21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (2024)

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Hey guys! I'm Michelle. Recently, I had a medical scare involving double vision that, for the first time in my adult life, made me take a true, hard look at my health and diet. I don't know if my diet played any role in my acute double vision — it may very well have played ZERO part in it — but I figured now would be as good a time as any to examine sources of inflammation in my diet and lifestyle. In my quest to understand nutritional sources of inflammation, I spoke with registered dietitian Kristen Brogan, of wellness platform On Target Living. Generally speaking, on an anti-inflammatory eating pattern, you should focus your dishes on vegetables, fruits, some spices, nuts, and omega-3 fats. Without further ado, here are 21 recipes that fit the anti-inflammatory bill: 1. Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew 3. Mushroom And Garlic Quinoa Salad 4. Baked Sweet Potatoes With Tahini Sauce 6. Lemon Chicken With Asparagus 7. Walnut Sage Pesto Pasta With Delicata Squash 8. Chickpea Shawarma Salad 9. Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas 10. Fish Taco Bowls With Chipotle Aioli and Coconut-Lime Cauliflower Rice 11. Tomato Basil Garlic Chicken 12. Easy One-Pan Mediterranean Cod With Fennel, Kale, and Black Olives 13. Spaghetti Squash Garlic Noodles 14. Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits 15. 15-Minute Garlic Shrimp Zoodles 16. Greek Chicken Topped With Tomato, Olive, and Feta 17. 5-Ingredient Green Curry 18. Spaghetti Squash With Asparagus, Ricotta, Lemon, and Thyme 19. One-Pan Salmon With Wild Rice and Broccoli FAQs

Hey guys! I'm Michelle. Recently, I had a medical scare involving double vision that, for the first time in my adult life, made me take a true, hard look at my health and diet.

I won't go into details, but I basically woke up one morning unable to focus my eyes. After two weeks of emergency tests and hospital visits, my doctor set me up with an intense anti-inflammatory drug that did the trick.

I don't know if my diet played any role in my acute double vision — it may very well have played ZERO part in it — but I figured now would be as good a time as any to examine sources of inflammation in my diet and lifestyle.

MTV

I thought that while decreasing inflammation might not do anything for my eye issue, the nutritional education could only result in more informed dietary decisions and positive changes. Win-win, right?

In my quest to understand nutritional sources of inflammation, I spoke with registered dietitian Kristen Brogan, of wellness platform On Target Living.

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (1)

Kristen Brogan / On Target Living

The point of an anti-inflammatory eating pattern is not to lose weight, so it's not really a "diet" in the conventional use of that term. According to Brogan, an anti-inflammatory eating pattern includes foods that can naturally lower inflammatory markers in the body. In plainer words, an anti-inflammatory diet is simply one that won't make your body fire off an immune response.

"Foods aren’t inflammatory markers per se, but can indirectly raise inflammatory markers in the body," explained Brogan. Examples of foods that can indirectly raise markers include sugar, which can increase inflammation in the body because of the excess fructose that accumulates and causes an imbalance in insulin and blood glucose. Other ingredients shown to "increase inflammatory markers" include trans fats, an excess of vegetable oils, processed animal proteins, and alcohol — these should be consumed in moderation.

Generally speaking, on an anti-inflammatory eating pattern, you should focus your dishes on vegetables, fruits, some spices, nuts, and omega-3 fats.

According to Brogan and other sources, here are some basic guidelines you should follow for an anti-inflammatory "diet":

Consume plenty of vegetables and fruits. Generally speaking, this goes along with the anti-inflammatory principle of sticking to foods that are as close to their natural states as possible.

Consume whole grains, as opposed to refined carbohydrates like pasta, white bread, and white rice.

• Consume foods rich in omega-3 fats, like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and fish oil.

Season foods with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices like cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, rosemary, ginger, sage, and thyme.

• Make oily fish your primary protein.

• Consume alcohol, processed meat, and dairy rarely.

• Avoid processed foods and refined sugars.

• Cut out trans fats completely.

Like the Mediterranean diet (which is a type of anti-inflammatory diet, btw), an anti-inflammatory eating pattern works best when coupled with a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle factors that can cause inflammation include poor sleep, high stress, lack of movement, smoking, and long-term use of antibiotics and medications.

