Lets talk about inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to stresses, toxins, germs, harmful substances, injury, and environmental pollutants. The process involves immune, vascular, and cellular biochemical reactions which work together to remove the offenders and protect our tissues from becoming damaged. So this is a good thing right? Yes, inflammation is a defense mechanism that is completely necessary in certain circumstances. But when inflammation becomes more frequent because of things such as poor diet, increased stress, ingestion of toxins, and other factors, this becomes a serious threat to our health.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer, heart disease, alzheimers, diabetes, and many other chronic diseases( 1,2,3) . If you are interested in learning more about this I have cited a few articles that discuss the mechanisms for the development of these diseases.
Normally, it is standard protocol to reach for NSAIDs or over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs in order to temporarily cure our symptoms. The problem is that frequent use of these over the counter drugs is associated with ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, and intestinal bleeding.
So what can we do to control inflammation in the body and protect our health naturally? Well, one of the most powerful ways is through diet. What we put into our bodies is incredibly important and can affect our organs, digestive system, brain, skeletal system, and skin. There are a several steps you can take to fight inflammation:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Eat a good source of omega 3 fatty acids (such as fish, fish oil, and walnuts)
- Eat plenty of whole grains (brown rice, bulgar wheat, etc)
- Eat lean protein sources (chicken, fish, cut back on red meat and full fat dairy foods)
- Minimize saturated and trans fats
- Avoid refined foods and processed foods
- Consume alcohol in moderation
- Drink plenty of water
- Add a variety of spices (ginger, curry- has turmeric in it)
Now that last one (add a variety of spices) is underrated in my opinion. It’s amazing how adding a few spices to a stir fry or marinade can really add a powerful boost of anti-inflammatory properties while adding delicious flavor. You can find these spices in foods, supplements or even tea. My mom recently bought a big bag of turmeric powder and it’s been hanging out in the fridge for a few weeks because she wasn’t sure how to use it. So naturally I decided to come up with a recipe to incorporate the powerful anti-inflammatory spice, turmeric.
That leads me to my new recipe that is no bake, super easy, and delicious. I present to you my coconut, almond, turmeric super balls. Yes, I said SUPER BALLS. They are loaded with healthy fats, fiber, and two powerful teaspoons of turmeric. They are just sweet enough from the coconut butter with no added sugars. Now I know it might not sound like a recipe that the average Joe would like, but I promise you won’t regret it once you see what these flavors do when combined.
What you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup coconut butter
- 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (alcohol free)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat coconut (extra for coating)
Mix shredded coconut and coconut butter in a bowl (coconut butter should be smooth so you may need to microwave for about 10 seconds)
Then add the rest of the ingredients until combined
Roll into whatever size balls you want
Roll in extra coconut, and place in the fridge for about 20 min to harden
1) E. E. Calle and R. Kaaks, “Overweight, obesity and cancer: epidemiological evidence and proposed mechanisms,” Nature Reviews Cancer, vol. 4, no. 8, pp. 579–591, 2004.
2) E. Shacter and S. A. Weitzman, “Chronic inflammation and cancer,” Oncology, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 217–232, 2002.
3) S. Rakoff-Nahoum, “Why cancer and inflammation?” Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, vol. 79, no. 3-4, pp. 123–130, 2006