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The Best Anti-Inflammatory Diet Is Eating Healthy

The Best Anti-Inflammatory Diet Is Eating Healthy

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Research shows consuming whole, plant-based foods and healthy fats are effective for fighting inflammation.

As the term “anti-inflammatory” continues trending in the health and wellness spheres, more products boasting anti-inflammatory benefits are popping up on the shelves of supermarkets and health food stores. Almost every healthy eating or wellness-related website has their own anti-inflammatory diet—us included—and there is certainly no shortage of anti-inflammatory diet cookbooks out there. But something many health authorities get wrong is that it’s not just about eating a few “superfoods” to fight inflammation—it’s about obtaining well-rounded nutrition in our everyday lives.

What is inflammation?

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Inflammation is your body’s way of signaling your immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue or to defend itself from harmful compounds, like bacteria and viruses. Blood and fluids carrying immune cells and plasma proteins to the endangered or injured area often cause the redness, warmth, or swelling we experience after exercise or when under the weather. But this is all part of the body’s natural healing process and isn’t always a bad thing.

There are two kinds of inflammation—acute and chronic. Acute inflammation can actually be healthy, as it temporarily occurs while recovering from a workout or an illness. Chronic inflammation is what you should watch out for.

The difference between acute and chronic inflammation is that acute inflammation is a problem-solving way to fight off unwanted compounds in the body, while chronic inflammation is a problem-causing, longer-lasting issue. Chronic inflammation affects entire systems within the body for a prolonged period of time, and is thought to be a risk factor for many common chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even depression.

Can my diet actually reduce inflammation?

What you put in your body (and what you don’t) can affect your body’s inflammatory response. While there isn’t necessarily a “perfect” diet to fight inflammation, research points to the benefits of consuming whole, plant-based foods, and omega-3 fatty acids, while decreasing consumption of processed foods, sugar, and saturated fat.

The caveat here is, if a supplement, tea, or other “wellness product” claims it reduces inflammation, you might want to be skeptical of it’s so-called magic powers. The claims on most of these products are not backed by the FDA, and you should prioritize foods in their whole form over concentrated powder or extract forms.

What does an effective anti-inflammatory diet look like?

While there are contrasting beliefs in the health community, one thing we could all benefit from is consuming more fruits and veggies. While certain produce with “superfood” status like pomegranates and acai are more commonly known inflammation fighters, you don’t need to rush out to buy a $15 acai bowl or drink a half-gallon of pomegranate juice each day. Just eat the fruit and veggies you like, or whatever’s in season at your local farmers’ market.

Opting for more healthy fats, like omega 3’s in salmon and flaxseed, is also extremely beneficial and can boost anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. Seeking out gut-friendly foods like kefir and kimchi will also boost your gut health, which is a critical aspect of staving off chronic inflammation. Even swapping out white pasta for whole wheat can make a big impact, as one study found participants who switched from refined grains to whole grains significantly reduced inflammation, compared to their refined grain-eating counterparts.

Interested in healthy, anti-inflammatory recipes?

Which foods cause inflammation?

While you don’t need to worry so much about consuming a specific food to fight inflammation, there are a few you may want to avoid—or at least reduce your intake of. Ultra-processed foods—like deli meat and donuts—as well as other products loaded with refined sugar, sodium, refined carbs, and saturated fats are all linked to inflammation. Alcohol and sugary beverages should also be seen as an occasional treat if you’re trying to abide by an anti-inflammatory diet.

One study from the University of Bonn found the body treats fast food like a bacterial infection—instigating an inflammatory response—and consuming too much can lead to chronic inflammation. This study also found high-sugar and high-fat diets can cause permanent damage to your immune system, putting you at risk for diabetes and heart attacks down the road.

The bottom line

Simply emphasizing the consumption of more plant-based foods, like produce, whole grains, unsaturated fats, spices, herbs, and legumes, is a simple way to ensure you’re abiding by an anti-inflammatory diet. Don’t worry about whether or not to invest in turmeric capsules or expensive powders—eat real, whole foods, and you’ll be on your way to fighting off chronic inflammation.

The best anti-inflammatory diets

When it comes to fighting inflammation with diet, following a specific program is not a necessity. In fact, many of the so-called anti-inflammatory diets are more hype than real science. That said, a couple of diets round up all the anti-inflammatory elements into one eating plan and have more evidence of benefit than other diets. If you aren't sure where to start, these diets are good choices.

Mediterranean diet

People who live in countries ringing the Mediterranean Sea, like Italy and Greece, have traditionally eaten a diet consisting mainly of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, fish, and olive oil — the same foods that experts recommend to bring down inflammation. Over the years, researchers began to discover that people who followed this style of eating had lower rates of disease and lived longer than people in the United States who ate a Western-style diet.