Without further ado, here are 21 recipes that fit the anti-inflammatory bill:

1. Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew

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tasty.co

Savor the goodness of this vegan chickpea sweet potato stew! This flavorful dish is packed with anti-inflammatory spices like cayenne and cumin, protein-rich chickpeas, and creamy sweet potatoes. Perfect for meal prep, it's freezer-friendly for easy, nourishing meals all week long.

Get the recipe.

3. Mushroom And Garlic Quinoa Salad

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (3)

tasty.co

Savor the earthy flavors of tender mushrooms, nutty quinoa, and aromatic garlic in one satisfying dish. Simply sauté mushrooms, garlic, and thyme in a skillet, cook the quinoa in vegetable stock in a pot until fluffy, and combine them for a terrific meal to help fight inflammation.

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minimalistbaker.com

Sweet potatoes are some of the sweetest starchy vegetables out there, and taste even better when paired with a thick and creamy hummus or tahini sauce.

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6. Lemon Chicken With Asparagus

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (4)

pinchofyum.com

Lemon is a totally underrated fruit — it can bring out the flavor in so many meals. Take this lemon chicken recipe, which, with the help of the sour fruit, turns a greasy chicken slab into an artistic and zestful meal. (When life gives you lemons...?)

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abeautifulplate.com

Squash is one of those vegetables that's so flavorful, and at once so satisfyingly creamy and "meaty," that it seems too good to be healthy for you. But guess what? It is!

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8. Chickpea Shawarma Salad

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (5)

minimalistbaker.com

According to Brogan, beans in general are considered a "functional" food because they offer health benefits "beyond basic nutrition, promote optimal health, and support disease prevention."

Get the recipe.

9. Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas

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number-2-pencil.com

Instead of the usual white tortillas, opt for whole wheat tortillas, which have more fiber and a lower glycemic index, meaning they don't result in rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels after meals.

Get the recipe.

10. Fish Taco Bowls With Chipotle Aioli and Coconut-Lime Cauliflower Rice

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (7)

40aprons.com

You know how cauliflower rice can be weirdly dry and watery at the same time? Not so with this coconut-lime cauliflower rice, which is made with creamy, full-fat coconut milk and seasoned with lime and salt. Top it with flaky paprika-seasoned fish and one or all of the mentioned sauces, and you'll want to set up a taco shop out of your kitchen.

Get the recipe.

11. Tomato Basil Garlic Chicken

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (8)

asaucykitchen.com

When the tomato sauce is this hearty, you'll be glad your noodles are made of zucchini.

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abraskitchen.com

Look, we know cod isn't the most exciting protein. But it's low in calories, high in protein, and chock full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals. Also, its light flakiness means it's really good at absorbing whatever other flavors you might throw on the pan with it.

Get the recipe.

paleoglutenfree.com

Zoodles are great and all, but spaghetti squash is as close to the carb-y stuff that a vegetable will actually get. Here, grated ginger, red curry paste, and fish sauce transform it into the best dang garlic "noodle" dish you could whip up using just vegetables.

Get the recipe.

14. Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (9)

40aprons.com

Substitute your cornmeal grits with a bag of frozen cauliflower, ghee, and garlic for low-carb, higher-nutrient grits you'll want to make again and again.

Get the recipe.

15. 15-Minute Garlic Shrimp Zoodles

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (10)

saltandlavender.com

After you spiralize your zucchini, sprinkle the zoodles with a bit of salt (to draw out extra moisture), wait around 20 minutes, and dry them off with a paper towel.

Get the recipe.

16. Greek Chicken Topped With Tomato, Olive, and Feta

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (11)

kalynskitchen.com

This one's for you olive lovers out there. A simple chicken breast gets made over with an olive oil, oregano, and garlic marinade, and a simple olive and tomato topping.

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17. 5-Ingredient Green Curry

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (12)

pinchofyum.com

Cut out some of the fat (and cost!) by using just one can of coconut milk and thinning the sauce out with water.

Get the recipe.

18. Spaghetti Squash With Asparagus, Ricotta, Lemon, and Thyme

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (13)

thekitchn.com

Ricotta cheese, pine nuts, and thyme leaves combine for a delicious recipe that'll remind you why it's always worth it to try a new dish out.

Get the recipe.

19. One-Pan Salmon With Wild Rice and Broccoli

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (14)

realfood.tesco.com

Your rice might get a little crispy, but that's to be expected. Served with slightly charred broccoli and fatty salmon, it makes the perfect macro bowl.

Get the recipe.

