March 16, 2022
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While I happen to think that all meals and snacks are important, as a dietitian, I can’t deny that breakfast is a great way to kick off your day.
Many people are unsure what to make for breakfast and struggle to prepare something quickly and easily as they get ready for the hustle and bustle.
Add to that pain, joint stiffness, and other physical limitations that can make cooking difficult, and it can feel like a lot of work just for a simple meal.
Here are some of my favorite breakfast options that are easy to prepare and packed full of anti-inflammatory ingredients to help you feel great and tamp down inflammation in the body.
It is well established that berries are anti-inflammatory powerhouses. I love blending up a quick smoothie in the morning featuring these fabulous fruits. Plus, pushing a button on a blender is pretty doable, even during psoriatic arthritis (PsA) flare.
Tip: If you struggle with putting your blender together or taking it in and out of the cabinet, I recommend stowing it on your countertop, already assembled and ready to go. When finished, rinse out the blender, add a little water and dish soap, return it to the base, and push a low-powered button. This will effectively clean the blade. Then simply put the blender pitcher and lid in your dishwasher.
Smoothie recipes abound on the internet, but many are lacking in protein or use fruit juice as a liquid, adding more sugar than you need.
I recommend using the milk of your choice, a cup of frozen berries, and adding either plain Greek yogurt or your favorite protein powder to make sure you get some protein in your morning sip.
You can boost the nutrients in your smoothie by adding some flaxseed meal, chia seeds, or 1/4 cup of old-fashioned oatmeal. These will thicken your smoothie, so you may want to add a little water or additional milk.
Not sweet enough for your taste? Try drizzling some honey into your blender before the final blitz. Honey is a natural sweetener that also has anti-inflammatory properties of its own.
There is nothing like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning. But instead of reaching for the instant packet with added sugar, try making your own anti-inflammatory bowl.
Oatmeal is a great source of fiber and is a gluten-free whole grain. It’s good for your heart and full of nutrients.
Another great source of anti-inflammatory nutrition is the humble apple. Yes, research finds that apples are anti-inflammatory and have properties that act as TNF-alpha inhibitors.
Many PsA therapies and medications target certain inflammatory markers, like TNF-alpha. You can quickly grate or chop an apple into a pot, along with your old-fashioned oatmeal. Or add some unsweetened applesauce for a quick and easy solution.
To this bowl, add another anti-inflammatory fruit: cranberries. Dried cranberries pair well with the apple and add a touch of tartness and some sweetness to your breakfast.
Sprinkle your hot cereal with some other anti-inflammatory ingredients like cinnamon and walnuts. Both of these toppings also help reduce the risk of heart disease, of which people with PsA have an increased risk.
If you want to look at something sunny, try this turmeric egg scramble. Add turmeric powder to your eggs before whisking them together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Then scramble as usual.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that has been associated with pain relief in arthritis patients. It’s a great golden spice to keep on hand and stir into salad dressings, eggs, soups, stews, and more.
I love to top my scrambled eggs with salsa or hot sauce of some kind. And while eating the spicy stuff may cause you to feel all warm inside, it’s actually cooling down inflammation in the body.
Capsaicin, the active constituent in chili peppers that makes them spicy, has high anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used in topical creams as a pain reliever or analgesic and has been shown to destroy tumor cells. So if you can handle the heat, spoon some of your favorite hot sauce on your golden eggs.
To cool things off and add in some healthy fats and fiber, scoop out an avocado and serve it alongside your spicy scramble. This breakfast will fuel you all morning long.
Short on time? Experiencing some brain fog? This is one of my absolute favorite go-to breakfast options.
Grab plain Greek yogurt and spoon about 1 cup into a bowl. Greek yogurt is a high protein food that’s rich in calcium, zinc, and B12. It also has probiotics, which promote a healthy gut.
Research suggests people with PsA are more likely to have gut permeability and increased inflammation in the gut. Regular consumption of fermented foods with probiotics may be beneficial.
Top your yogurt with some anti-inflammatory berries or a tropical fruit blend. Tropical fruits like mangoes, papaya, and pineapple are also anti-inflammatory rock stars that will transport you to an island escape before you have to hit that morning grind.
Sprinkle a few sliced almonds, crushed walnuts, or shredded coconut on top of the parfait and enjoy!
There is nothing like a delicious frittata to start your day. Packed with protein and veggies, this can be a great way to get in a ton of nutrients.
Spinach is a good source of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that may help tamp down inflammation, and mushrooms are chock full of nutrition and powerful antioxidants.
- Eggs are whisked together and mixed with spinach and mushrooms for a Mediterranean dish.
- Wilt bagged spinach in a pan with a little olive oil. Set aside.
- Sauté sliced mushrooms in a little olive oil and garlic first so the water cooks out and your frittata doesn’t end up soggy.
- Whisk your eggs with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the cooked and cooled veggies.
- Add this mixture to a hot, oiled oven-safe skillet and stir gently.
- Transfer the pan to a 400°F (200°C) oven for about 10 minutes. Once finished, slide the frittata onto a plate, and slice to serve.
You can even take this idea and transform them into handheld omelette bites by baking the mixture in a silicone muffin tin in the oven at 400°F for about 10 minutes. You can grab one or two and warm quickly. They also freeze well, so you can store them and have breakfast prepped for the week.
Pair this with a slice of toast (gluten-free, if needed) and some fresh fruit for a perfectly balanced, filling breakfast.
Whether sweet or savory, there are so many good ways to fuel your body for the day.
With a balance of protein and complex carbohydrates, you will have energy for hours. The anti-inflammatory properties of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds will also help ease inflammation.
Setting aside time in the morning to prepare breakfast may seem daunting when you live with pain from PsA, but taking a few extra minutes each morning might just give you the energy you need to channel your inner workplace warrior.
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