It’s summertime and the eating is good! Well, it’s good if you are eating lots of healthy anti-inflammatory foods that is!
Don’t get us wrong here, we aren’t knocking inflammation. Like birthday cake, a little slice of inflammation is a good thing. Too much, however, is anything but good.
When you sprain your ankle, for example, and it swells up and turns pretty colors, that is inflammation at work. It’s screaming at your body “THERE IS DAMAGE HERE”, so your immune system can send all the repair guys to fix things.
Sometimes, however, inflammation just doesn’t know when to quit. Sometimes, inflammation becomes chronic because we don’t allow something to heal before we start over-using it again. Other times it comes from the foods we eat.
Food Can Cause Inflammation?
Yes, it certainly can. Some foods lead to chronic, low-grade inflammation while other foods can quell inflammation.
Most of the major diseases of our times, such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and dementia all have their start with chronic inflammation.
You can greatly reduce your risk of developing disease by choosing foods that are natural anti-inflammatories.
List of Foods to Avoid
We will tell you about some super summertime anti-inflammatory recipes, but let’s take a quick look at the worst offenders when it comes to foods that fuel inflammation, so you can avoid them as much as possible.
✓ Fried foods (such as French fries or potato chips)
✓ Refined carbohydrates (including white flour, crackers, donuts)
✓ Sugar-filled drinks (like soda, fruit punch, and most fruity drinks)
✓ Processed meats (hot dogs, sausage, and bacon)
✓ Red meat (beef, steak, hamburger)
✓ Unhealthy oils (including canola, corn, and most other vegetable oils)
✓ Unhealthy fats (lard, shortening, margarine)
You most likely know that the foods listed above aren’t good for you anyway, but most people are unaware of just how bad they are.
Fight disease and those ugly unwanted extra pounds by removing or limiting inflammation causing foods.
Our Top 4 Super Inflammation Fighting Recipes for the Summer
Let’s begin like our day begins; with breakfast!
This recipe only takes about 20 minutes to put together and looks like a little bowl of sunshine peeking through the clouds. Each serving has only 197 calories and is gluten-free to boot. Nothing beats this anti-inflammatory breakfast recipe in the morning!
This recipe serves 1 so if you want to share with your SO, double it.
Sunshine Quinoa Bowl
- 1 Cup of quinoa
- 1.5 Cups of unsweetened almond milk
- 3 Tablespoons of unsalted slivered nuts (walnuts, almonds, or cashews)
- 4 Tablespoons of raw honey or maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds (or amaranth)
- ¼ Teaspoon of salt
- 1 or 2 pinches of lemon zest
- 2 Cherry tomatoes (optional)
✓ Cook the quinoa according to the directions
✓ Allow to cool for 5 minutes after cooking
✓ Fluff with a fork and add all ingredients to the bowl
✓ Mix well and serve warm
Lemon and chia seeds are not only packed with nutrition, they have very few calories and are super anti-inflammatory foods.
Greek Style Chicken Burgers
A summer BBQ would not be the same without burgers on the grill, but when you are trying to cut out hot dogs and red meat, what is left?
Ground chicken burgers that’s what! This is a terrific alternative you will make again and again this summer. Best of all? It’s anti-inflammatory! Makes 4 burgers.
For the burgers
- 1 Pound of ground chicken
- 1 Red onion minced
- 1 Egg
- 2 Cloves of garlic minced
- ¾ Cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
- ½ Cup of fresh parsley chopped
- ½ Teaspoon of dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil (if cooking in a pan)
For the Greek sauce
- 1 Cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- ½ European cucumber, diced
- 1 Pinch of garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- ¼ Cup chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 Boston lettuce leaves (or other lettuce leaves if you can’t find Boston)
- ½ Red onion, sliced
- 2 Tomatoes sliced
- 4 Whole wheat hamburger buns
These instructions are for pan frying. If you want to grill the burgers, put aluminum foil on the grill and place the burgers on top.
