As the summer heat rolls in, staying cool and nourished with the right snacks is essential. But why settle for ordinary snacks when you can enjoy refreshing options that also support a low-inflammation diet? In this blog, we’ll explore a variety of delicious and nutritious snacks that not only help keep you cool but also promote a healthy and pain-free lifestyle. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and discover some unique and exciting options to enjoy this summer!
Before we dive into the world of low-inflammation snacks, let’s briefly understand inflammation and its impact on our bodies. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection. While acute inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process, chronic inflammation can have detrimental effects on our overall health.
An unhealthy diet, stress, lack of exercise, and environmental toxins can contribute to chronic inflammation.
Learn more in our Complete Guide to Inflammation.
Do you have inflammation? Watch the video below to learn about ten signs you are living with inflammation (and what to do about it!).
The Significance of Cooling, Low-Inflammation Snacks in Summer:
In the scorching heat of summer, consuming snacks that are both cooling and low in inflammation is of utmost importance. These snacks not only aid in reducing inflammation within the body but also provide crucial nutrients while keeping you hydrated. Moreover, they offer a delectable and refreshing substitute for conventional summer snacks like potato chips, hot dogs, and smores, providing a distinct and delightful culinary adventure.
You can help support a pain-free and pleasant summer by incorporating the following snacks into your routine.
Grilled Low-Inflammation Veggie Skewers with Dipping Sauce Recipe:
This Grilled Low-Inflammation Veggie Skewers with Dipping Sauce recipe is an excellent choice for low-inflammation summer eating. Packed with vibrant vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms, these skewers provide essential nutrients while being gentle on the body.
The grilling process adds a delightful smoky flavor to the vegetables, making them even more appealing. The accompanying dipping sauce, made with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, fresh dill, and garlic, offers the skewers a tangy and cooling complement. By using wholesome ingredients and avoiding inflammatory additives, this recipe is a delicious and nourishing option for those seeking a low-inflammation summer snack (or meal).
For the Veggie Skewers:
- 1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
- 1 yellow squash, sliced into rounds
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 red onion, cut into chunks
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 8 button mushrooms
- Olive oil for brushing
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Dipping Sauce:
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (consider a vegan yogurt if your diet requires it)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your grill to medium heat.
Prepare the veggies by slicing the zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, and red onion into similar-sized pieces. Keep the cherry tomatoes and mushrooms whole.
Thread the vegetables onto skewers, alternating the different veggies to create colorful skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 30 minutes beforehand to prevent them from burning on the grill.
Brush the vegetable skewers with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place the skewers on the preheated grill and cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and have a slight char.
While the skewers are grilling, prepare the dipping sauce. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, chopped fresh dill, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well until all the ingredients are combined.
Once the veggie skewers are done, remove them from the grill and serve them with the refreshing dipping sauce on the side.
Low-Inflammation Fruit Skewers
These tropical fruits are delicious and packed with hydration and enzymes that aid digestion and reduce inflammation. Skewer them together for a refreshing and visually appealing snack. An excellent option for potlucks and gatherings!
- Assorted tropical fruits (such as pineapple, mango, papaya, kiwi, and strawberries)
- Wooden skewers
Wash and prepare the fruits. Arrange on skewers.
You can optionally drizzle a bit of honey or sprinkle some lime zest over the skewers for added sweetness and tanginess.
Feel free to customize the fruit selection based on your preferences and seasonal availability. The combination of different tropical fruits adds a burst of flavors and colors to your snack, making it visually appealing and enjoyable.
If you’re growing zucchini in your garden this year, you absolutely must try this delicious swap for traditional potato chips.
- 2 medium zucchinis
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Optional: spices such as paprika or garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 225°C (450°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the zucchinis into thin rounds, approximately 1/8 inch thick.
Place the zucchini slices in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, tossing to coat evenly.
Arrange the zucchini slices on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they are in a single layer.
Season with salt, pepper, and any optional spices of your choice.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the zucchini chips are crispy and golden brown.
Allow the chips to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy the healthier alternative to traditional potato chips.
Trail Mix with Almonds, Walnuts, and Pumpkin Seeds
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats and antioxidants. Create a custom trail mix with your favorite varieties to enjoy a crunchy and nutritious snack during your next hike, beach day, or road trip.
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup dried fruits (such as raisins, cranberries, or goji berries)
- Optional: dried unsweetened coconut, dark chocolate chips, or cacao nibs
Combine the almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and dried fruits in a large bowl.
Toss the ingredients together until well mixed.
Add a handful of dried unsweetened coconut, dark chocolate chips, or cacao nibs for added flavor if desired.
Transfer the trail mix to an airtight container for storage or portion it into individual snack bags for convenience.
Enjoy the trail mix as a crunchy and nutritious snack on the go, providing you with healthy fats, antioxidants, and sustained energy.
Roasted Chickpeas with Spices:
Chickpeas are a versatile legume that can be roasted and seasoned with various spices. They provide protein, fiber, and anti-inflammatory properties, making them an ideal snack option.
Explore our blog post on 3 Crispy, Crunchy Snack Recipes That Won’t Trigger Inflammation. This article features an incredible recipe for Customizable Crispy Baked Chickpeas. Enjoy them in salads, Buddha bowls, or simply savor them as a delicious snack. The best part is that you can easily tailor the flavors to suit your taste preferences. Dive into this mouthwatering recipe today!