The Mediterranean diet is ranked high among doctors and dietitians, and for good reason. Studies show it protects against diseases linked to inflammation, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. And, because it includes a variety of foods, the Mediterranean diet is relatively easy to follow and stick with.

DASH diet

Although its name may suggest the "grab-and-go" section of the supermarket, DASH is anything but a fast-food regimen. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It was originally developed to lower blood pressure without medication, but is now widely considered to be one of the healthiest eating patterns around. It includes foods low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Protein is supplied by low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, and nuts. Red meat, sweets, and sugary drinks are limited. DASH is high in fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and low in sodium.

Dr. Andrew Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Another anti-inflammatory diet with science to back it up comes from Harvard-educated integrative medicine practitioner Dr. Andrew Weil. He started talking up anti-inflammatory measures decades ago, long before the idea began trending. His anti-inflammatory diet could be described as a Mediterranean diet with Asian influences. About 40% to 50% of calories come from carbohydrates, 30% from fat, and 20% to 30% from protein.

Where Dr. Weil's diet wins is in its emphasis on plant-based foods and healthy protein sources, as well as specific elements (fatty fish, fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts, and seeds) that help to reduce inflammation. It also minimizes highly processed foods, which can contribute to inflammation.

For additional advice about ways to reduce inflammation, check out Fighting Inflammation, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Image: udra/Getty Images

Anti-inflammatory meal plan: 26 recipes to try

For people who struggle with chronic inflammation, making key dietary choices can make a real difference.

The anti-inflammatory diet can help relieve joint pain and reduce inflammation.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, certain foods can help tackle inflammation, strengthen bones, and boost the immune system.

Following a specific anti-inflammatory meal plan can help people make tasty, nutritious food while helping to keep their inflammation under control.

The anti-inflammatory diet contains plenty of prebiotics, fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3s. This means a diet rich in vegetables, whole fruit, whole grains, legumes, and fatty fish.

Read on for 26 anti-inflammatory recipes to try for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Start off the day with the following nutritious anti-inflammatory recipes:

1. Oat porridge with berries

Oats with berries delivers high doses of prebiotics, antioxidants, and fiber.

Oats are high in a type of fiber called beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are an important prebiotic for the gut bacteria Bifidobacterium, which may help reduce diabetes-related inflammation and obesity.

Prebiotics help the healthy gut bacteria to flourish, which can help reduce inflammation.

Berries are high in antioxidants, and blueberries are especially high in anti-inflammatory polyphenols called anthocyanins .

Dietary tip: Traditional rolled and steel cut oats are higher in fiber than quick oats.

2. Buckwheat and chia seed porridge

Buckwheat groats are gluten-free and a great substitute for oats for people who are sensitive to gluten.

Adding chia seeds will boost the healthful omega-3 content of this breakfast choice.

Omega-3s help reduce inflammation in the body, and research shows that they can improve joint tenderness and stiffness in people with RA.

Chia seeds are also high in fiber and protein, which will keep people feeling full for longer.

3. Buckwheat berry pancakes

Buckwheat is also a good source of two key anti-inflammatory polyphenols called quercetin and rutin.

According to a 2016 study , quercetin is an antioxidant, while rutin has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help with arthritis.

Despite its name, buckwheat is not a grain. It is the seed of a fruit and is gluten-free. Buckwheat is especially popular in Japanese cuisine.

Many health food supermarkets and online stores sell buckwheat.

4. Scrambled eggs with turmeric

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, and the egg yolk contains vitamin D.

A 2016 review stated that vitamin D could limit the process of inflammation due to its effects on the immune system. The report also noted that people with RA had lower vitamin D levels than other people studied.

Add turmeric to scrambled eggs for an extra anti-inflammatory boost. Turmeric is rich in a compound called curcumin, which studies suggest can help manage oxidative and inflammatory conditions.

5. Smoked salmon, avocado, and poached eggs on toast

Salmon and avocado are both rich sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

Eating plenty of healthful fatty acids can also improve heart health and lower a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

This hearty breakfast is great for very active days or weekend brunches. For gluten-free options, use gluten-free bread.

6. Pineapple smoothie

A smoothie is a good breakfast on the go. A smoothie is full of fiber and protein, which makes people feel fuller for longer.

Pineapple contains high levels of bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties . There is growing interest in bromelain supplements due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

For lunch, try these nutritious recipes:

7. Grilled sauerkraut, hummus, and avocado sandwich

Choose this healthful vegetarian version of the Reuben for an anti-inflammatory boost.

