Nutty holiday snack that eases inflammation

Spiced Rosemary Mixed NutsThe holidays are here again. You’re equipped with your tackiest reindeer sweater and homemade fudge squares. Next weekend’s gift exchange is sure to have spiced eggnog. And numerous trays of cookies leave you with nowhere to hide.

The holiday season can make it easy to forget your everyday diet. But did you know that excess refined sugar can increase the flare-ups of chronic neck or back pain?

While it may be hard to resist those cute snowman cookies smiling at you, snacks filled with processed sugar can actually trigger the release of cytokine — an inflammatory protein in the body.

Homemade spiced nuts are a great way to combat sugary holiday treats, because nuts, olive oil and rosemary are big fighters against inflammation. For your next holiday potluck, try this low-sugar dish that’s packed with all three:

Spiced Rosemary Mixed Nuts

Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 10–12

2 1/2 cups of raw mixed nuts

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary

½ tablespoon fresh chopped thyme

2 tablespoons organic brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon pepper

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small dish, stir the brown sugar, cumin, salt and pepper together.
  3. On low heat, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add rosemary and thyme. When the oil becomes fragrant, remove pan from heat (about 2–5 minutes). If the herbs begin to sizzle, remove pan from heat to avoid burning.
  4. In a mixing bowl, evenly coat the nuts with the herb-infused oil and spices.
  5. Place the nuts on a nonstick tray and bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes. Stir nuts at the halfway point so they roast evenly.

Before you start baking those gingerbread men, try these homemade spiced nuts to cut down on excess sugar this holiday season. While your other party guests might appreciate a healthy option, you can reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of this aromatic appetizer. If your chronic neck or back pain is putting a damper on your holiday cheer after you’ve tried weeks or months of nonsurgical treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute for an MRI review. You may be a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures.

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