Sunday, July 26, 2015

Anti-Inflammatory Salad with Avocado and Lemongrass Vinaigrette

More and more people realize that our food can either nourish or harm us. Sometimes a good health and well being are only one step away and all we need is a little knowledge and a conscious decision to make the right nutritional choices. 


Inflammation, also known as the silent killer, is one of the main causes of death in the western world. Food additives, unhealthy fats and sugar  in highly processed are the main culprits. But just as food can cause inflammation, it can also help reduce it. 

This simple salad combines foods that are anti-inflammatory. Ingredients are rather easy to gather, so make it as often as you can. Fresh lemongrass can be ordered online or purchased in Asian grocery stores.

Ingredients:

for the salad
  • head of lettuce or large bowl of baby greens
  • avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • purple onion, sliced
  • a few leaves of purple or Thai basil for garnish

for the vinaigrette
  • 2 Tbsp lemongrass, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 bird's eye chili pepper, chopped (seeds removed)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 6 Tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp cold pressed sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp tamari


Method:
  • Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender and whiz a creamy dressing. Adjust the taste to your personal liking and set aside. If the dressing is a bit too thick add a small amount of  purified water and whiz again. If it is too watery add a bit more sesame oil.
  • Arrange the lettuce on a platter. Add sliced avocado, onions and cucumbers. Pour the dressing and garnish with basil leaves. Serve right away and enjoy in good company!


Many people are unaware that chronic inflammation is a critical factor in the pathogenesis of many ailments and diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, degenerative joint diseases and neuro-degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Modern treatment of inflammation includes drugs that have very strong side effects. However, there is a simpler and much more pleasant way to reduce and prevent inflammation: consumption of anti-inflammatory foods.

Anti-inflammatory ingredients in this recipe:
  • Avocado is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods. They are a fantastic source of healthy unsaturated and monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid; phytosterols, including beta-sitosterol and campesterol; antioxidants, including vitamin E, vitamin C, carotenoids and polyphenols; vitamin K; and B vitamins; potassium and fiber. Researchers found that thanks to the unique combination of nutrients, avocado modulate inflammatory response in the body. 
  • Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is somewhat underestimated by health-conscious people. This is rather unfortunate since lettuce is known to fight free radicals, reduce cholesterol levels in serum, control proliferation of cancer cells, and suppress inflammation. Rich in minerals, vitamins and water, lettuce may also offer protection against the degeneration of neurons.
  • Lemongrass, also called fever grass, contains many valuable nutrients including vitamins A, C and folate; and minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper and potassium. Traditionally, lemongrass has been used to improve digestion, reduce fever and inflammation in the body, and to fight infections.
  • Ginger has been traditionally used to alleviate digestive problems and common cold infections, but research shows that this root can do much more for the body in pain since it contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. Gingerols were found to alleviate pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. They also fight colorectal cancer and the cancer of the ovaries.
  • Limes like all the other fruits from the citrus family contain vitamin C that is known to be a very potent antioxidant. They also contain unique flavonoids called flavonol glycosides as well as compounds called limonides that have demonstrated strong anti-tumor activity since they stop proliferation of the cancer cells. Limes also offer protection against inflammatory polyarthritis and help improve liver function.
  • Chili peppers contain anti-inflammatory compound called capsaicin. Scientists are currently researching capsaicin as a possible natural treatment for arthritis. Chili peppers also help fight cardiovascular disease and may facilitate weight loss.
  • Onions are master inflammation fighters. They contain potent flavonoid antioxidant quercetin and a compound called onionin A. Both are known to fight inflammation in the body.
  • Virgin olive oil is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods that we know. It contains various polyphenolic compounds that show strong anti-inflammatory activity. One of the compounds, oleocanthal, is as strong as the common anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen.

So much goodness in one salad bowl! Good health and vitality are only one meal away. Choose wisely.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2015

*Information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

         
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