Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is one of the best ways to promote health and reduce the inflammation that is at the root of many chronic diseases. In this post you’ll learn the basic benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet, plus come away with some tasty inspiration.
Whether you’re just beginning an anti-inflammatory diet, or need more recipes to incorporate into your routine, try some of these deliciously simple anti-inflammatory recipes!
What Is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
The main goal in eating an anti-inflammatory diet is to consume less processed foods and refined sugars and more whole foods, and plenty of unprocessed plant foods.
When comparing anti-inflammatory recipes, you’ll notice a pattern of common beneficial nutrients that help our bodies resolve inflammation and calm the root cause of chronic disease at its source, like.
- Minerals (like magnesium, potassium, and selenium)
By adding more of these anti-inflammatory foods, and removing the foods that keep you inflamed, you can positively impact your immune system and help your body properly resolve inflammation that can lead to arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions.
If your immune system is already sending you distress signals, and you struggle with weight gain, frequent illness, or autoimmunity, click here to learn more.
What You Can Eat When You’re on an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Nutrient-Dense Plant Foods
An anti-inflammatory diet should supply all the proper vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that come from colorful, nutrient-dense plant foods. Fiber- and antioxidant-rich vegetables like greens, asparagus, broccoli, bok choy, and beets help keep free radicals at bay while supplying an impressive array of beneficial plant nutrients.
To repair DNA, maintain a healthy weight, and build lean muscle, you should always make high-quality protein a part of each meal and snack. Anti-inflammatory proteins include fatty fish, naturally-raised poultry, and some nuts and seeds.
Omega-3s are one of the main focus points in an anti-inflammatory diet, found in sources like fish, flax, chia seeds, walnuts, and avocado.
Below you’ll find tasty anti-inflammatory breakfast recipes, plus snacks, and a few savory favorites you can swap for both lunch and dinner.
Anti-Inflammatory Breakfast Recipes
What’s the best anti-inflammatory breakfast? One that’s packed with quality proteins and healthy fats like you’ll find below!
Coconut Flaxseed Porridge
Traditional oatmeal can spike blood sugar, which increases inflammation throughout the body, but this higher fiber version is both lower in carbohydrates and contains healthy fats that slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream.
Additionally, ground flaxseeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) a type of fatty acid that, while not directly active in the body, does contribute a small amount of omega 3 fats (1).
Makes 2 servings
½ cup coconut flour
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (cashew or coconut work well)
Pinch of sea salt
Optional: fresh or frozen blueberries, chopped raw nuts, drizzle of pure maple syrup, cinnamon
Combine coconut flour and flaxseed meal in small bowl. Bring non-dairy milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn the heat to low, add the coconut flour-flax mixture and stir until thick and creamy, or about 1 minute.
Fluffy Turmeric Eggs
Turmeric contains one of the strongest natural anti-inflammatories, a naturally-occurring compound known as curcumin. Curcumin has dozens of studied benefits for inflammation, gut health, and antioxidant function throughout the body (2).
Want the benefits of turmeric but don’t want to cook with it? Check out Belly Fix which contains a bioavailable form of fermented turmeric, plus a blend of other digestive superfoods.
While turmeric supplements can be a more effective way to absorb beneficial curcumin, you can also incorporate turmeric into your cooking. A simple egg breakfast is a great place to start, plus egg yolks are a rich source of vitamin D (at about 44 IUs per egg), which is also essential for modulating inflammation within your immune system. Studies show that people with low vitamin D are at increased risk of infection, and the development of autoimmune diseases (3).
Makes 1 serving
2 tbsp milk of choice
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp pastured butter or ghee
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with chives, parsley, and dill
Whisk together eggs, milk, and spices. Melt 1 tablespoon butter over skillet on medium heat. Add eggs to skillet and lightly scramble. When cooked, transfer to plate and top with desired garnish.
Pumpkin Power Smoothie
Once you realize there’s a ton of nutrition in pumpkin, you’ll want this smoothie all year ‘round–not just in PSL season. Pumpkin has 4 times as much potassium as a banana, and is a great source of antioxidant beta-carotene and fiber as well. Plus, apples provide anti-inflammatory quercetin and vitamin C.
You can find this recipe and many others in the Immunity Course, along with a full plan to help you get inflammation in check and live healthier.
Makes 1 serving
½ cup canned pumpkin
1 medium apple, cored and sliced
1 cup milk of choice
½ cup ice cubes, more if desired
¼ cup plain yogurt (plant-based if necessary)
1 serving vanilla protein powder (about 20 grams)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice)
Add ingredients to the blender, and blend until smooth.
Ginger & Peach Chia Parfait
This versatile snack can be customized to fit any season, or incorporated into any part of your day. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a simple and healthy dessert option that will satisfy your cravings while keeping inflammation levels to a minimum.
Chia seeds are another good source of ALA fats, as well as fiber. The phytonutrients that are responsible for ginger’s unique, spicy flavor also provide it’s anti-inflammatory benefits. Shogaols and gingerols, two constituents in ginger have been shown to be effective anti-inflammatory compounds (4).
