Inflammation-Fighting Recipes for Senior Health


You might have heard a lot about why it’s so important to reduce inflammation in the body. But what does inflammation actually mean? According to WebMD, inflammation is “a process by which your body's white blood cells protect you from infection from outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.”

On the surface, that sounds like a very good thing. But the problem with inflammation is that sometimes, the body’s immune system is triggered by things that aren’t dangerous. This explains some autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis. Chronic inflammation, or the body in a constant state of trying to protect itself, can be linked to health problems such as diabetes, obesity, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and heart disease. About 40% of all Americans suffer from inflammation, so this is obviously a significant problem for over 133 million people[1].

When you are suffering from inflammation, you might notice symptoms that include[2]:

·         Joint pain and stiffness

·         Redness

·         Swollen joints that are warm to the touch

·         Joints that don’t move as well as they should

Other symptoms might include those similar to the flu, including fever, chills, fatigue, headaches, muscle stiffness, and loss of appetite.

Inflammatory markers have been associated with a risk of falls in the elderly[3]. In addition, the symptoms of inflammation, such as joints that don’t move well or fatigue, can easily lead to falls. A proactive approach with a medical alert system with fall detection is always a good idea for seniors. The handy emergency button alarms from Alert1 Medical Alert Systems can ensure that if you suffer an accident, help will be on the way immediately. If you are suffering from inflammation, strongly consider a medical alert device, which comes in at-home and on-the-go (mobile) options.

Fortunately, there are ways to combat inflammation in the body. One of those is through your diet. By choosing foods that are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, you might be able to ease the symptoms of inflammation or avoid it altogether. Here are some great recipes to do that.

Nutritious Recipes for Seniors to Reduce Inflammation

These recipes each pack a punch against inflammation with at least one ingredient that is known for fighting it. Combine several of these recipes to create delicious meals throughout the day.

And when working in the kitchen, it’s a great idea to have a medical alert pendant at the ready. That’s because many accidents occur in the kitchen, and you want to be able to summon help immediately if an emergency occurs.


Baked Oatmeal with Berries

Tiny berries look like jewels when sprinkled over oatmeal. They are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also filled with anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties[4]. The International Journal of Molecular Sciences touts strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cranberries as the best sources of compounds to battle inflammation, among other issues you might suffer from. Any time you can pop one of these berry gems into your mouth, either as part of a meal or a healthy snack, you’re doing something good for your body.

·         1 ½ cups mixed berries

·         1 ½ cups milk

·         2 eggs

·         4 tbsps. sugar

·         4 tbsps. melted butter

·         ½ tsp. salt

·         ¼ tsp. vanilla extract

·         1 ½ cup rolled oats

·         ¼ cup chopped nuts of your choice

Butter an 8-inch square baking dish and heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle the berries evenly in the dish. Whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, melted butter, salt, and vanilla. Stir in the oats. Pour the mixture over the berries. Sprinkle the oatmeal with the chopped nuts and bake for about 45 minutes or until the dish is puffy and golden.


Herbed Salmon Patties

Packed with Omega-3, antioxidants, and so much more, different types of fatty fish can work wonders against inflammation. Some of the best options include sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and the ever-popular salmon[5]. The oils present in the fish can reduce inflammation by metabolizing into compounds known to fight inflammation[6]. In addition, Healthline says that canned salmon delivers the additional benefits of B12, selenium, potassium, and a solid protein punch.

·         1 can of salmon, drained of the liquids

·         2 minced green onions

·         1 Tbsp. fresh dill

·         ½ cup panko breadcrumbs

·         ¼ cup Greek yogurt

·         1 Tbsp. lemon juice

·         1 Tbsp. stone ground mustard

·         1 large beaten egg

·         Dash of salt and pepper

·         Olive oil for the pan

Mix all ingredients except olive oil in a large bowl. Form the salmon into five or six patties, flattening them a bit with your hand. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the patties until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside. Drain them on paper towels and serve immediately.


Roasted Parmesan Broccoli

Want to reduce your risk of heart attack and cancer? Eating cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, and broccoli can bring anti-inflammatory benefits that help lessen your odds of developing these issues[7]. Broccoli, in particular contains sulforaphane. According to Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, that antioxidant reduces the levels of certain molecules that create inflammation in the body.

