It’s 2018! And with a new year the inevitable ‘new year, new me’ feeling comes out, so why not start the year off with a healthy eating push. If you’re anything like us, then the temptation of sweet treats can sometimes be too much to resist. While these foods are delicious, they might not be the best choices to keep PsA symptoms at bay. But healthy and nutritious foods can also be delicious, so we’ve partnered with dietitian Gemma Sampson to create a refreshing and super simple salad packed with anti-inflammatory foods designed to help combat PsA symptoms.
To make sure your salad keeps you full, boost it with some grains. Wholegrains contain plenty of filling fiber, and some studies have also shown that fiber-rich foods can lower blood levels of C- reactive protein1, a substance produced in the liver which can increase levels of inflammation in the body.
You can use any kind of grain you like, but we’re recommending quinoa, a) because it’s scrumptious and b) it’s rich in fibre and protein, and c) because it’s free from gluten, which some people can find is a source of inflammation2. To begin your salad, cook your grains per the instructions on the packaging and then leave to cool.
Any form of protein will work well, but flaked salmon fillet is a particularly good choice as it’s a rich source of Omega-3 and easy to mix into a salad. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to help some people with reducing inflammation, as it can decrease the number of tender joints and shorten the time people feel joint stiffness3,4.
Salad doesn’t have to just mean an uninspiring plate of greens, but it’s important that they make an appearance. Mix and match your veggies to suit your palate, but the selection below are easy to get hold of, compliment each other perfectly and could help to alleviate your PsA symptoms – a triple win!
- Broccoli is a great choice because it contains a compound called sulforaphane, which researchers have found could help prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA)5,6. Broccoli is also contains plenty of plant-based calcium, which is known for its bone-building benefits. Broccoli can actually be eaten raw if chopped up small, and by not boiling it you retain maximum nutritional value.
- Edamame beans can be picked up pre-cooked from most supermarkets and work incredibly well with fish. They’re another great source of omega-3 to help ward off inflammation.
- And don’t forget, avocados aren’t just for serving on toast… they’re full of monounsaturated fatty acids which again can help ward off inflammation7,8.
The finishing touches
Once all your salad ingredients have been assembled, toss in a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing. Olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs9.
As a final flourish, try sprinkling some pine nuts on to your salad. Not only are nuts satiating (meaning they’ll keep you fuller for longer), they’re also a good source of our old friend omega-310.
And there you have it: your very own PsA super salad. Dig in and enjoy!
1 North CJ, Venter CS, Jerling JC. The effects of dietary fibre on C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker predicting cardiovascular disease. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009. 63(8):921-33
2 Mäkelä R, Mäkilä H, Peltomaa R. Dietary Therapy in Patients With Inflammatory Arthritis. Altern Ther Health Med. 2017. 23(1):34-39
3 Wall R, Ross RP, Fitzgerald GF, Stanton C. Fatty acids from fish: the anti-inflammatory potential of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Nutr Rev. 2010. 68(5):280-9
4 Goldberg RJ, Katz J. A meta-analysis of the analgesic effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for inflammatory joint pain. Pain. 2007. 129(1-2):210-23
5 Davidson R, et al. Can sulforaphane prevent the onset or slow the progression of osteoarthritis? Nutr Bull. 2016. 41(2):175-179
6 Davidson R, et al. Isothiocyanates are detected in human synovial fluid following broccoli consumption and can affect the tissues of the knee joint. Sci Rep. 2017. 7:3398
8 Lyons C, et al. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Impede Inflammation Partially Through Activation of AMPK. FASEB. 30(1):296.5
9 Parkinson L, Keast R. Oleocanthal, a Phenolic Derived from Virgin Olive Oil: A Review of the Beneficial Effects on Inflammatory Disease. Int J Mol Sci. 2014. 15(7):12323-12334
10 Ros E. Health Benefits of Nut Consumption. Nutrients. 2010. 2(7):652-682