Sauerkraut contains probiotics that are essential for a person’s gut bacteria. Probiotics may have an impact on arthritis-related inflammation by improving inflammation in the intestinal tract.

This grilled sandwich contains all the benefits of sauerkraut but contains less salt and calories than the Reuben. Adding hummus and avocado to replace the meat, provides protein and a smooth, creamy texture.

8. Spinach and feta frittata

Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, contain high levels of two polyphenols called quercetin and coenzyme Q10.

Coenzyme Q10 may reduce inflammation in some metabolic diseases, including RA, multiple sclerosis (MS), and diabetes.

Frittatas are quick and easy to make, and people can enjoy experimenting with a range of flavors. Having a side salad adds further benefits from vegetables.

9. Quinoa and citrus salad

A quinoa and citrus fruit salad is gluten-free and great for people on a vegan diet. Quinoa contains lots of protein and nutrients.

Add citrus fruits, such as lemon, lime, or grapefruit, to the salad for an antioxidant boost. Citrus fruits are full of vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant that can also help renew other antioxidants in the body.

Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron from plant-based sources, such as spinach and quinoa.

Quinoa is easy to cook and store, so people can prepare it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until needed.

10. Lentil, beetroot, and hazelnut salad

Lentil salads are a simple, protein-rich lunchtime option for people on a vegetarian diet.

Lentils and beetroot increase the fiber content, while the hazelnuts provide extra protein and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant .

Beetroots contain high amounts of a compound called betaine. Betaine is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant .

11. Cauliflower steak with beans and tomatoes

A cauliflower steak is a great vegetarian and vegan option to steak.

Cauliflower is high in fiber and antioxidants. It is part of the cruciferous vegetable family. Including white beans to the dish adds essential fermentable fibers for healthy gut bacteria.

One study found that women who ate more cruciferous vegetables had lower inflammation biomarkers.

12. Lettuce wraps with smoked trout

Trout is a fatty fish that contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s.

To make this meal more filling, try using wholemeal or gluten-free wraps, or adding brown rice as a side.

To ensure this recipe is gluten-free, check the nutrition label on the fish sauce. If it contains gluten, people may choose to leave it out. Skip the sweet chili sauce to lower the sugar content.

9 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes for Better Health

Strawberry Veggie Smoothie

Two cups of anti-inflammatory strawberries, plus veggies like cauliflower and zucchini. Plus, this nutrient-dense smoothie is filled with fiber, protein, and healthy fat, and is sure to keep you full all morning long.

Cooked Spinach and Pine Nuts

An anti-inflammatory diet should include lots of leafy greens like spinach, and this recipe boosts its inflammation-fighting power with garlic and extra-virgin olive oil.

Turmeric Latte

Trendy turmeric root has gotten a lot of hype for its anti-inflammatory health benefits Once you get on board, though, the biggest challenge is figuring out how to get it into your diet. Solution: Make this latte with another inflammation-fighting food, cinnamon.

Broiled Salmon with Spinach

A fish-and-veggies inflammation-fighting match made in heaven. Did we mention you can get this delicious dinner on the table in 15 minutes?

Green Recovery Smoothie

If you tried to maximize the amount of nutrients you could fit in one glass, you’d end up with this smoothie. And many of the goods blended in—like spinach, avocado, and cinnamon—have anti-inflammatory powers.

Cinnamon Spice Roasted Pepitas

Here’s a way to add a little inflammation-fighting sprinkle to your oatmeal, salads, and desserts. Make these cinnamon-spiced pumpkin seeds and keep ‘em handy.

Strawberry Chia Jam

Yup, strawberries again! This time, we’re making them into jam without any added sugar and by adding healthy fats (via chia seeds), which are a key part of an anti-inflammatory diet.

Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Halibut

Instead of the inflammatory refined carbs you’ll get from a pasta dinner, make your noodles out of veggies and add additional anti-inflammatory ingredients like garlic, ginger, and a piece of fish.

Cranberry Walnut Salad

Greens, nuts, olive oil, and apples? Oh my! Just don’t peel your apples before tossing them in the bowl—the inflammation-fighting compounds are in the skin.

Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, is a renowned celebrity nutritionist, healthy cooking expert, and wellness thought-leader. She is the founder and CEO of Nutritious Life and The Nutritious Life Studio, an online certification that provides unparalleled, forward-thinking education to individuals of various backgrounds looking to establish successful careers in the health and wellness industry.

Garlic comes from the same allium family as onions. It contains a number of anti-inflammatory compounds, including allicin, that inhibit pro-inflammatory messengers. Along with antioxidants, it has been shown to limit the progression of atherosclerosis and to promote heart health.