·         1 large head of broccoli, chopped into uniform pieces

·         3 Tbsps. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

·         1 Tbsp. finely minced garlic

·         Dash of salt and pepper

·         Olive oil

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, garlic, salt and pepper with a little bit of olive oil. Toss the broccoli until the mixture is lightly coated. Arrange the mixture on the baking sheet, keeping a little space between each piece of broccoli for easier roasting. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly on top of the broccoli. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the broccoli is a dark green and the Parmesan has melted. (Watch it closely to ensure it doesn’t burn!) Serve immediately.


Simple Guacamole

Avocados are loaded with so many things that are good for you! They contain magnesium, potassium, and fiber, as well as the monounsaturated fats that are good for your heart[8]. Avocados can deliver a reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and numerous other benefits[9]. According to Current Developments in Nutrition, avocados can reduce certain inflammatory markers in those carrying excess weight.

Even those who don’t like eating avocado on its own or in a sandwich or salad might enjoy spreading it over bread or tortillas as a simple guacamole.

·         1 avocado, peeled and mashed

·         3 minced green onions

·         Juice of one lime

·         Dash of salt and pepper

Mash one very ripe avocado in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add in the green onions. Mix well to combine. Taste the mixture and add more salt and pepper if desired. Squeeze a fresh lime over the mixture, incorporating the juice until you have the consistency you want. Give it one more taste and balance the seasonings. Serve immediately for best flavor.

Note: When storing any leftovers, keep them in a small bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap against the top of the guacamole. This helps slow the natural browning of the guacamole when exposed to air.


Roasted Peppers and Sausage

Bell peppers are absolutely loaded with antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body[10]. One specific antioxidant, quercetin, reduces inflammation that is associated with diabetes and obesity. In addition, it helps boost your immune system, supports healthier aging, and can reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome[11].

·         1 pound chopped sweet Italian sausage links

·         2 sliced sweet red peppers

·         1 sliced green pepper

·         1 quartered large red onion

·         1 Tbsp. olive oil

·         6 hoagie buns (optional)

·         6 slices provolone (optional)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the sausage, peppers, and onion on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and roast the dish for 15 minutes. Stir the veggies and sausage, then return to the oven for another 20 minutes or so. The peppers and onions should be tender and the sausage should have no pink in it.

Serve the mixture as a main course with healthy sides, or create sandwiches by toasting the buns, topping them with the pepper and sausage mixture, and then melting a slice of provolone on top.


Herbed Mushrooms

These tiny powerhouses of anti-inflammatory protection include truffles, shiitake, button, and Portobello varieties. Not only are they very low in calories, they are filled with B vitamins, selenium, copper, and phenols – antioxidants that provide protection against inflammation. One mushroom in particular, known as Lion’s Mane, is known for reducing inflammation related to obesity[12].

There’s one caveat to remember when cooking mushrooms. The longer they are cooked, the less anti-inflammatory help they might provide. So cook them lightly, until just done[13].

·         1 pound mushrooms of your choice

·         ½ chopped onion

·         1 Tbsp. olive oil

·         3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

·         1 tsp. fresh thyme

·         1 Tbsp. fresh parsley

·         4 cloves minced garlic

·         Salt and pepper

·         ¼ cup dry white wine or broth (optional)

Heat the butter and oil together in a large skillet. Sauté the onion over medium-high heat or until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook them for another five minutes or so, until the outsides are just golden brown and crispy, but not long enough for the mushrooms to give up their juices. Pour in the wine or broth (if using) and let it reduce down for a few minutes. Stir in the garlic, parsley, and thyme, then heat through for a moment. Season the dish generously with salt and pepper. Serve the mushrooms while hot.

Staying Healthy with Antioxidants and More

You are what you eat, as they say, and that’s never truer than when we get older and our bodies need more of certain vitamins and minerals. As our bodies change, our diet and habits should change as well. Look into foods that are designed for heart health, anti-inflammatory properties, and battling weight gain, such as those recommended in the Mediterranean diet. Also look to new habits to help you stay healthy, such as getting plenty of sleep, reaching out to friends and family, taking medications on time every time, and investing in medical alert technology to keep you safe in the event of emergency.