(Family Features) On top of being tasty, certain foods contain specific nutrients and natural compounds that may help fight inflammation, a condition linked to arthritis and gout. With that in mind, try heading to the fridge or pantry the next time you feel joint pain, swelling or stiff knees.
Colorful fruits and vegetables, including ruby red tart cherries and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, are among the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods, along with oily fish (salmon, sardines and scallops), nuts, seeds and whole grains. Ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and olive oil may also help combat inflammation.
For an inflammation-fighting boost, Montmorency tart cherries contain the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food,” according to research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University. Results show that cherry intake can help reduce blood levels of gout-causing uric acid and reduce the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis. Research also shows that Montmorency tart cherry juice can reduce post-exercise inflammation and muscle pain.
“For decades, people with arthritis and gout have consumed tart cherry juice for pain relief. Now there’s scientific evidence to back up this popular folklore remedy,” said registered dietitian Michelle Babb, author of “Anti-Inflammatory Eating Made Easy.” “Since Montmorency tart cherries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, a potent type of flavonoid, they can offer a natural way to help ease the pain related to arthritis and gout.”
To help fight inflammation with food, try this recipe for Bay Scallop, Baby Kale and Corn Salad with Tart Cherry Granola, which is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients. Learn more about the research on Montmorency tart cherries and inflammation, and find more recipes, at choosecherries.com.
Bay Scallop, Baby Kale and Corn Salad with Tart Cherry Granola
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 1 salad
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons buckwheat groats
2 tablespoons pepitas
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup dried tart cherries
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dried tart cherries
2 tablespoons tart cherry juice
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
(We used Montmorency brand)
10 ounces baby kale
1 grilled ear corn, kernels sliced off
1 cup sprouts (alfalfa)
1/2 tablespoon butter
8 ounces bay scallops, patted dry
To make savory granola: Heat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat.
In large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats and pepitas. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper.
Pour wet ingredients into large bowl and toss until well combined.
Spread mixture onto baking sheet in single layer and bake 18-20 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until granola starts to turn golden brown and crispy around edges.
Remove from oven, add cherries, toss to combine, spread into single layer and let cool.
To make dressing: In food processor, process shallot, olive oil, cherries, cherry juice, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper until smooth.
To make salad: Place kale, corn kernels and sprouts in large bowl; set aside.
In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Once hot, add scallops and cook until golden and starting to caramelize on one side. Flip and repeat on other side.
Add scallops to large salad bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss well.
Break up granola into small pieces and add to salad bowl. Toss lightly before serving.