Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? Is that morning muffin leaving you in an achy mid-morning slump? In a series of recent articles, we’ve given you lots of nutritional guidance on meals, snacks, and drinks that help fight inflammation. I mean… we have to eat and hydrate ourselves. So why not get some pain relief at the same time? We know that scrolling through all of our previous blog posts is a lot to ask when you’re hungry and wondering what to eat. So we’re bringing this all together for you as a “super anti-inflammatory nutrition guide” to give you some breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas to rotate out in your daily meal plans.
Here are all the inflammation-fighting foods (listed alphabetically) that we’ve included in our meal ideas below and why:
Avocados: Avocados are full of vitamins and polyphenols that work as antioxidants to fight inflammation.
Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. are fiber-rich and high in anthocyanin which both contribute to fighting inflammation.
Cherries: All berries are good for combating inflammation, but cherries are the real MVPs. They contain high amounts of both anthocyanin 1 and anthocyanin 2, two powerful inflammation-fighting compounds.
Eggs: This breakfast staple is high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit is high in vitamin C, which isn’t just good for your immune system, it’s also good for your joints! According to The Arthritis Foundation, vitamin C helps prevent inflammatory arthritis and maintain healthy joints.
Ginger: This herb and spice is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. (source)
Kale: Kale is loaded with antioxidants that neutralize the unstable free radical molecules that harm your cells.
Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, peas, and beans are protein and fiber-rich and have been proven to help reduce inflammatory markers. (source)
Maca Powder: This superfood powder increases progesterone levels which can help reduce swelling and inflammation. (source)
Mangos: This tropical fruit contains inflammation-fighting polyphenols. (source)
Matcha: This green tea contains catechin which is a natural antioxidant that does much of the heavy lifting in green tea when it comes to fighting inflammation. (source)
Moringa: Moringa has been shown to reduce inflammation due to the presence of isothiocyanates (like those found in broccoli) and polyphenols. (source)
Nuts: In particular, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and peanuts are excellent sources of vitamin E which may protect the body from the effects of harmful free radicals and have been shown to reduce inflammation. (source)
Olive Oil: Virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal which possesses similar anti-inflammatory properties to ibuprofen. (source)
Oranges: An orange has over 170 different phytochemicals and more than 60 flavonoids. Many of these have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and strong antioxidant effects. (source)
Peppers: Peppers, especially red peppers, are rich in inflammation-fighting beta-carotene.
Raisins: Raisins reduce the inflammation marker TNF-alpha, according to Dr. Jim Painter of Eastern Illinois University. The same chemical found in the skin of grapes that protects the fruit, resveratrol, also protects your body from harmful free radical molecules that can cause inflammation.
Salmon and Tuna: These fish are high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (especially Salmon).
Spinach: Spinach is loaded with inflammation-fighting antioxidants.
Spirulina Powder: This superfood powder contains phycocyanin—a free radical-fighting substance that inhibits production of inflammatory signaling molecules. (source)
Sweet Potatoes: The vitamin C and beta carotene found in sweet potatoes help prevent and reduce inflammation.
Tomatoes: According to a study, tomatoes are the richest source of the inflammation-fighting antioxidant lycopene.
Yogurt: Fermented foods like yogurt are good for preventing and reducing inflammation.
Whole Grains: Whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and other unrefined grains tend to be high in fiber, and fiber may help with inflammation. (source)
Below we’ll share a host of meal and snack ideas containing these anti-inflammatory foods above. Hint hint… some of these meals are linked to a recipe!
- A fresh grapefruit cut in half with a bowl of yogurt, berries, and moringa sprinkled in. Drink a cup of warm, matcha tee with this on cooler mornings.
- Power smoothie with spinach, strawberries, blueberries, yogurt, almonds, and spirulina powder.
- Oatmeal with maca powder, cherries, and orange slices.
- Spinach, red pepper, and tomato omelette. Add a fresh squeezed glass of orange juice on the side.
Morning & Afternoon Power Snack Ideas:
- Dried mango slices
- Almonds and pecans
- Yogurt with berries
- Kale salmon salad with tomatoes, red pepper, almonds, and olive oil dressing.
- Sushi with fresh salmon, tuna, and ginger.
- Balsamic lime salmon with a side of sweet potatoes.
- Tacos with red peppers, black beans, tomatoes, and avocados.
Eating with pain relief in mind doesn’t have to be complicated or tasteless. As you can see, there are SO many delicious anti-inflammatory foods out there that can be added to tons of recipes. We hope your mouth is watering at the idea of trying some of these meal combos in the coming weeks. What are you looking forward to cooking up the most? Share this post via the social media icons below, and let us know!
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