Makes 1 serving
3 tbsp chia seeds
¾ cup non-dairy milk of choice
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup peach slices
Optional: shelled hemp seeds, blueberries
Stir together the chia seeds, non-dairy milk, ginger, maple syrup, vanilla extract and pinch of salt in a mason jar or bowl. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but up to overnight.
The chia seeds will absorb the liquid and form a pudding-like consistency, and you’ll want to give it a few stirs before proceeding to the next step.
Then, in a tall, skinny glass make your parfait by spooning about a quarter of the chia seed mixture into the bottom. Place a couple of peach slices on top, followed by another portion of chia mixture. Repeat until you have used all of your ingredients. If you choose to add any optional ingredients, such as berries, nuts, or spices, you can sprinkle on top. Best serve chilled.
Celery, Ginger, and Pineapple Juice
An array of powerful phytonutrients, such as polyacetylene and luteolin, give celery and celery seeds their impressive anti-inflammatory properties (5). And while the flavor of celery juice by itself might not be the most delicious addition to your palate, adding a few other ingredients can turn celery juice into something tasty AND beneficial.
Makes 1-2 servings
About ¼ of fresh pineapple
2 large celery stalks (including leaves)
2-3 slices fresh ginger
1 cup cantaloupe or honeydew melon
Cut and prepare pineapple and ginger. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Poor into glasses to serve. Garnish with pineapple ring if desired.
Want a way to indulge without the alcohol? Check out these immune healthy mocktails!
Best Beet Salad
Beets pull double duty as a rich source of anti-inflammatory compounds like betaine, as well as providing support for your detox pathways in your liver and gallbladder (6).
Need more digestive detox help? Check out 7 Foods for a Healthy Gut.
Make big batch in advance and store in the fridge and you can repurpose this beet salad as a side dish, or for a quick yet satisfying anti-inflammatory snack!
Makes 4 servings
3 large beets, peeled and chopped into cubes
5 ounces seasonal salad greens (this is about one small clamshell package)
⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese or feta
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Combine ¼ each: orange juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Add ¼ tsp salt. Add 2 tsp sugar or monk fruit sweetener if desired. Whisk until combined.
Add beets to vegetable steamer basket inside a pot. Add sufficient water to the bottom and bring to a boil. Cook beets, covered, until tender–about 12-15 minutes. When finished, cool in the refrigerator.
Rinse the salad greens if not pre-washed, and add to large bowl. Add cooled beets and crumbled cheese. Make the dressing by combining the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar (optional) and salt in a small bowl and whisk. Drizzle over the salad just before serving. Top with pumpkin or sunflower seeds for added crunch (and protein!).
Anti-Inflammatory Lunch & Dinner Recipes
Easy Roasted Broccoli and Bok Choy with Balsamic Glaze
1 lb baby bok choy (12-14 pieces)
1/2 lb broccoli (1/2 head)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove finely minced)
Salt and pepper
Garnish: sesame seeds and/or squeeze of lemon juice
For Balsamic Glaze: Heat 2 cups quality balsamic vinegar with ½ cup brown sugar. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar coats the back of a spoon and is reduced to about ½ cup–or 8-10 minutes.
For Broccoli and Bok Choy: Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut 1/2 inch off ends of bok choy, and cut in half lengthwise. Tear off any leaves that are wilted or brown. Cut stems off broccoli and cut florets in half or into smaller pieces. Add broccoli florets and bok choy to a large bowl.
Line baking sheet with foil and set aside. Drizzle broccoli and bok choy with oil and spices, and gently toss to coat. Then place in single layer on baking sheet, and roast for 6-8 minutes or until slightly brown.
Remove from oven. Transfer to platter. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and squeeze of lemon if desired.
Faux Fried Coconut Chicken with Honey Mustard
Comfort food is easy when eating an anti-inflammatory diet! Prioritizing protein while swapping traditional breading and frying methods for this alternative will satisfy your hunger and keep your immune system feeling good.
1-½ cups almond flour
¼ cup arrowroot powder
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic salt
2 large eggs
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or legs
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the paper with coconut oil or ghee.
In a shallow bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot powder, coconut, garlic powder, paprika, and garlic salt.
In another shallow bowl, whisk the eggs.
Dip each chicken piece in the egg wash, then coat evenly with the flour mixture. Place on the baking sheet.
Bake for 14 to 20 minutes, turning once, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 165°F and the juices run clear.
To make the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, blend together the mustard and honey. Serve the chicken with the dipping sauce.
Walnut Crusted Salmon with Honey & Rosemary
A great source of omega-3 fats and protein, salmon is a beneficial anti-inflammatory food. Walnuts also provide healthy fats, and some of the precursors for the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin.
2 salmon filets
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
⅓ cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp dried or fresh rosemary
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine mustard, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, honey, and salt in a small bowl. Combine rosemary, walnuts in another small bowl.
Place salmon on the prepared baking sheet, skin side down. Spread the mustard mixture over the fish and sprinkle with the walnut mixture, pressing to adhere. Bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness.
Making An Anti-Inflammatory Diet Work for You
Simple anti-inflammatory recipes are the best way to decrease inflammation that contributes to inflammatory conditions like arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. Finding foods you love, but that also keep your body feeling it’s best is the easiest way to succeed with any eating style.
Which of these anti-inflammatory recipes will you try?
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