5 Anti-Inflammatory Staples You Need in Your Pantry
Are you looking to stock your pantry with must-have staples to will help you keep your inflammation levels under control? Look no further than these nutrient-packed foods that can help you stay healthy and energized every day!
1. Whole grains
Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and steel-cut oats are easy to prepare and a nutrient-rich way to feel fuller for longer, without the inflammatory side effects. Whole grains are rich in antioxidants and B-vitamins, help lower cholesterol, and provide prebiotics, which are beneficial in maintaining a healthy gut. Add some quinoa or brown rice to your favourite soups and salads, or start your day off right with a warm bowl of steel-cut oats! This is an excellent Basic Recipe for Steel-cut Oats, and you can add your own toppings such as shredded apples, raisins, or a swirl of maple syrup and sliced banana!
Foods found in the allium family like garlic, onions and leeks are a great way to add flavour to your favourite dishes while helping to regulate your immune system and providing anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic and onions have a longer shelf-life than other vegetables, so they are perfect for storing in your pantry. Try this delicious Sautéed Spinach in Garlic for an easy, nutrient-packed side dish.
3. Olive Oil
With so many choices for cooking oils in your supermarket aisle, it can be a bit overwhelming! Olive oil is a great choice for those with rheumatic conditions because it contains anti-inflammatory compounds and heart-healthy fats. Olive Oil has three different grades to use depending on how you will be cooking with it. The most common grade is Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is excellent for dressing salads, marinades and grilling. Classic Olive Oil is a great “everyday cooking oil” for sautéing, roasting, baking and frying. There is also a Light-Tasting Olive Oil grade available for when you want the benefit of olive oil without the flavour. For more information, check out this helpful Olive Oil 101 handout.
4. Dried Pulses
Canned beans, lentils and chickpeas may seem more convenient but are sometimes challenging to open. Cooking dried pulses can be an easy, pain-free way to add protein and fibre to your diet while helping to lower C-reactive protein levels, important for those with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Red and kidney beans are an excellent choice to improve immune function, lower cholesterol and decrease inflammation. For more information on how to prepare dried pulses, check here. And for a simple chickpea salad full of fresh flavour, try the Everything Green Chickpea Salad.
Looking for an easy, nutrient-filled snack? Look no further than the mighty nut! Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fibre. All of which help to lower your inflammatory response while keeping you feeling fuller for longer. You can always purchase roasted nuts, but they are easy to make at home too! Here is a simple, savoury Olive Oil Roasted Almonds recipe to keep your mid-afternoon snack attack at bay.
There you have it my fellow arthritis warriors, my top 5 staples for stocking your anti-inflammatory pantry. I wish you a pain-free week and happy eating!
Special thanks to Cheryl Anderson, 3rd-year nutrition student at Ryerson University who assisted with the research for this post.