Frequently experiencing symptoms like being tired, achy, having headaches or digestive issues like gas or bloating, and even depression can indicate that there is chronic inflammation in the body.
And, although there are many causes of inflammation, what we eat plays an important role in contributing to, or healing from inflammation.
In the blog post entitled “Inflammatory Foods That Can Lead To Disease”, we see that when inflammation persists over time and becomes chronic, it can damage body tissue and lead to diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, NAFLD, even cancer.
Certain foods contain anti-inflammatory compounds, like polyphenols, that can help reduce inflammation.
This easy one-pan meal can be perfect for busy weeknights, and it contains foods that aid the body in reducing inflammation.
Health benefits from this meal
Lemons (Citrus limon) are fruits rich in vitamin C, citric acid, and polyphenols (1). Vitamin C is important for the proper functioning of the immune system as it supports barriers that keep pathogens from entering the body and protects against oxidative stress as a potent antioxidant (2). Lemons contain polyphenols like eriocitrin, hesperidin, and naringin which have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-viral properties based on their antioxidant activity (3). Polyphenols found in lemons, like hesperidin and naringin, also help regulate fatty acid and cholesterol metabolism and reduce levels of fats, cholesterol, and glucose in the blood (3).
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are one of the top five crops produced and are a staple of the American diet (4). Whole potatoes are a good source of minerals and vitamins like potassium which is required for proper cell function, vitamin C necessary for wound healing and collagen production, and folate needed for DNA production and red blood cell formation. The anti-inflammatory properties of potatoes are attributed to their proteins and antioxidant content (4).
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a culinary herb of the mint family. Basil contains nutrients like potassium, calcium, vitamin A (beta carotene), and lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids important to eye health as they protect eye tissue against oxidative damage (5) (6). Basil contains polyphenols, flavonoids, and terpenes, that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body (7). One such polyphenol in basil is rosmarinic acid, found to reduce pain and improve stiffness and physical disability in those with osteoarthritis (8). Rosmarinic acid was also found to improve inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and UC), atopic dermatitis (eczema), and asthma (8).
Lemon chicken with potatoes and kale recipe
3 tbsp. avocado oil, divided
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
6 cups kale, deveined & chopped
1 lb. potatoes, quartered
½ cup bone broth
1 large lemon, sliced & seeded
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
½ tsp. sea salt, divided
½ tsp. black pepper, divided
pinch of fennel seeds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil over medium heat in a large oven-safe skillet. Season chicken with ¼ (each) sea salt and black pepper. Cook about 5 minutes on each side and transfer to a plate. Add the remaining oil to the pan with the potatoes, sea salt, and pepper, and cook about 3-minutes. Add the chicken, broth, lemon slices, garlic, basil, and fennel seeds to the skillet. Place the skillet into the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until cooked. Add the kale to the skillet, stir, and roast until wilted, about 3 minutes. Enjoy!
Here’s another lemon chicken recipe.