Food for Happy Joints
Updated: Jul 21
According to UK government guidelines we should eat a minimum of two portions of fish, one of which should be oily fish every week for its health benefits. But there's more to this than a healthy heart ... think Happy Joints!
Scientific evidence shows that an essential fatty acid found in fish, Omega-3, has anti-inflammatory properties which work on everything from sore knees to inflamed tummies.
Salmon is usually a go-to oily fish but don't overlook mackerel, sardines, and fresh tuna. The ones we tend to land in the UK are Atlantic fish and from the end of Spring they're rife in our coastal waters so they're seasonal and inexpensive.
Even if fish isn't your thing, we urge you to give this recipe a go. The smokiness of the mackerel is offset by the soft cheese with just enough tartness from the lemon juice and warmth from the Cayenne to bring it all together.
So here's our paté recipe for a quick and easy way to eat more oily fish - no cooking, no faffing and ready in less than 5 minutes. If you want to use this recipe as part of a fitness or training plan, see our tips at the end of this post.
Smoked Mackerel Paté Serves 4 hungry people
200 - 225g pack smoked mackerel fillets
180g tub plain soft cheese (full or reduced fat) such as Philadelphia or Philadelphia Light
Juice of 1 lemon
1/8 - 1/4 tsp Cayenne powder
Grind of black pepper
Take the skin off the back of the mackerel by pulling the flesh off
Place in a food processor with the Philadelphia, half of the lemon juice, 1/8 tsp Cayenne powder and a good grind of black pepper
Process until smooth
Check for seasoning - you may need to add more lemon juice to taste or more Cayenne.
Transfer to a bowl and serve
If you have time, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for an hour to firm up.
Keeps for 3 days in the fridge.
Nutritional Data per serving made with Philadelphia Light
233 calories; 4g carbohydrate; 14g protein; 18g fat
When and how to eat?
Low carb diet
Spread thickly on lettuce leaves, add watercress or rocket and roll up.
Serve dolloped in gem lettuce "bowls".
Pre, during and post training
Serve 2 hours before training with wholegrain bread/toast for sustained energy.
Between training sessions on the same day spread the paté on rice cakes for a quick energy boost.
Remember that the protein in the mackerel and the fat in the fish and cheese will slow down your digestion so reducing sugar spikes, but this does mean it takes longer to digest.
Post-training, ideally eat within 2 hours and with some carbs (such as a baked potato plus salad) to maximise the uptake of protein into your muscles and start your recovery.