While acute inflammation in the body is helpful when our bodies are overcoming injury or illness, chronic inflammation is something to be warier about. This type of long-term inflammation occurs when the body continues sending inflammatory cells when there isn’t any danger, usually when it is exposed to certain types of substances (including excess inflammatory foods), and can increase the risk of diseases like cardiovascular, diabetes, arthritis, and more. Thankfully, there are low-inflammatory foods you can turn to when you’re looking to decrease inflammation in your body—and these recipes include them.
We asked our medical expert board members Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as The Nutrition Twins, to choose a few of our recipes you can turn to include some of those lower inflammatory foods. From delicious dinners to healthy sides, here are the best recipes to lower inflammation in your body that dietitians absolutely love. Then, for more healthy eating tips, be sure to read up on The #1 Best Juice to Drink Every Day, Says Science.
Easy Garlic Lemon Spinach
“Packed with anti-inflammatory super ingredients, this recipe pulls out all the stops. Spinach contains antioxidants including lutein and beta carotene which fight against inflammation and have been shown to help protect against macular degeneration,” say The Nutrition Twins.
“And a powerful anti-inflammatory compound found in garlic, diallyl disulfide, blocks some of the effects of pro-inflammatory immune system messengers and shows real promise in when it comes to protecting the cartilage from damage from arthritis, an inflammatory disease. The juice of an entire lemon in this recipe, adds more benefits, packing in vitamin C and flavonoids to mop up cell damage and reduce inflammation in the body.”
Get our recipe for Easy Garlic Lemon Spinach.
Easy Roast Salmon with Lentils
“Salmon, by far, is one of the best protein-rich, non-vegetarian options for lowering inflammation thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, that also reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis, and even decrease the body’s inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP),” say The Nutrition Twins.
“Salmon makes a great pair with lentils, which are rich in magnesium, a vitamin that’s been shown to reduce inflammation, as well as stress and anxiety, which commonly get overlooked as one of the biggest causes of inflammation and of damage to the body.”
“Garlic is a great addition as it contains organosulfur compounds that can help reduce blood substances that increase inflammation, while the flavonoid, quercetin, found in the onions, can even help fight off the inflammation from arthritis. Cut up the garlic and let it sit for about 10 minutes before cooking it to reap the greatest anti-inflammatory benefits.”
Get our recipe for Easy Roast Salmon with Lentils.
“Cheers to this dip recipe, unlike most dips, this one fights inflammation! Avocados are a great source of polyphenol antioxidants as well as monounsaturated fat, which both help to reduce inflammation in the body,” say The Nutrition Twins. “One research study found [when] two ounces of an avocado were eaten with a hamburger, the avocado reduced the inflammatory response of eating the hamburger alone.”
“Avocados may also reduce inflammation in newly forming skin cells, for prettier, healthier skin. Jalapeño peppers contain capsaicin, which works their magic by helping to reduce inflammation and even potentially fight pain. The antioxidants in garlic and onions fend off inflammation throughout the body.”
Get our recipe for Easy Guacamole.
Cauliflower Curry with Butternut Squash
“Curry is made from a combination of spices like turmeric, coriander, and chili powder, which are all anti-inflammatory powerhouses,” say The Nutrition Twins. “Turmeric is one of the most known anti-inflammatory foods and its curcumin regulates inflammatory proteins like interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and helps to stop inflammation in its tracks. Turmeric is so powerful that it has been shown to relieve symptoms of inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.”
“Cauliflower is the perfect addition as its sulforaphane reduces the inflammatory damage caused by oxidative stress, while the vitamin C and carotenoids in the butternut squash protect cells from free radical damage that creates inflammation.”
“This recipe also calls for ginger which contains the potent anti-inflammatory compounds gingerol, shogaol, and paradol, which inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines, which is a big deal when it comes to fighting off chronic disease. And adding even more to this inflammation-fighting meal, tomatoes are high in potassium, vitamin C, and lycopene which is especially helpful in reducing pro-inflammatory compounds related to several kinds of cancer.”
Get our recipe for Cauliflower Curry with Butternut Squash.
Sweet Potato Salad with Wild Rice
“While most salads have a good deal of anti-inflammatory benefits, they are often humdrum, but you’ll be excited to eat this jazzy, inflammation-fighting number,” say The Nutrition Twins. “One of the stars of this recipe is the cinnamon which is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods. Plus, cinnamon has been shown to help regulate blood sugar which is important in controlling inflammation; high blood sugar, and the insulin resistance that often accompanies it, can be pro-inflammatory.”
“Also jazzing up this salad is cilantro, which is packed with antioxidants that fight inflammation like terpinene and quercetin, and that have been shown to have anticancer, immune-boosting, and brain-protecting benefits. And while sweet potato, onion, curry powder, black pepper, carrots, and raisins, offer an additional anti-inflammatory punch, olive oil is packed with antioxidants that fight inflammation and help protect the heart. And olive oil’s antioxidant oleocanthal, has even been shown to work similarly to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug!”
Get our recipe for Sweet Potato Salad with Wild Rice.
Herb Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables
“Everyone is always looking for an anti-inflammatory chicken meal and the real superstars of this recipe are the spices and the vegetables,” say The Nutrition Twins. “Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to boost the immune system and improve circulation while also neutralize damaging free radicals.”
“The lemons’ antioxidant, vitamin C, fights against harmful free radicals while the potent antioxidant, beta carotene, found in the carrots, becomes even more powerful as they are cooked. Both the onions and garlic also fight against inflammation.”
“If you can choose yellow or purple potatoes for this recipe, they’ll be just as delicious and offer even more anti-inflammatory benefits than white potatoes.”
“One other secret to keeping this recipe as anti-inflammatory as possible is to eat the lean chicken breast, rather than the skin and fattier cuts of the bird which contain pro-inflammatory saturated fat.”
Get our recipe for Herb Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables.