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

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.


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.

18 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 18 recipes that fit the anti-inflammatory bill:


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.

Get the recipe.

3. Lemon Chicken With Asparagus

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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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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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5. Chickpea Shawarma Salad

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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.

6. Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas

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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.

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


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.

8. Tomato Basil Garlic Chicken

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

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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.

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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.

11. Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits

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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.

12. 15-Minute Garlic Shrimp Zoodles

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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.

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

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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.

Get the recipe.

14. 5-Ingredient Green Curry

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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.

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

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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.

16. One-Pan Salmon With Wild Rice and Broccoli

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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.

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


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 number one fruit for inflammation? ›

Berries. From strawberries and blackberries to cranberries and blueberries, these gemlike fruits are particularly potent in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

What is the best thing on the market for inflammation? ›

Here are 10 supplements that research shows may help reduce inflammation.
  1. Curcumin. Curcumin is a compound found in the spice turmeric, which is commonly used in Indian cuisine and known for its bright yellow hue. ...
  2. Fish oil. ...
  3. Ginger. ...
  4. Resveratrol. ...
  5. Spirulina. ...
  6. Vitamin D. ...
  7. Bromelain. ...
  8. Green tea extract.

How do you flush inflammation out of your body? ›

Healthy eating tips to help reduce inflammation
  1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. ...
  2. Choose high-fiber carbohydrates. ...
  3. Eat more fiber. ...
  4. Choose plant-based and leaner animal protein sources. ...
  5. Be conscious of your fat sources. ...
  6. Reduce the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in the diet. ...
  7. Reduce your sugar intake. ...
  8. Limit or avoid alcohol.
Nov 16, 2023

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

What is the strongest 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.

Can I eat eggs on anti-inflammatory diet? ›

Can You Eat Eggs On An Anti-Inflammatory Diet? Eggs are a highly nutritious food that can provide various anti-inflammatory benefits when consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Are bananas anti-inflammatory? ›

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.

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.

What are 5 vegetables to avoid for arthritis? ›

Eggplants, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes are all members of the nightshade family. These vegetables contain the chemical solanine, which some people claim aggravates arthritis pain and inflammation.

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.

How I cured my inflammation naturally? ›

Follow these six tips for reducing inflammation in your body:
  1. Load up on anti-inflammatory foods. ...
  2. Cut back or eliminate inflammatory foods. ...
  3. Control blood sugar. ...
  4. Make time to exercise. ...
  5. Lose weight. ...
  6. Manage stress.
Mar 29, 2024

What is the #1 best vitamin for chronic inflammation? ›

Best vitamins and supplements for chronic inflammation
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids. ...
  • Curcumin (Turmeric) ...
  • Green Tea Extract. ...
  • Ginger. ...
  • Boswellia (Indian Frankincense) ...
  • Vitamin D. ...
  • Probiotics.
Mar 18, 2024

What is an anti-inflammatory breakfast? ›

Smoothies are a great way to load up on key anti-inflammatory foods like berries, probiotic-rich yogurt and greens. When creating your blender breakfast, incorporate a protein source like Greek yogurt, tofu or even a protein powder to balance carbs and to keep you fuller for longer.

Are eggs good for inflammation? ›

Various functional foods, nutrients and vital components have shown to modify the inflammation response in the body. Functional foods such as eggs contain a variety of essential nutrients and vital components including egg proteins, phospholipids, lutein and zeaxanthin that curb inflammation.

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