Healthy Travel Find: Chimichurri
Sure, the steaks were good in Argentina. But, if you ask me, the real star of the meal was the chimichurri sauce that inevitably accompanied the steak. It was meant to go on the steak, but it tasted amazing on everything from veggies to sandwiches- trust me, I tried it on everything and it was always good.
Not only is this sauce incredibly tasty on every single thing I tried it on, it is also incredibly healthy and good for fighting inflammation. Chimichurri sauce is so simple- it’s generally five ingredients or less (usually these are ingredients you already have!), and takes less than five minutes to prepare. These simple ingredients are all powerful inflammation fighters and they come together to make a sauce that will not only rock your socks off, it will fight inflammation! Of course, there are tons of variations- experiment and find what you like, but keeping the parsley will ensure you get those inflammation fighting powers of chimichurri sauce.
Parsley– chimichurri sauce is usually served with grilled meat. Grilled meat is high in heterocyclic amines (carcinogenic by-products of grilling at high temperatures). Fortunately, the chlorophyll in parsley has been shown to block the damaging effects of the heterocyclic amines in the grilled meat. Parsley is not only high in the anti-inflammatory chlorophyll, it is also high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.
Garlic– its organosulfur compounds give garlic its anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic acts as an immune system booster and helps shift the body out of a pro-inflammatory state. It strengthens the body’s immune system. A more effective immune system works efficiently and quickly to get the body back to homeostasis, where it is happiest and healthiest. Garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties, in turn, make garlic a powerful anti-cancer and anti-bacterial.
Oregano– carvacrol, an essential oil in oregano, has anti-inflammatory benefits- it interferes with the release of inflammatory markers and/or prevents them from forming in the first place.
Vinegar– while it may not have the anti-inflammatory benefits of the other ingredients vinegar can still be vitally important in healthy cooking- it has anti-microbial properties which can help keep food safe during preparation.
Olive Oil– a phenolic compound in olive oil known as oleocanthal is acknowledged as a natural NSAID and is akin to ibuprofen when it comes to reducing inflammation. Regularly including olive oil in the diet can help reduce chronic inflammation and the diseases associated with chronic inflammation.
Ready to give this epic Argentine sauce on your grilled meat… or vegetables, or sandwiches, or literally anything else? Try these mouth watering recipes and chimichurri variations to get you started: