Many of us walk around in a constant state of inflammation. Short term inflammation is ok because it’s a sign our body is fighting infection. But long-term inflammation is dangerous and can lead to a whole host of diseases including cancer, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s.
The good news is that we can help prevent long-term internal inflammation by choosing to eat anti-inflammatory foods. Yes, we have a choice!
One way to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into our diet is to eat lots of vegetables — not news to most of us — to eat low-fat, high quality proteins, including cultured soy products. One of the most healthful and overlooked soy products on the market today is tempeh. Have you heard of it? Tempeh is a cultured, fermented, very affordable soy product which originated in Indonesia. Like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans, but unlike tofu, tempeh is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics. And because tempeh retains the whole soy bean it has a higher content of protein, fiber and vitamins! Also tempeh is fermented, tofu is not, which makes it easier to digest.
Here’s a simple, quick meal made with tempeh and greens:
1/2 package tempeh (I use the flax one)
1/2 red bell pepper cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 Tablespoon tamari (another fermented soy product)
3 large handfuls greens (I use a combination of swiss chard, spinach and kale)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cut the tempeh into bite-size pieces, about 1/2″. Add tempeh to oil and saute for about three minutes over medium high heat. Add the red pepper and continue cooking for another minute until vegetables are slightly soft. Add the greens and tamari to the pan and cook just until greens are slightly wilted. Remove from heat and transfer to your plate. A word of caution: Tempeh has a sort of earthy taste and might take some getting used to. I really enjoy it but younger kids may not!