Anthocyanins impart vibrant red, blue, and purple colors to berries, but they&aposre also useful for their strong anti-inflammatory properties. Anthocyanins have been shown to reduce the activity of a compound responsible for initiating a wide array of pro-inflammatory processes. In addition, as antioxidants, they limit oxidative stress.

The Best Anti-Inflammatory Diet Is Eating Healthy - Recipes

The Ultimate Arthritis Diet

Learn which foods from the Mediterranean diet can help fight inflammation caused by arthritis.

By Amy Paturel

One of the most common questions people with arthritis ask is, &ldquoIs there a special arthritis diet?&rdquo While there&rsquos no miracle diet for arthritis, fortunately, many foods can help fight inflammation and improve joint symptoms.

For starters, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans but low processed foods and saturated fat, is not only great for overall health, but can also help manage disease activity. If this advice sounds familiar, it&rsquos because these are the principles of the Mediterranean diet, which is frequently touted for its anti-aging and disease-fighting powers.

Mediterranean Diet Benefits

Studies confirm that eating foods commonly part of the Mediterranean diet can do the following:
&bull Lower blood pressure
&bull Protect against chronic conditions, ranging from cancer to stroke
&bull Help arthritis by curbing inflammation
&bull Benefit your joints as well as your heart
&bull Lead to weight loss, which can lessen joint pain

Below are key foods from the Mediterranean diet and why they&rsquore so good for joint health.

Mediterranean Diet

How much: Health authorities like the American Heart Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend three to four ounces of fish, twice a week. Arthritis experts claim more is better.

Why: Some types of fish are good sources of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. One study found those who had the highest consumption of omega-3s had lower levels of two inflammatory proteins: C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6. More recently, researchers have shown that taking fish oil supplements helps reduce joint swelling and pain, duration of morning stiffness and disease activity among people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Best sources: Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, anchovies, scallops and other cold-water fish. Hate fish? Take a supplement. Studies show that taking 600 to 1,000 mg of fish oil daily eases joint stiffness, tenderness, pain and swelling.


How much: Eat 1.5 ounces of nuts daily (one ounce is about a handful).

Why: &ldquoMultiple studies confirm the role of nuts in an anti-inflammatory diet,&rdquo explains José M. Ordovás, PhD, director of nutrition and genomics at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. One study found that over a 15-year period, men and women who consumed the most nuts had a 51% lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease (like RA) compared with those who ate the fewest nuts. Another study found that subjects with lower levels of vitamin B6 &ndash found in most nuts &ndash had higher levels of inflammatory markers.

More good news: Nuts are jam-packed with inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat. And though they&rsquore relatively high in fat and calories, studies show noshing on nuts promotes weight loss because their protein, fiber and monounsaturated fats are satiating. &ldquoJust keep in mind that more is not always better,&rdquo says Ordovás.

Best sources: Walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds.


How much: Aim for nine or more servings daily (one serving equals one cup of most veggies or fruit or two cups of raw leafy greens).

Why: Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants. These potent chemicals act as the body&rsquos natural defense system, helping to neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals that can damage cells. Research has shown that anthocyanins found in cherries and other red and purple fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries have an anti-inflammatory effect.

More good news: Citrus fruits &ndash like oranges, grapefruits and limes &ndash are rich in vitamin C. Research shows getting the right amount of that vitamin aids in preventing inflammatory arthritis and maintaining healthy joints. Other research suggests eating vitamin K-rich veggies like broccoli, spinach, lettuce, kale and cabbage dramatically reduces inflammatory markers in the blood.

Best sources: Colorful fruits and veggies &ndash the darker or more brilliant the color, the more antioxidants it has. Good ones include blueberries, cherries, spinach, kale and broccoli.


How much: Two to three tablespoons daily.

Why: Olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). &ldquoOleocanthal inhibits activity of COX enzymes, with a pharmacological action similar to ibuprofen,&rdquo says Ordovás. Inhibiting these enzymes dampens the body&rsquos inflammatory processes and reduces pain sensitivity.

Best sources: Extra virgin olive oil goes through less refining and processing, so it retains more nutrients than standard varieties. And it&rsquos not the only oil with health benefits. Avocado and safflower oils have shown cholesterol-lowering properties, while walnut oil has 10 times the omega-3s that olive oil has.


How much: About one cup, twice a week (or more).

Why: Beans are loaded with fiber and phytonutrients, which help lower CRP, an indi¬cator of inflammation found in the blood. At high levels, CRP could indicate anything from an infection to RA. In a study scientists analyzed the nutrient content of 10 common bean varieties and identified a host of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Beans are also an excellent and inexpensive source of protein and have about 15 grams per cup, which is important for muscle health.

