Snack Healthy to Lower Inflammation
Shared by Dr. Justin Thompson
If you are anything like me, you live life fast paced. It can be tough to mix in healthy snacks throughout the day that are also quick and easy! That is why this month’s recipe is something that does not take too long to make, and you can stock up easily. In addition to the convenience, these granola bars are packed full of various health benefits. We always stress anti-inflammatory options for food because this is what helps our body heal easier and function optimally. Between the dates and nuts you choose, these granola bars are a great way to get a filling snack while also getting the benefits from the healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants found in the ingredients. I will outline a few of the various benefits found in dates below. This recipe leaves the door wide open for customization, so go nuts (literally) and have fun with this one. Your body will thank you for Snacking Healthy to Lower Inflammation!
Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content which protect your cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body and lead to disease
The potential brain-boosting properties of dates have been attributed to their content of antioxidants known to reduce inflammation including flavonoids
Laboratory studies have found dates to be helpful for lowering inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), in the brain. High levels of IL-6 are associated with a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s
1 heaping cup packed dates
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey or maple syrup)
1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter (can substitute with other nut butters)
1 cup roasted unsalted almonds (loosely chopped, can sub with other nuts if allergic)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
* Can also include other additions such as dried fruit, other nuts, vanilla, protein powders, etc. This recipe is great cause there is a ton of room for customization!
- Process dates in food processor (around 1 minute or until it’s a dough-like consistency)
- Toast your oats (and almonds if raw) in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. (Can leave untoasted if you wish!)
- Place oats, almonds, and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside
- Warm maple syrup (or agave or honey) and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
- Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper, so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars // adjust size of pan if altering batch size)
- Press down firmly until uniformly flattened – use something flat, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better
- Cover with parchment or plastic wrap and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove bars from pan and chop into bars or squares! (Leave in freezer for optimal freshness)
Essa MM, Akbar M, Khan MA. Beneficial effects of date palm fruits on neurodegenerative diseases. Neural Regen Res. 2016 Jul;11(7):1071-2. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.187032. PMID: 27630684; PMCID: PMC4994443.
Siddiqi SA, Rahman S, Khan MM, Rafiq S, Inayat A, Khurram MS, Seerangurayar T, Jamil F. Potential of dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.) as natural antioxidant source and functional food for healthy diet. Sci Total Environ. 2020 Dec 15;748:141234. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141234. Epub 2020 Jul 30. PMID: 32798862.
We love to help our patients in St. Louis Park stay healthy. We are here to relieve back pain, neck pain and headaches while also teaching about how our diet and stress effects our over all health. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as the chiropractic adjustment and getting the proper nutrients to stay healthy. Our Chiropractors, located in the West End near the corner of MN-100 S & Lake Rd., want to help you stay healthy and out of pain!