21 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Are Worth Trying (2024)

FAQs

What is the number one food that kills inflammation? ›

1. Avocados. Avocados are often sought after for their creamy texture and satiating taste. But they are also powerhouses when it comes to fighting inflammation.

What is the most anti-inflammatory meal? ›

Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Focus On:
  • Fish, especially salmon and tuna.
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas and other beans)
  • Whole grains (quinoa, whole-wheat bread, brown rice)
  • Sweet potato.
  • Eggs.
  • Citrus fruits.
  • Garlic, herbs and spices.
  • Greek yogurt and kefir.
Sep 28, 2022

What three 3 inflammatory foods you should eliminate from your diet? ›

Foods that cause inflammation

soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage) margarine, shortening, and lard.

What is the number one fruit for inflammation? ›

Pineapple. According to Zappulla, pineapple contains a compound called bromelain, which has inflammation reducing properties. Pineapple is also a good source of fiber and antioxidants like vitamin C (a half cup provides you with around 40 percent Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C), and vitamin A.

What drink kills inflammation? ›

Here are seven research-backed drinks that can help fight inflammation in your body.
  • Baking soda + water. ...
  • Parsley + ginger green juice. ...
  • Lemon + turmeric tonic. ...
  • Bone broth. ...
  • Functional food smoothie. ...
  • Matcha anti-inflammatory tonic. ...
  • Greens and berries smoothie.
Mar 16, 2023

What is the #1 best drink to reduce inflammation? ›

What is the #1 best drink to reduce inflammation?
  • baking soda and water.
  • parsley and ginger green juice.
  • lemon and turmeric tonic.
  • bone broth.
  • functional food smoothie.
  • matcha tea.
  • greens and berry smoothie.

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory herb? ›

Ginger is one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory herbs used for centuries in traditional medicine. This herb contains several bioactive compounds, including gingerols, shogaols, and zingerone, which have been shown to exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Are eggs inflammatory? ›

According to a 2020 review, eggs contain substances such as trimethylamine-N-oxide, omega-6 fatty acids, and arachidonic acid, which can promote inflammation. However, a 2019 study on adults found no connection between egg consumption and inflammatory biomarkers in the blood.

Is cheese bad for inflammation? ›

Unfortunately, many foods considered part of the traditional western diet can cause inflammation. When following an anti-inflammatory diet, avoid eating: Foods high in saturated fats (including red meat, cheese and foods made with saturated fats and oils) Full-fat dairy (such as cheese and whole milk)

What are the 10 worst inflammatory foods? ›

Here are the top ten worst offending foods that can trigger or cause inflammation:
  • Dairy Products. ...
  • Wheat, Rye, and Barley. ...
  • Fried Foods. ...
  • Refined Flour. ...
  • Red Meat. ...
  • Processed Corn. ...
  • Artificial Chemicals and Additives. ...
  • Trans Fats. Trans fats, aside from causing cancer, also create low-density lipoproteins, which feed inflammation.
Dec 9, 2023

Are potatoes inflammatory? ›

It actually provides a very potent anti-inflammatory food in combination.” Potatoes are a source of vitamin C and potassium, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Potatoes can be a source of “resistant starch” too.

Are bananas OK for inflammation? ›

Bananas contain magnesium and potassium and also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These components may help bone density and alleviate arthritis symptoms. Eating foods that are part of an anti-inflammatory diet may also help reduce arthritis symptoms.

What fruit is not good for arthritis? ›

Some experts believe that citrus fruits, such as lemons, may not be helpful, but other evidence suggests the flavonoids in citrus fruits may be beneficial due to their anti-inflammatory properties. More research is needed.

What meat is anti-inflammatory? ›

In fact, pasture-raised chickens, pigs, lambs, and cows have higher levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and lower levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids than corn-fed animals. Research even shows less disease among people who opt for meat from grass-fed animals over conventional.

What is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory? ›

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids , which are abundant in fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, are among the most potent anti-inflammatory supplements. ...
  2. Curcumin. ...
  3. S-adenosylmethionine. ...
  4. Zinc. ...
  5. Green tea. ...
  6. Frankincense. ...
  7. Capsaicin. ...
  8. Cat's claw.
Aug 22, 2023

Are eggs good for inflammation? ›

Eggs and inflammation

On the contrary, eggs have been shown to contain compounds that may have anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, eating two eggs per week as a part of a well-balanced diet is recommended for most adults, including those with arthritis ( 9 ).

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