Best sources: Small red beans, red kidney beans and pinto beans rank among the U.S. Department of Agriculture&rsquos top four antioxidant-containing foods (wild blueberries take the number 2 spot).


How much: Eat a total of six ounces of grains per day at least three of which should come from whole grains. One ounce of whole grain would be equal to ½ cup cooked brown rice or one slice of whole-wheat bread.

Why: Whole grains contain plenty of filling fiber &ndash which can help you maintain a healthy weight. Some studies have also shown that fiber and fiber-rich foods can lower blood levels of CRP, an inflammatory marker.

Best sources: Eat foods made with the entire grain kernel, like whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, bulgur, brown rice and quinoa. Some people may need to be careful about which whole grains they eat. Gluten &ndash a protein found in wheat and other grains &ndash has been linked to inflammation for people with celiac disease (CD) or gluten sensitivity.


Why: Nightshade vegetables, including eggplant, tomatoes, red bell peppers and potatoes, are disease-fighting powerhouses that boast maximum nutrition for minimal calories.

Why not: They also contain solanine, a chemical that has been branded the culprit in arthritis pain. There&rsquos no scientific evidence to suggest that nightshades trigger arthritis flares.

Test it: Some experts believe these vegetables contain a potent nutrient mix that helps inhibit arthritis pain. However, many people do report symptom relief when they avoid nightshade vegetables. So, if you notice that your arthritis pain flares after eating them, consider eliminating all nightshade vegetables from your diet for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference. Then slowly add them back into your diet to see if symptoms worsen or stay the same.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s way of signaling your immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue or to defend itself from harmful compounds, like bacteria and viruses. Blood and fluids carrying immune cells and plasma proteins to the endangered or injured area often cause the redness, warmth, or swelling we experience after exercise or when under the weather. But this is all part of the body’s natural healing process and isn’t always a bad thing.

There are two kinds of inflammation—acute and chronic. Acute inflammation can actually be healthy, as it temporarily occurs while recovering from a workout or an illness. Chronic inflammation is what you should watch out for.

The difference between acute and chronic inflammation is that acute inflammation is a problem-solving way to fight off unwanted compounds in the body, while chronic inflammation is a problem-causing, longer-lasting issue. Chronic inflammation affects entire systems within the body for a prolonged period of time, and is thought to be a risk factor for many common chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even depression.

5 Anti-Inflammatory Veggie Recipes Nutritionists Swear By For A Healthy Gut & Fat Loss

If you want to improve your overall health, the first adjustment you should make to your diet is including a wider array of vegetables into your meals. Not only are they low in calories and high in the essential nutrients needed for healthy weight loss, but they also allow your body to function more efficiently, improving your quality of life and even extending your life expectancy. To improve your eating habits and aid in weight loss this spring, these are the five recipes you need to integrate into your menu this week to make eating vegetables effortless and delicious!

Anti-Inflammatory Veggie Bowl

This veggie packed bowl is the perfect hearty lunch to keep you full and satisfied without skimping on flavor. With the anti-inflammatory powerhouse turmeric included in the recipe, any bloating you may be experiencing won&rsquot stand a chance after you eat this meal. Plus, it&rsquos vegan so you won&rsquot suffer from lactose intolerance induced inflammation.

Ingredients: Butternut squash, cauliflower, onion, red radishes, brussel sprouts, garlic, cooking oil, ground cinnamon, ginger, cumin, turmeric, coriander, paprika, sea salt, black pepper, tahini, lemon, maple syrup, sea salt, water, brown rice, chickpeas

Anti-Inflammatory Veggie Curry

Curry is a filling and hearty meal packed with nutrients to help you along your health journey. This recipe also includes turmeric, making it ideal for cutting through bloat, and served over a base of brown rice this dish covers all the essential macronutrients needed for weight loss.

Ingredients: Brown rice, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, veggie broth, chickpeas, canned green sweet peas, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, black pepper, whole peeled tomatoes, coconut milk

Anti-Inflammatory Stir Fry

Stir fry is easy to throw together on those busy nights when you don&rsquot want to put much effort into your meals, but still want to eat something delicious. Loaded with anti-inflammatory veggies and great flavor, this dish will quickly become a staple as a healthy dinner you can rely on!

Ingredients: Onion, salt and pepper, turmeric, curry powder, garlic, ginger, olive oil, chicken, broccoli, bell pepper, snap peas, cashews, jasmine rice, soy sauce, sesame oil, spicy honey, cornstarch

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is an incredibly versatile veggie which can be prepared in a number of different ways, keeping your diet fresh for weight loss. This anti-inflammatory recipe is a great side dish for when you&rsquore feeling bloated and are in search of something light to satisfy your savory cravings while offering health benefits galore.

