20 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes That Will Help You Feel Better

cauliflower faux-tato salad served in a pink bowl
Photo: Linda Xiao

Fight inflammation and stay healthy by making our anti-inflammatory recipes. They are packed with good-for-you ingredients—including leafy greens, salmon, berries, beans, and nuts—that help you feel your best.

Inflammation occurs when the body fights infections or recognizes anything foreign—but its often tricked into becoming inflamed when we eat certain things, especially processed foods, most meats, dairy, and some oils. The good news? There are plenty of richly-flavored anti-inflammatory recipes to enjoy, like those in this collection.

They're packed with whole foods, including whole grains, legumes, and seafood. Most spices are also known to be anti-inflammatory. From soups to salads to main dishes, these healthy recipes will help you eat well and reduce inflammation.

01 of 20

Warm Lentil-and-Cauliflower Salad

Warm Lentil-and-Cauliflower Salad recipe
Chris Simpson

This cozy, hearty, and healthy main-course salad is one of our favorite plant-based dinners. Roasted cauliflower "steaks" are as delicious as they are satisfying and the warm lentil salad that goes with them is packed with flavorful roasted tomatoes, briny capers, and peppery arugula.

02 of 20

Mixed Berry, Almond, and Chia-Seed Smoothie Bowl

Lennart Weibull

You can make this colorful, nutritious smoothie bowl any time of the year—use frozen berries when it's not berry season. It's a dairy-free treat that's made with almond milk, chia seeds, and cinnamon.

03 of 20

Minty Margarita Guacamole

minty margarita guacamole
Chelsea Cavanaugh

Of course, avocado is the star of this guacamole—be sure to use ripe fruits for the best flavor. What sets this guac recipe apart is that there aren't any tomatoes, but we've added orange zest and juice in addition to the usual lime juice for twice the pop of citrus—and plenty of fresh mint for a margarita-like fresh flavor.

04 of 20

Roasted Carrots with Oat Dukkah

oat dukkah roasted carrots
Sidney Bensimon

Colorful carrots are tossed with olive oil, roasted, and sprinkled with an anti-inflammatory mix of nuts, oats, sesame and fennel seeds, and spices.

05 of 20

Turmeric and Lemon Tea

Aaron Dyer

This quick and easy brew of turmeric, honey, lemon, and cayenne soothes. It's simple to make and the lemon and honey balance out the strong taste of turmeric, which has long been used in traditional Indian and other Asian medical practices to treat inflammation. Turmeric also contains curcumin, which aids digestion.

06 of 20

Green Coconut Zoodle Soup

Green Coconut Zoodle Soup recipe
Lennart Weibull

This antioxidant-packed power bowl has an ultra-green broth prepared by blending coconut milk with the powerful herb cilantro, which has disinfectant and detoxifying properties. Zucchini noodles, kabocha squash, shiitake mushrooms, and bok choy all contribute to the goodness of this superfood soup, adding enough heft to make it a very satisfying meal.

07 of 20

Golden Dal with Gingered Tomatoes

golden dal gingered tomatoes
Sidney Bensimon

A trifecta of anti-inflammatory spices—cumin, turmeric, and ginger—perk up the blistered tomato topping and add a sunny hue to this red lentil stew. In addition to being high in fiber, lentils are rich in magnesium which has been shown to reduce inflammation.

08 of 20

Wild Salmon and Romanesco Pilaf

Wild Salmon and Romanesco Pilaf
Con Poulos

Fatty fish like tuna and salmon promote the dispersal of inflammation in our bodies by balancing out the toxins in our diets. A bonus result: You feel less bloated! Here Romanesco, a cruciferous vegetable similar to broccoli and cauliflower, is turned into a pilaf to create a complete meal.

09 of 20

Whole-Wheat Tagliatelle with Creamy White-Bean and Kale Sauce

whole-wheat tagliatelle with creamy white-bean and kale sauce
Ryan Liebe

Minimizing dairy consumption is a strong anti-inflammatory strategy, so we created this silky sauce, which comes together by blending cannellini beans rather than using heavy cream. It's paired with kale, one of the healthiest greens around, creating a full-bodied bright green sauce to coat whole wheat noodles.

