Another benefit of dips and spreads is that they can be quick and easy to make, and a tasty vehicle for including more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. (Because many of us don't get enough.) Anti-inflammatory foods are nutrient-dense ingredients that contain a high amount of antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods—like fruits and vegetables, beans, olive oil, and fish—helps combat symptoms of chronic inflammation by neutralizing free radicals in the body. Inflammation is complex, but chronic inflammation can be caused (or exacerbated) by a variety of factors, from diet to stress levels and other lifestyle factors, including allergies, toxins, and aging. Reducing inflammation in the body has a host of benefits, like supporting brain and heart health and improving memory and mood. "Inflammation contributes to a number of issues in the body, including illnesses, allergies, injuries, and diseases," Tracey Lockwood Beckerman previously told Well+Good. "The [foods] we put into our bodies are key to fighting off both short-term illness and chronic disease by reducing inflammation."
Learn more about anti-inflammatory foods from Lockwood Beckerman by watching this video:
One surprisingly ideal opportunity to fit more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet? Dips and spreads. "The format of a vegetable-based dip is also fantastic for stress because we tend to snack when we're stressed, and if you have something to snack on—win, right?" herbalist, holistic health coach, and Supernatural founder Rachelle Robinett previously told Well+Good in an episode of Plant Based.
Ready to get dunking? In the spirit of healthy snacking and doing the absolute minimum amount of prep work, here are six anti-inflammatory dips and spreads that only take a couple minutes to make.
6 delicious anti-inflammatory dips and spreads that take 2 minutes to make
1. Miraval's Carrot Peanut Butter Dip
Yes, this does sound like an odd combo—but the creaminess of the peanut butter and the sweetness of the carrots blend together to create a delicious dip for veggies and pretzels, or a spread for toast.
Get the recipe: Carrot peanut butter dip
2. Stress-Less Dip with Kabocha Squash and Ashwagandha
This is Robinett's go-to veggie dip recipe, because it's infused with ashwagandha, rhodiola, and ginseng, which are all adaptogenic herbs that help reduce stress. And yes, technically this one takes a little longer than two minutes because you have to roast the squash. But once it's roasted, all you have to do is blend all the ingredients together, so it's still a super easy recipe.
Get the recipe: Stress-Less Dip with Kabocha Squash and Ashwagandha
3. Avocado Hummus
This nutritious, delicious dip is a no-brainer to include. It contains anti-inflammatory ingredients olive oil and tahini, in addition to fiber-rich chickpeas and heart-healthy, dreamy-creamy avocado. Or, if you're down with a little more prep time, subbing in roasted beets for chickpeas, like in this recipe, offers a host of nutritional benefits as well.
Get the recipe: Avocado hummus
This delicious dip recipe comes courtesy of Malibu Farm at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai—they serve it as an appetizer with corn chips. And it's actually super easy to make at home, requiring only five ingredients, none of which are avocado. (Though, of course, you can add avo in for some extra creaminess if you want.)
Get the recipe: Broccomole
5. Vegan Caramel Sauce
Caramel is typically a complicated recipe involving lots of sugar and butter, but this vegan version is only two ingredients: pure maple syrup and no-sugar-added nut butter. Maple syrup is high in antioxidants, and nut butters are packed with protein and healthy fats.
Get the recipe: Vegan Caramel Sauce
6. Green Chickpea Goddess Sauce
Chef Palak Patel's recipe for green goddess sauce is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients, and is incredibly versatile. Try it on eggs, grain bowls, salads... the possibilities are endless.
Get the recipe: Green Chickpea Goddess Sauce
Now that we've got the dips and spreads covered, how about some delicious anti-inflammatory desserts?
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