Foods to Reduce Inflammation

In an exclusive interview with nutritionist Ellie Krieger, the dietitian shares some simple recipes to promote healthy joints.

Blueberry Blast Smoothie

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In a campaign to raise awareness and educate women about rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Ellie Krieger, registered dietitian and host of Food Network’s hit show Healthy Appetite, offers simple diet tips to promote and support healthy joints.

Not to be confused with osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear on aging joints, RA is an autoimmune disease that may also affect the eyes, skin, or lungs. Here, Krieger shares with the Post some foods that may reduce inflammation in the body and help relieve the painful swelling and stiffness that is often associated with RA.

“Inflammation is the main thing. And there are foods I find so interesting, particularly spices like turmeric, which is one of the main ingredients in curry. Try curry on cauliflower or use ginger in an Asian-flavored stir-fry. These spices have been linked with having an anti-inflammatory effect,” says Krieger.

Although mainly developed for patients of RA, Krieger’s campaign recipes are beneficial to anyone trying to eat a healthier diet. “It’s about spicing up your life with wonderful flavors. I have a recipe for a Blueberry Blast Smoothie, which is milk blended with a little honey and some fresh (or frozen) blueberries. You’re getting antioxidants, and you’re getting your Vitamin D in essentially what I think tastes like a milkshake.” Additionally, Krieger shares her Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Cumin Dressing, an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and a good source of iron and vitamin A.

Blueberry Blast Smoothie

Blueberry Blast Smoothie
Blueberry Blast Smoothie

(Makes 1 smoothie)

  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Put all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

Nutrition Information
Per serving:

  • Calories: 195
  • Total fat: 1 g (sat fat 0 g, mono fat 0 g, poly fat 0 g)
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg
  • Sodium: 134 mg

Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Cumin Dressing

Chickpea Spinach Salad with Cumin Dressing
Chickpea Spinach Salad with Cumin Dressing. Photo courtesy of Ellie Krieger.

(Makes 4 servings)

  • One 15.5-ounce can of chickpeas, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 2 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 2 cups lightly packed)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh mint

In medium bowl, combine chickpeas, parsley, and onion. In small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice and zest, cumin, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Pour dressing over the chickpea mixture and toss to coat evenly. In small bowl, stir together yogurt, orange juice and zest, and honey. Serve chickpea salad over bed of spinach leaves. Top with yogurt sauce and garnish with mint.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/2 cup chickpea salad, 1/2 cup spinach, and 1 tablespoon yogurt sauce
Per serving:

  • Calories 175
  • Total fat: 9 g (sat fat 1 g, mono fat 5.5 g, poly fat 1.5 g)
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 147 mg

Courtesy of Elle Krieger
Ellie Krieger

Krieger recently teamed up with Emmy winner Deborah Norville and a panel of experts to discuss and share information important to people with RA. Proper nutrition, fitness, relationships, career management—it’s all part of an online talk show to educate the public on a disease affecting more than 1.3 million Americans, most of which are women. For more information, visit

Recipes courtesy of Ellie Krieger.

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