fat cream cheese
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 store bought prepared pizza crust, or flour tortilla
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (garlic flavored optional)
- 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 cup reduced fat grated mozzarella cheese
- 3 ½ oz smoked salmon
- Half an avocado thinly sliced
- Fresh baby arugula
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese, dill and crushed garlic together in a small bowl. Drizzle the olive oil onto the pizza base, and spread the cream cheese mixture from edge to edge. Cover with the onion and ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted. Remove from the oven and top with the salmon slices, avocado, and arugula leaves. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top, and place back into the oven to warm the avocado and salmon through.
You only need three ingredients for this sweet and simple snack: one pint of fresh blueberries (not frozen), 1 Tbsp coconut oil, and 1 ½ cups of dark chocolate chips (preferably sweetened with stevia instead of sugar). Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil in a microwave or double boiler, mix in the washed blueberries, and then spoon the chocolate-covered berries in clusters on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer until the clusters are firm.
For more nutritional advice regarding your chronic pain, schedule an appointment online at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, or call us directly at 770-929-9033.