10 of 20

Seared Beets with Turmeric-Tahini Broccoli and Salmon

seared beets with turmeric-tahini broccoli and salmon
Ryan Liebe

This dish brings together three anti-inflammatory ingredients: broccoli, salmon, and beets, and in just the right amounts to ensure a balanced meal. Treating a vegetable like a steak, as we do here with the beets, is a genius idea. They are sliced thick and seared on both sides until crisp but tender.

11 of 20

Pinto-Bean Burgers

pinto bean burgers
Armando Rafael

Turn beans, the ultimate pantry staple, into a budget- and gut- friendly burger—you won't miss the meat or the bun. Serve the burgers with more whole foods; atop a bed of greens with the healthy fat duo of avocados and almonds.

12 of 20

Red Fruit Salad with White Balsamic and Black Pepper

red fruit salad with white balsamic and black pepper
Pippa Drummond

Fruits, particularly berries, are anti-inflammatory but you must be careful about consuming them in preparations that use sugar, as this can counteract their health benefits. Instead, try this savory-sweet approach, accenting them with slightly sweet and tangy white balsamic vinegar and a little bite from fresh cracked black pepper.

13 of 20

Cauliflower Faux-Tato Salad

cauliflower faux-tato salad served in a pink bowl
Linda Xiao

White potatoes spike blood sugar which can lead to an anti-inflammatory response in the body. Next time a potato salad craving hits, look to "the other" white vegetable, cauliflower. Another healthy choice is to opt for an olive oil-based dressing rather than mayonnaise. It's deemed one of the healthiest fats on earth, olive oil is good for you both inside and out.

14 of 20

Bloody-Mary Tomato Salad

bloody mary tomato salad
Dana Gallagher

We love the refreshing juicy quality of a ripe tomato. Not only does this fruit taste great, but it's also an amazing source of inflammation-fighting vitamin C. In this salad recipe, we take flavor inspiration from a brunch classic, the Bloody Mary—but there's no alcohol. Beautiful heirloom tomatoes are dressed with oil, celery seeds, and horseradish, it's an unbelievably delicious combination.

15 of 20

Cashew-Chickpea Salad with Cabbage Slaw

cashew-chickpea salad with cabbage slaw
Ryan Liebe

This recipe is our meat-free version of the popular Chinese chicken salad, a fusion dish said to have been created in California in the 1980s. It relies on the powerful duo of nuts and beans to create a textured and satisfying topping. Combined with vitamin C-rich mandarins and cabbage, this salad is a real anti-inflammatory powerhouse.

16 of 20

Mackerel with Date Butter

dates mackerel with date butter
Bobbi Lin

High in inflammation fighting omega 3s, mackerel is a meaty fish with a robust flavor that benefits from a sweet and savory sauce. Dates are also a fighter of chronic inflammation and add just the sweetness the dish needs. A flavorful tomato-cilantro sauce rounds out this dish.

17 of 20

Warm Spinach Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms and Red Onion

warm spinach salad with shiitake mushrooms and red onion
Paola + Murray

Spinach, kale, Swiss chard—basically any dark leafy green can help keep your body working more efficiently. The darker the green usually means the more chlorophyll, which helps the body detoxify. Here, a dueling combo of raw and cooked spinach come together in a salad with vitamin D-rich mushrooms.

18 of 20

Shaved Beets with Orange

Shaved Beets With Orange
Marcus Nilsson

Known for their bright color and vitamin-C filled juice, oranges (as well as other citrus) help promote the formation of enzymes in the liver that flush out toxins. Beets are equally beneficial for your body and inflammation. This dish is perfect served alongside an anti-inflammatory seafood entrée such as salmon, sea bass, or halibut.

19 of 20

Better Basic Beans

better basic beans ingredients in pot on stove
Con Poulos

Beans are​​ little power players, packed full of iron and magnesium, both of which help blood flow through your body and reduce inflammation. While canned beans are great in a pinch, nothing beats the full-bodied fragrant flavor and broth of home cooked beans. Take time and cook them on the stovetop or speed up the process by using a pressure cooker.

20 of 20

Watercress, Strawberry, and Toasted-Sesame Salad

Watercress, Strawberry, and Toasted-Sesame Salad
Gentl and Hyers

So fresh and so delicious, that's this savory salad. Juicy strawberries pair with peppery greens to create a dish that tastes as good as it looks. Not only do sesame seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, they're also anti-aging and loaded with antioxidants.

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