Christmas is just around the corner. How exciting! The festive period is quintessentially indulgent – it’s a time for delicious, hearty meals and hospitality. There are many recipes to explore that are not only fun to create and delicious to eat but also help you manage your condition. By factoring in anti-inflammatory foods into your meals, you can potentially ease common symptoms like pain, stiffness and swelling.
Check out these inspiring anti-inflammatory festive recipes that will leave you feeling your best as we head into the New Year.
Baked salmon with pickled cranberries, parsley and pistachios
Over the festive period, there’s plenty of meat around. However, studies reveal that high consumption of red meat is associated with higher levels of inflammatory markers, so try opting for a fish dish instead. Fatty, oily options like salmon, tuna and mackerel are excellent choices due to their anti-inflammatory benefits.
This BBC Good Food recipe balances salmon with pistachios, parsley and homemade pickled cranberries for a special Christmassy feel. All these ingredients are believed to work as anti-inflammatories. Parsley is rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin c; pistachios contain high amounts of fibre, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin e and Omega-3 fats; and cranberries contain the highest level of phenols, a type of antioxidant, along with anthocyanins, which give the fruit its beautiful red colour.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8 people
For the pickled cranberries, which need to be made a week or two ahead
- 300ml cider vinegar
- 300g caster sugar
- 340g fresh cranberries
- ½ tsp whole cloves
- ½ tsp juniper berries
For the salmon
- 75g panko breadcrumbs
- ½ tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp sumac
- 1 lemon (zested)
- 5 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
- 1kg salmon fillet, pin-boned (you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
- 60g pistachios (crushed)
- ½ small bunch of parsley (chopped to serve)
For the full method, head to BBC Good Food.
Crisp and sticky kale and butter beans with balsamic vinegar
The Arthritis Foundation recommends kale as part of ‘The Ultimate Arthritis Diet’. The vegetable is rich in vitamin k, which dramatically reduces inflammation markers in the blood. This wintery side from Delicious Magazine is hearty and textured, featuring butter beans and balsamic vinegar – two other foods that can combat inflammation.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
- glug of rapeseed oil
- 2 400g tins drained butter beans
- 4-5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp granulated brown sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 150g roughly chopped kale
For the full method, head to Delicious Magazine.
Roasted broccoli and cauliflower
Broccoli and cauliflower are festive favourites – and they’re healthy too. Both cruciferous vegetables, which are in the same family as cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts, are low in calories, high in fibre and brimming with vitamins and minerals.
Follow this simple recipe from Eating Well, which roasts them with olive oil and garlic. You can also add in some turmeric – another natural anti-inflammatory. As a side, this dish complements a range of mains and you can jazz it up with some nuts and dressing to make an exquisite lunch.
Prep time: under 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves (smashed)
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
For the full method, head to Eating Well.
Double ginger cake
There are lots of different anti-inflammatory herbs and spices you can use in your cooking. Among them is ginger. It can lower the activity of chemical substances that promote joint inflammation, and according to the results of one study, has the potential to reduce pain and stiffness in the knee joints of osteoarthritis patients by 40%.
What’s great about ginger is it can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes. We love Jamie Oliver’s double ginger cake, which is whipped up using stem ginger and ginger syrup. We suggest taking it up a notch by serving this festive dessert with some inflammation-curbing fresh berries.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus cooling
- 8 pieces of stem ginger in syrup, plus 4 tbsp syrup
- 150g unsalted butter
- 200g golden syrup
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 250g self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 200ml milk
- 100g light muscovado sugar
For the full method, head to the recipe section of Jamie Oliver’s website.
What do you think of these festive recipes? Do you have some of your own suggestions you’d like to share? Please join and get in touch via our Facebook community page Together For Better Days. We’d love to hear from you!