Ingredients: Cauliflower, olive oil, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper

Anti-Inflammatory Kale Salad

Kale has been known to be great for your health, so acting as the base for this salad, it will provide you with vitamins and antioxidants necessary for a balanced diet. Mixing sweet and savory flavors, this salad is a delicious stand alone dish, or can be made as a side with chicken, pasta, or any other meal you may cook up!

Ingredients: Kale, blueberries, dark pitted cherries, shredded carrot, purple cabbage, almonds, seaweed, toasted sesame seeds

Famous Chefs’ Recipes for Your Anti-Inflammatory Diet

A n anti-inflammatory diet might ease the pain of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Try these 9 healthful, mouthwatering recipes from famous chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Rachael Ray.

Did you eat an anti-inflammatory rainbow of food today? It might help ease the joint pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis. Eating more colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and healthy fats such as olive oil – the basis of an antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet – may help RA patients stay healthy. That’s because antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress, which is known to contribute to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, explains Sheila West, PhD, associate professor of bio-behavioral health at Penn State University, who headed a 2011 study published in The Journal of Nutrition. People who ate more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables had lower blood levels of C-reactive protein, which rise in response to inflammation, according to a 2012 Italian study published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. As a bonus, these foods may ward off excess weight, which adds stress to your joints, according to Venus Ramos, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist in Long Beach, Calif. But dishing up healthful meals doesn’t mean you have to spend hours over a hot stove. We tapped some of the top chefs in the country – Cat Cora, Giada De Laurentiis, Gordon Ramsey and Bobby Flay, to name a few – for their best low-calorie dishes that are rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients. Read on for 9 celebrity chefs’ recipes that can help women with rheumatoid arthritis stay healthy. Famous chefs’ recipe for your anti-inflammatory diet #1: Cat Cora
“Iron Chef America” and Food Network star Cat Cora has authored several books, including Cooking From the Hip: Fast, Easy, Phenomenal Meals (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Here’s one of her favorite cold-weather recipes: a spicy, hearty chili blanca (“white chili”) that gets its name from the use of chicken instead of beef and white beans instead of kidney beans – along with other anti-inflammatory, antioxidant ingredients, such as olive oil, onion, cilantro, cumin, cayenne and chili powder. White Bean and Chicken Chili Blanca
Serves: 8-10
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour Ingredients
1 pound chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
2 15-ounce cans white or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons pure chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups water
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped Preparation
1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. 2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over high heat, add chicken pieces and cook, stirring until browned, 2-3 minutes. 3. Lower the heat to medium, add onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent, 5-6 minutes. 4. Add the beans, corn, chilies, spices and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. 5. Top each serving with a spoonful of cheese and sprinkling of cilantro.

Famous chefs’ recipe for your anti-inflammatory diet #2: Gordon Ramsay
Star of numerous TV shows, including Fox Broadcasting’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares,” British chef Gordon Ramsay says he doesn’t care for “faddy diets.” But he does believe in serving “healthy food without jeopardizing taste and flavor,” as he notes in his book Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite: 125 Super-Fresh Recipes for a High-Energy Life (Sterling Epicure). Anti-inflammatory ingredients here include sweet potatoes, olive oil, chives, lemon and Tabasco sauce. Sweet Potato Frittata With Tomato Salsa
Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes Ingredients
For the frittata
1 large sweet potato, about 7-8 ounces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and minced
Sea salt
Black pepper
4 large eggs
Small handful of chives, finely snipped For the tomato salsa
8 ounces vine-ripened plum tomatoes
2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
Handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Pinch of sugar (optional) Preparation
For the salsa:
1. To make the salsa, halve or quarter the tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar if you like. Set aside. For the frittata:
1. Heat the broiler to its highest setting. 2. Peel the sweet potato and cut into ½-inch cubes. Heat a nonstick omelet pan or skillet (suitable for use under the broiler) and add the olive oil. 3. When oil is hot, toss in the potato and shallot, and season well with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes until potatoes are just tender and lightly golden at the edges. 4. Beat eggs lightly in a bowl, add chives, and pour over sweet potatoes. Shake the pan gently to distribute the ingredients. Cook over low heat, without stirring, for a few minutes until the eggs begin to set at the bottom and around the sides. 5. Place the pan under the hot broiler briefly until the top of the frittata has set. Don't overcook the eggs or they will turn rubbery. Let stand for a minute, then run a heatproof plastic spatula around the sides of the pan and invert the frittata onto a large plate. 6. Spoon the tomato salsa into a neat pile on top and serve immediately.

