Loving the Bite: Garlic Ginger Chicken

Chronic Inflammation got you down? As athletes, we may think of inflammation as the reaction we get when we sprain an ankle or a knee.  However, there is a constant battle in our bodies to keep cellular inflammation at bay.  Many of our activities and the foods we choose to eat either promote cellular inflammation or inhibit it.   For the sake of our wellness and health, it is crucial to be on the anti-inflammatory side of the spectrum.  In fact, chronic inflammation is associated with higher amounts of oxidative stress and many chronic diseases including Heart Disease, Diabetes, Digestive Disorders, Allergies, Arthritis and Asthma.  To reduce your cellular inflammation and keep to the anti-inflammatory side of life, choose whole-foods rather than processed, high-fiber rather than refined grains, foods low in transfats, and food high in healthy fats such as fish oils, nuts, avocados, and healthy oils.  Then, proactively add a good dose of anti-inflammatory spices!

Recipe of the week: Garlic Ginger Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 limes, juiced

Directions:

  1. Pound the chicken to 1/2 inch thickness. In a large resealable plastic bag combine the garlic, ginger, oil and lime juice. Seal bag and shake until blended. Open bag and add chicken. Seal bag and marinate in refrigerator for no more than 20 minutes.
  2. Remove chicken from bag and grill or broil, basting with marinade, until cooked through and juices run clear. Dispose of any remaining marinade.

Modifications:

As recommended by many reviewers, reduce the amount of limes you use to just 2, or if you prefer lemons, use lemons instead.  Only marinate for 20 minutes.  I recommend also sauting extra garlic and ginger in olive oil on the side to add to the cooked chicken – Here’s why:

Comments on Inflammation:

Both garlic and ginger are hugely anti-inflammatory and have healthy benefit beyond many seasonings.  If you look at the inflammation factor scores of garlic clove and tsp ginger, they get a +107 and +129, respectively.  In this scoring system, negative scores are inflammatory and positive ones are anti-inflammatory.  Since inflammation plays a role with most every chronic disease, oxidative stress, obesity, and fatigue, it is very beneficial to include as many anti-inflammatory foods in our diets as possible.

What’s more, garlic has anti-bacterial, cholesterol-l and triglyceride-lowering, anti-plague-forming, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory (for more info, see: http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60).  Ginger is no slouch – it promote gut health, may be anti-cancerous, is immune boosting, and anti-inflammatory.  And, although fresh sources likely give you the most benefit, you’ll still get some from garlic and ginger powder.

Lastly, just like with all meats, be choosey with your chicken.  If possible, buy organic free-range chicken that has not been treated with hormones or antibiotics.

If you like the flavors of garlic and ginger, pile ‘em on!

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

  • Sara Johnson

    Kelli, do you mean dried or fresh ginger…”ground” leads me to believe dried, but 3 Tablespoons seems like a lot. Thanks!

    • Kelli, RD

      Hi Sara – yes, it is ground/dry AND it is a lot:). Since it’s in the marinade, it doesn’t come out too strong, but this recipe certainly does feature ginger. It’s a bit tangy, more b/c of the limes than the ginger, but really good. See what you think…

  • Amanda

    mmmm…..this recipe has me drooling, and I can’t wait to try it out on the family! It’s on my dinner list for next week!! :)

    • Kelli

      Awesome Amanda! All those anti-inflammatory spices:). Let me know what you think! Kelli