Inflammation is more than just a buzzword. It’s a chronic problem when it comes to health and many people suffer from inflammation in the body on a day-to-day basis. Everything from joint paint and ongoing headaches, to more pronounced conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disorders and more can be signs of inflammation in the body.
Breakfast is a key element to immune system support, blood sugar stabilization and fueling up your body for the day. Processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines, and foods high in sugar and saturated fat can spur inflammation. A cup of coffee and a bagel or skipping breakfast isn’t going to energize, empower or heal the inflammation that you may be dealing with (or that you may not yet see!), or help strengthen your immune system.
Skipping breakfast or poor eating habits deprive your body of the fuel it needs to function properly. When we don’t fill our stomach with foods that contain protein, good fats, vitamin and minerals that support health, our body has nothing to run on and that can lead to trouble. We typically wake up with low blood sugar. If we don’t choose foods that raise it gently (protein, fat, fibre) and instead select foods that spike it (bagel, sugary cereal, muffins), it will lead to increased stress and inflammation due to cortisol spikes, greater hunger and increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Reducing inflammation in the body starts with a nourishing breakfast. Here are three delicious anti-inflammatory breakfast recipes to start your day.
1.Energizing Pineapple Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie
Why it’s good for inflammation: Pineapple contains bromelain, a type of proteolytic enzyme which helps the body fight inflammation. Turmeric and ginger are anti-inflammatory as well, while the chia seeds contain important omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s are essential fats the body cannot produce on its own and must get from food. They are an important part of cell membranes and are involved with the action of hormones that regulate inflammation. Immune supportive, blood sugar stabilizing protein powder rounds out this smoothie to offer you a powerhouse morning start.
- 1 cup brewed and cooled green tea
- 2 cups spinach or kale
- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- ⅔ cup cucumber, peeled and cut into large chunks)
- ½ cup frozen mango chunks
- ½ of a medium banana, peeled
- ½” fresh ginger – peeled and cut from stalk (about ½ tsp)
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- 3 mint leaves - rough chopped
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 4-5 ice cubes (or more or less to personal desired consistency)
- Combine all the ingredients, except the chia seeds, in a high speed blender.
- Add chia seeds at the end of the blending process so they don’t stick to the blender container.
- If you like your smoothie thicker, add ice cubes and blend until desired consistency is met.
2. Avocado Toast with Egg
Image: iStock/Vladislav Nosick
Why it’s good for inflammation: Eggs sometimes get a bad rap, but when you buy pastured (not pasteurized) eggs they are a great source of protein that provides vitamin B12, selenium and healthy omega-3 fats. Protein helps to stabilize blood sugar, B12 keeps your nerves and red blood cells healthy and selenium is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by inflammation.
Ghee is wonderful for our digestive tract, a major part of our immune system. Digestive problems are linked to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, dementia, cancer and more. A healthy gut is better at nutrient absorption and fighting toxins, both of which are good for reducing inflammation. Avocados contain healthy fats that protect against inflammation, while the addition of dark leafy greens provide a wide range of health-supportive phytonutrients.
- 1 slice of gluten-free bread, toasted
- 1½ tsp ghee
- ½ an avocado
- Handful of spinach
- 1 egg, poached or scrambled
- Red pepper flakes
- This combination is simple to create.
- Toast the gluten-free bread and top with ghee.
- Spread the avocado onto the toast. Place fresh spinach leaves on top of the avocado and then top all with a poached or scrambled egg and finish it off with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
- Enjoy open faced with a fork and knife, or add a second piece of toast to make it a sandwich.
3. Quinoa Chia Porridge
Why it’s good for inflammation: This recipe is a bowlful of warm goodness! Quinoa and nuts offer anti-inflammatory and blood-sugar stabilizing protein, the cashews offer creaminess and cinnamon also helps to blood sugar and reduce our inflammatory load. Add in some antioxidants and chia seeds to complete the wow factor for this breakfast. What better way to start your morning?
- 1 cup thick cashew milk
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup fresh organic blueberries (or frozen)
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp raw honey
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- Combine the quinoa and cashew milk in a saucepan and slowly warm over medium low heat.
- Stir in blueberries, cinnamon and walnuts until all are evenly warmed. Remove from heat and stir in raw honey. Top with chia seeds.
- Serve in bowls and top with raw cacao nibs for an added pop of antioxidants.
These are just a few of the many ways you can start your day with nutrition that fights inflammation. What is your favorite breakfast food? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Wishing you a day full of happy, healthy eating!
Header image: iStock/tvirbickis