Monday, 20 January 2014

Anti Inflammatory

... stir fry.  That is to say, a stir fry packed out with ingredients which are supposed to have properties that counteract any inflammation in the body.  As a part of my war on ill health - made slightly tricky as it's still a mystery what is actually wrong with me - I am keeping a close eye on my diet and making sure that I am eating as much as possible of things that are supposed to be helpful in conditions that might be the one that is affecting me.  So, anything that's good for painful joints, muscle spasms, general inflammation and non-existent energy levels, goes on the menu.

To start with, olive oil.  Yes, it's the most expensive oil.  No, I would probably not be buying it if my budget was £10 a week.  But it isn't, and whilst the cheapest olive oil I can buy locally comes to £3.60 per litre ( as opposed to £1 a litre for cheapest sunflower),  olive oil is the one single oil that both conventional and alternative healthy eating lines agree is really, really good for you, especially if your joints creak.... So olive oil it is.

Then there is a rainbow of vegetables - yellow peppers, orange carrots, white onions, yellow sweetcorn, green savoy cabbage.... I had nothing purple to go into the stir-fry, but there are purple grapes to snack on afterwards, so that's a tick.

And then there is garlic. Lots of it.  Ginger - ground is fine when there is no fresh, and as I used up the last of the fresh tonight, ground it will have to be until the next shopping day at least - and chillies.  Homegrown, home stored in form of sweet chilli sauce.

Meat - bargainous pork steaks from a Lidl half-price weekend - separated into packs of two and frozen way back when. 6 packs still left in the freezer - the benefits of pork ?  Like turkey, rich in zinc, which boosts immunity, eases muscle spasms, and if you're a bloke (which I most decidedly ain't), aids fertility.  Just sayin'.

And all of the above served with soba (buckwheat) noodles - another Approved Foods bargain (5 packs for a £1,  two thirds of a pack per meal) - delicious, and as an added bonus, gluten free.  This is not a consideration for me, but nice to know for anyone who does have to watch it.

Other recommended foods for anyone with similar problems:  oily fish; groundnut oil, all nuts but especially almonds, avocadoes, sunflower seeds (variously rich in Omega 3 essential oils and Vitamin E).

Then there are the herbs and spices - as well as garlic, ginger and chillies, basil, turmeric and cumin also hit the spot.  And of course, dairy for calcium, probably best consumed in the form of probiotics (live yogurt, buttermilk, kefir), but also calcium-rich bone broth (stock). And for magnesium - nuts, seeds, wholegrains, leafy green veg.  Round it off with at least 15 minutes of sunshine every day, or take cod liver oil (Vitamin D). 

Funny thing though.... We've always been eating more or less like this.  Dread to think how awful I'd be feeling if that hadn't been the case....


  1. As you know I have similar problems. Bananananas seem to be a recurring theme in the suggestions. I just wish I actually liked them.

    1. Oook ? Yeah, banananas are often cited as the best source of potassium - but actually, white beans, white potatoes, avocadoes and mushrooms are all even better. And leafy greens, nuts and avocadoes are all a better source of magnesium. I like bananas, but the only dietary situation where they are irreplaceable is in diarrhoea and loose stools scenario ;o)

  2. A really interesting post Allegra. I'm having some skin itching problems at the moment, and I was just this morning thinking about trying some anti-inflammatory foods. Unfortunately the only one I could remember was turmeric. So this post was just the thing I needed to read. I do hope you're feeling much better soon.

  3. Liked this post, interesting info about the nutritional /health giving properties of foods. Lovely to eat rainbow fruit & veg, turmeric, garlic and ginger are favourites too. Are you self taught in this nutrition business or do you have a background in it? Just wondering, there's so much info here. Good luck with sorting your health issues, Vee x

    1. Thanks Vee - my mum went and trained in nutrition when my dad ended up in hospital with gall bladder issues, so I grew up with a firm belief that eating right is the foundation of feeling well and staying healthy, and as I work in an academic library, I try and keep up with information - however, I have no formal training myself, so the above should not be taken as advice - just a snapshot of what I try to do to help myself, and hopefully a starting point for further research for anyone who is interested in doing the same :o)