Famous chefs’ recipe for your anti-inflammatory diet #3: Giada De Laurentiis
Italian-born, Southern California-raised chef Giada De Laurentiis hosts “Giada at Home” on the Food Network. She has written several cookbooks, including Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes and Weeknights With Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner (both Clarkson Potter). Her roasted chicken recipe below is a juicy, low-calorie, heart-healthy favorite from Everyday Italian, with heart-healthy balsamic vinegar, lemons and olive oil. Roasted Chicken With Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour (plus 2 to 24 hours for chicken to marinate) Ingredients
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces (reserve giblets, neck and backbone for another use)
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves Preparation
1. Whisk the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in small bowl to blend. 2. Combine the vinaigrette and chicken pieces in a large, resealable plastic bag seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, for at least 2 hours and up to one day. 3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from the bag and arrange pieces on a large, greased baking dish. 4. Roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 1 hour. If your chicken browns too quickly, cover it with foil for the remaining cooking time. 5. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. 6. Place the baking dish on a burner over medium-low heat. Whisk the chicken broth into the pan drippings, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the baking sheet with a wooden spoon and mixing them into the broth and pan drippings. (If you want to decrease saturated fat even further, you can skip this step.) 6. Drizzle the pan drippings over the chicken. Sprinkle the lemon zest and parsley over the chicken and serve.

Famous chefs’ recipe for your anti-inflammatory diet #4: The Barefoot Contessa
Chef Ina Garten hosts the Food Network program “Barefoot Contessa” and has written nearly a dozen books, including Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust (Clarkson Potter). She specializes in elegant but easy recipes, including this winter favorite. To reduce the recipe’s sodium content (1,400 mg as written) by at least half, use only half a tablespoon of kosher salt, substitute low-sodium chicken stock and skip the Parmesan. Your heart will thank you for all the lentils, onions and garlic, as well as the olive oil, cumin and veggies. Lentil Vegetable Soup
Serves: 8-10
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes Ingredients
1 pound French green lentils, dry
4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large onions)
4 cups chopped leeks, white part only (2 leeks)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on top
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1- ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups medium-diced celery (8 stalks)
3 cups medium-diced carrots (4-6 carrots)
3 quarts chicken stock
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine or red wine vinegar
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese Preparation
1. In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain. 2. In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender. 3. Add the celery and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes. 4. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through. 5. Check the seasonings. Add the red wine and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Famous chefs’ recipe for your anti-inflammatory diet #5: Bobby Flay
Food Network grillmaster Bobby Flay is a chef, restaurateur and author of 15 cookbooks, including Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction (Clarkson Potter). He’s also star, host or judge on numerous Food Network shows, including “Grill It! With Bobby Flay” and “Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction.” This high-fiber vegetarian salad has plenty of anti-inflammatory properties from avocado, onion, spices and olive oil, and only 158 mg of sodium per 313-calorie serving. Grilled Eggplant Salad
Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes Ingredients
1 Italian eggplant, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1 large red onion, cut into rounds
Canola oil
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped oregano leaves
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, zested
Parsley sprigs, for garnish Preparation
1. Brush the eggplant and red onions with canola oil and arrange on the grill. Cook the eggplant until soft and grill the onions until they have a slight char. 2. Remove from the grill to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Once cool, roughly chop and add them to a serving bowl along with the avocado. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, Dijon and oregano. 4. Add honey and olive oil, to taste, and blend until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 5. Add the dressing to the eggplant mixture and toss. 6. Garnish with lemon zest and parsley sprigs. Serve.

Famous chefs’ recipe for your anti-inflammatory diet #6: Robert Irvine
These days, Robert Irvine is probably as famous for rescuing failing eateries on his popular Food Network show “Restaurant: Impossible” as he is as a working chef. The author of two cookbooks, including Impossible to Easy: 111 Delicious Recipes to Help You Put Great Meals on the Table Every Day (William Morrow Cookbooks), and a self-described health nut, he created this soup recipe that has almost no saturated fat, 13.5 grams of fiber and only 285 calories per serving. Anti-inflammatory ingredients include beans, broccoli, onion and garlic. Everything But the Kitchen Sink
Serves: 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour Ingredients
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 small yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 large potatoes, rinsed and diced in large pieces
2 quarts vegetable stock
1 cup canned navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf, crumbled
2 teaspoons minced thyme leaves
2 cups broccoli florets
2 medium Roma tomatoes, chopped Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together grapeseed oil with salt and pepper to taste. Add the squash, carrots, onion, garlic and potatoes, tossing to coat. 3. Put coated vegetables on a sheet pan and roast until the onions are translucent, about 20-25 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, in large stock pot, over medium heat, add the stock, beans, bay leaf and thyme cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 5. With a hand blender, pulse stock and bean mixture until the beans are slightly pureed. 6. Remove the vegetables from oven and add to pot, then stir in the broccoli and tomatoes. Cook until all vegetables are cooked through, about 30-35 minutes. Note: A cornstarch and water mixture or a light roux can be blended in to thicken the soup.

