Cooking with fish as an anti-inflammatory
As active individuals, we put our bodies through a lot each and every day. Sports, outdoor activities and sitting for extended periods of time can cause inflammation in our joints.
I spend more than 200 days on the water per year, which takes a toll on my joints and muscles. Rather than turn to medication, I try to cook with ingredients that help control pain and inflammation.
As a professional tournament fisherman, most of the fishing I do is catch and release. However, I do like to keep certain fish for the dinner table!
Some fish species have anti-inflammatory agents in their chemical makeup. Some contain both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. A diet supplemented with omega-3s, like those found in salmon and tuna, is scientifically proven to reduce swelling.
Also, cooking fish with ingredients that are known to reduce inflammation is a great way to round out your diet.
Here are some ingredients known for their anti-inflammatory qualities:
Ginger has certain phytochemicals that contain antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory. Furthermore, ginger is known to quell stomach discomfort. So besides treating sea-sickness, ginger is a great alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs. Use ginger in recipes to reduce muscle and joint pain.
Spinach & Avocado
Spinach and avocado are packed with vitamin E, omega 3s and beneficial antioxidants and flavonoids. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and is necessary for normal cardiac and muscle function. Avocado and spinach contain phytonutrients that prevent muscle inflammation and can reduce soreness after exercise. Utilize spinach and avocado in your fish recipes to reap the benefits!
Pineapple is loaded with healthful vitamins, including vitamin C and bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that has similar results as anti-inflammatory drugs, but has no side effects. Bromelain has been used to treat arthritis pain and sports injuries. and is proven to relieve joint pain. Pineapple is readily available and is a fresh-tasting ingredient, so it is easily utilized in fish recipes.
Here is a quick and easy recipe that my family has been preparing for years:
Grilled Wahoo with Pineapple Salsa
- 1 pineapple
- 1 red onion
- Fresh cilantro
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 1 lime
- 4 fresh wahoo steaks (8 – 10 ounces each)
- Olive oil
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper
Finely chop pineapple, onion, cilantro, red pepper and green pepper in a bowl & squeeze fresh lime on top to taste.
Drizzle olive oil over wahoo steaks – lightly season with kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper on both sides. Preheat grill to medium-high and grill for around 5 minutes until tender and moist.
Serve wahoo with pineapple salsa on top!
Great wine pairings for grilled wahoo include oaked chardonnay, dry lambrusco or dry rose.