✓ Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
✓ Add the onion to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook another minute. Set aside to cool
✓ In a large bowl, mix the egg, parsley, oregano, ground chicken and cooled onion/garlic mixture (add red pepper if you want to use it) mix well
✓ Add the salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs, mixing well
✓ Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
✓ Using an oven-safe skillet (such as cast iron) spray it with a non-stick cooking spray and turn on the fame to medium high
✓ Form the meat into 4 patties of equal size
✓ Place the meat patties in the skillet and sear each side until brown, about 5 minutes per side
✓ Transfer pan to oven and cook an additional 15 minutes or until patties are well done
Now Make the Greek Sauce
While the patties are cooking
✓ Mix everything except the parsley in a medium bowl.
✓ Once combined, gently stir in the parsley
When the Burgers are Finished
✓ Place each burger on half of the bun
✓ Top with ¼ cup of Greek sauce, two tomato slices, and two lettuce leaves
✓ Put the top half of bun on the burger and serve with other condiments if desired
This anti-inflammatory chicken recipe is sure to become a family favorite all year round.
Roast Sweet Potatoes and Oh My Gosh Guacamole
This sounds like an odd combination of flavors, but once you taste this, you will go bonkers for it!
This anti-inflammatory vegetarian recipe serves 4, however, in our experience, people eat so much of this that you might want to consider doubling it.
- 2 Large sweet potatoes washed and cubed
- 1 Teaspoon of olive oil
- ½ Teaspoon of salt
- 1 Large avocado cut in half and pit removed
- 1 Large clove of garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 Lime juiced
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 2-4 Tablespoons of water
✓ Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
✓ Cut your sweet potatoes into small, finger-sized pieces
✓ Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and spread evenly so they don’t overlap
✓ Drizzle olive oil over the top
✓ Turn the potatoes and move them around a bit to be sure each one is covered in oil
✓ Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt
✓ Bake for 45 minutes or until the tops just begin to turn brown
✓ While the potatoes are baking, make the sauce
✓ Scoop out the avocado flesh and put in a blender, along with the garlic, lime juice, and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt
✓ Blend until smooth, then slowly add the water and olive oil
✓ Blend until creamy
✓ Sweet potatoes are best when completely cooled, but if you can’t wait, you can serve them warm
Sweet potatoes are not only terrific anti-inflammatories, but they offer a ton of other health benefits, including protection from certain types of cancer.
Vegetable Medley Soup
This anti-inflammatory soup recipe is everything you want in a soup; quick, easy, and can be enjoyed warm or cold. Make a big pot, keep it in the refrigerator and you can enjoy a cup of coolness when temperatures rise.
This recipe makes 4 cups. We added some of the best anti-inflammatory veggies in this recipe, but you have other vegetables on hand, feel free to exchange them or add them to the pot.
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 Cups of vegetable stock
- 2 Garlic cloves peeled and sliced
- 1 Handful of peas (pods removed or use sugar snap peas whole)
- 2 Small carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 Handful of fresh green beans
- 1 Small onion (any color) diced
- 1 Handful of greens (your choice)
- 1 Large tomato diced
- 1 Summer squash, diced
- 3 Ounces of small elbow whole wheat macaroni pasta (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
✓ Prepare the green beans by cooking them for 3 or 4 minutes in a pot of salted boiling water. Drain and rinse the beans in cold water.
✓ In a large pan, add the olive oil, garlic, onion, carrots, and squash. Use a lid and leave under low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring once
✓ Remove the lid and add the vegetable stock, tomato, greens, peas and green beans
✓ Bring to a boil, add the salt, pepper, and pasta, if you are going to use it
✓ Reduce heat to a simmer and leave the lid on loosely
✓ Simmer for 10 -12 minutes
✓ Serve hot or cold
Do you have some favorite summer anti-inflammatory recipes? Please share them with us!
About the Author
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using services designed to help give long-lasting relief. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.