Tips for Preparing and Enjoying Low-Inflammation Snacks:
To make the most of your low-inflammation snacks and ensure a healthy and pain-free summer, there are several tips you can follow.
Choosing fresh, organic, and seasonal ingredients is key to maximizing the nutritional value of your snacks. By opting for produce that is in season, you get the freshest flavors and access a wide range of nutrients that can support your overall well-being. Learn more about how eating healthy can reduce chronic pain here.
Incorporating anti-inflammatory herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon into your snacks can add depth of flavor and potential health benefits. These ingredients can enhance the nutritional profile of your snacks.
Planning and prepping your snacks in advance can help ensure that you always have healthy options readily available. By taking the time to prepare and portion out your snacks, you can avoid reaching for less nutritious alternatives when hunger strikes.
Experimenting with flavors and combinations can keep your snacks interesting and prevent flavor fatigue. Don’t be afraid to try new fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices to create unique and exciting snack options that cater to your tastes.
Presenting your snacks in an appealing and visually enticing manner can make them more enjoyable, especially for children. Arrange fruits, vegetables, and other snacks in creative ways, such as making fruit skewers or arranging vegetable slices in a colorful pattern, to make them visually appealing and enticing to eat.
Lastly, practicing mindful eating, or intuitive eating, and listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues can promote a healthy relationship with food. Pay attention to portion sizes, savor each bite, and take the time to enjoy the flavors and textures of your low-inflammation snacks.
By incorporating these tips into your snack preparation and enjoyment, you can fully embrace the benefits of low-inflammation snacks, supporting your overall health and well-being throughout the summer season.
Don’t Forget: Hydration and Beverages
Staying hydrated is vital, especially during the hot summer months. In addition to water, there are plenty of low-inflammation drink options to quench your thirst and support your overall well-being.
Infused Water – Your New Summer Obsession
Looking for an easy way to stay hydrated this summer? Try making a pitcher of delicious fruit-infused water and keep it in your fridge.
Here’s how to make it:
Simply add your favorite fruits, vegetables, and herbs to a glass jar, decanter, or jug, and allow it to soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Organic produce is best to avoid adding pesticides to your drink.
- For more tasty flavor combinations, check out our blog post on the importance of hydration for effective microcurrent protocols.
Refreshing Iced Green Tea with Ginger and Lemon
This Iced Green Tea with Ginger and Lemon recipe is a fantastic choice for addressing inflammation during the summer months. Green tea is known for its high levels of antioxidants, particularly catechins, which have anti-inflammatory properties. By brewing green tea and allowing it to cool over ice, you create a refreshing and hydrating beverage to sip all summer long.
Adding ginger to the iced green tea further enhances its anti-inflammatory benefits. Ginger contains compounds called gingerols, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and offer potential pain-relieving effects. The combination of green tea and ginger creates a powerful duo that can support your body in managing inflammation.
Lemon slices add a burst of tangy flavor to the iced tea and contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties. Lemons are rich in vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and helps reduce inflammation in the body.
- 4 green tea bags
- 4 cups water
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Honey or your preferred sweetener (optional)
- Ice cubes
In a medium-sized pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
Remove the pot from heat and add the green tea bags. Allow them to steep for about 3-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and slice the fresh ginger into thin pieces.
Add the ginger slices to the pot and let the tea steep for 5 minutes to infuse the ginger flavor.
Remove the tea bags and strain the ginger using a fine-mesh strainer or sieve.
Allow the tea to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a pitcher and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
Once the tea has chilled, take it out of the refrigerator and add the sliced lemon.
If desired, add honey or your preferred sweetener to taste.
Feel free to adjust the sweetness and ginger intensity according to your taste preferences. Enjoy!
Homemade Electrolyte Drinks
Electrolytes are vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to survive. They help regulate blood pressure, balance fluids, rebuild damaged tissue, and facilitate proper nerve signaling. If you suffer from chronic pain and inflammation, electrolytes are especially important as they can help manage pain by ensuring that the body carries out critical functions properly.
Extra sweating due to physical activity (or heat) can cause the body to lose essential electrolytes, leading to dizziness, muscle weakness, anxiety, and constipation. Home-made electrolyte drinks can help replenish these vital minerals and vitamins, ensuring you remain balanced, hydrated, and feeling your best. Store-bought sports drinks may be convenient, but they contain artificial ingredients, high-fructose corn syrup, and processed salt, which can have long-term health implications.
Making your own electrolyte drinks at home is a natural and sustainable option that will save you money, reduce environmental waste, and ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Learn more about the importance of electrolytes when living with chronic pain and 3 homemade electrolyte drinks here.
Low- Inflammation Summer Eating Made Easy
As summer approaches, it’s essential to stay cool and nourished with delicious snacks that support a low-inflammation diet. Chronic inflammation can negatively affect our overall health, so it’s necessary to choose snacks that reduce inflammation in the body, provide essential nutrients, and keep you cool and hydrated in the heat.
In this blog, we’ve explored a variety of low-inflammation snacks, from grilled veggie skewers to refreshing fruit skewers, crispy zucchini chips, and custom trail mix. These snacks offer a unique and fun culinary experience while keeping your body pain-free and healthy.
If you want more inspiration and support, join our Pain-Free For Life Support Group on Facebook.
Stay cool, stay healthy, and enjoy your summer!