Famous chefs’ recipe for your anti-inflammatory diet #7: Rachael Ray
Rachael Ray has written more than two dozen cookbooks since 1999 and undoubtedly is working on more. My Year in Meals (Atria Books) lets fans of her TV shows glimpse inside her home kitchen to see how she cooks up all those 30-minute meals. This recipe is rich in omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon, and has plenty of heart-healthy olive oil, cucumber, vinegar and red onion. Well-Dressed Salmon
Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes Ingredients
1/2 seedless cucumber
2 small plum tomatoes
1 shallot or 1/4 red onion, finely chopped, divided
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
Seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay) Preparation
1. Dice cucumber into 1/4-inch pieces – to peel or not to peel is up to you. Seed and dice the tomatoes into 1/4-inch pieces. Combine cucumber, tomatoes and half the shallots or red onion in a bowl and set aside. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, sugar and white wine vinegar and remaining half of the shallots. Stream in extra-virgin olive oil while continuing to whisk. Stir in dill and season dressing with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Season the salmon with seafood seasoning and a little black pepper. 4. Heat a nonstick skillet with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Place salmon rounded side down and cook until golden and a little crispy at the edges, 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook 2 minutes more for a pink center, or 4 minutes for opaque fish. 5. Transfer salmon to dinner or serving plates, top with the cucumber-tomato relish and cover with a liberal amount of dill dressing.

Famous chefs’ recipe for your anti-inflammatory diet #8: Bobby Deen
The son of Southern cooking maven Paula Deen, Bobby Deen is the author of From Mama’s Table to Mine: Everybody's Favorite Comfort Foods at 350 Calories or Less (Ballantine Books). He’s on a mission to preserve the “comfort food” flavor of the meals he grew up on, but with a lot less fat and fewer calories. This coleslaw recipe offers plenty of heart-healthy, antioxidant-rich broccoli, cabbage, lemon and onions, at around 90 calories per serving. The Son’s Slaw
Serves: 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: None Ingredients
3 cups broccoli slaw (shredded raw broccoli)
1 head shredded cabbage
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon House Seasoning (recipe follows)
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 green onion, chopped For the House Seasoning (mix until well combined)
1 cup salt
1/4 cup pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder Preparation
1. Combine the broccoli slaw and cabbage in a large bowl. 2. Whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, honey and 1/2 teaspoon of the House Seasoning. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss well to coat. 3. Add the parsley and green onions and toss again. 4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour before serving.

Famous chefs’ recipe for your anti-inflammatory diet #9: Sandra Lee
New York’s Sandra Lee, host of the Food Network's “Sandra's Money-Saving Meals,” has more than two dozen books to her credit, including Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade The Complete Cookbook (John Wiley & Sons). Although she’s best known for her desserts and everyday comfort foods, this easy-to-make recipe is full of healthful ingredients, including onions, carrots, bell peppers, olive oil and chickpeas – which contain two anti-inflammatory chemicals, kaempferol and quercetin, according to Vancouver registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen, RD. Chickpea Salad
Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: None Ingredients
2 (19-ounce) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 carrot, grated
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves Preparation
1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss. To learn more about anti-inflammatory ingredients, read Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Top 10 Foods to Fight Inflammation. For more information and expert advice, visit Lifescript’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Health Center.

9 Anti-Inflammatory Drink Recipes You Should Be Drinking

1.Spicy Golden Milk (Turmeric Tea)

2. Green Turmeric Lemonade

3. Coconut Autoimmune Paleo Smoothie

4. Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk Smoothie

5. Ginger turmeric shots

6. Detoxifying & Anti-inflammatory Herbed Olive Oil

7. Pomegranate Juice

8. Probiotic Rich Vegan Sour Cream

9. Healthy Pineapple Strawberry + Turmeric Smoothie

Chronic inflammation is terrible and can lead to tons of lifestyle diseases that you wouldn’t want! That’s why, as early as now, you should start having an anti-inflammatory diet and maintaining a good lifestyle!

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Anyway, have you experienced inflammation before? How did you reduce it? And also, which of the anti-inflammatory diet recipes are you willing to try out first?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post featuring all the food bloggers who shared their anti-inflammatory diet recipes.


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  2. Thurstun

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