Anti-Inflammatory Foods: 7-Day Meal Plan

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  • Anti-inflammatory foods may help reduce inflammation and the chronic diseases associated with it.
  • Anti-inflammatory foods include nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, and protein like fatty fish.
  • Anti-inflammatory diets exclude foods like processed meats, high-sodium snacks, and whole-fat dairy.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Some of the most common and debilitating diseases, including heart disease,

diabetes
, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Crohn’s disease, have been linked to chronic inflammation. Fortunately, research indicates that it’s possible to keep inflammation at bay by maintaining a healthy diet. 

Certain foods have been shown to trigger the inflammatory response, while others contain antioxidants and other substances that can keep it in check. The anti-inflammatory diet is based on this principle.

Below is a list of foods that can either promote or combat inflammation, as well as a 7-day anti-inflammatory meal plan.

Anti-inflammatory foods and inflammatory foods

The anti-inflammatory diet encourages eating whole foods (like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish) and avoiding processed foods that are high in refined sugars, flours, and trans fats. 

A 2015 research report indicated that one of the most important considerations for reaping the benefits of this diet is reducing your intake of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (found in many vegetable oils) while increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (found in oily fish and seeds).

Here’s a list of foods to prioritize, as well as some to limit, according to Harvard Health, Mayo Clinic, The American Society for Nutrition, and the Arthritis Foundation:

Anti-inflammatory meal plan

“This meal plan is designed specifically to reduce the frequency of inflammation and improve overall gut health,” says Allen Campbell — a Boston-based chef who previously served as Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s personal chef.

Note that you should measure out portion sizes of each meal to fit your specified daily caloric needs.

Day 1

chia

Kick off breakfast with a filling cup of chia pudding.

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Breakfast: Cinnamon walnut chia pudding with sliced banana

Lunch: Rosemary lemon turkey sliders, sweet potato hash, and marinated green beans with sauerkraut

Dinner: Poached cod, mashed roasted fennel (or celery or onion) and butternut squash, and spiced collards (or spinach or kale)

Day 2

tempeh bowl

Have a veggie-filled dinner packed with bok choy, broccoli, and pickled radish.

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Breakfast: Chia pudding with almond milk and berries

Lunch: Cauliflower rice bowl with curried lentils, roasted broccolini (or broccoli), and apple cider vinaigrette 

Dinner: Sesame orange tempeh bowl with bok choy (or spinach), broccoli, seared avocado, and pickled radish 

Day 3

salad

Opt for a fresh, light lunch with this egg and avocado salad.

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Breakfast: Banana and almond yogurt parfait with toasted almonds

Lunch: Egg and avocado salad with wilted spinach and lemon caper vinaigrette (or other vinaigrette at the store)

Dinner: Lemongrass garlic chicken bowl with roasted broccoli and carrots, pickled daikon (or turnips or radishes), and scallion vinaigrette (or other vinaigrette you prefer)

Day 4

quinoa burger

Quinoa sliders are packed with protein, fiber, and other important nutrients.

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Breakfast: Pineapple, green banana, and maca (or chia seeds or coconut) smoothie

Lunch: Black bean taco bowl, marinated red cabbage slaw (or pico de gallo), avocado, and lime

Dinner: Quinoa sliders with butternut squash fries and red kale and sauerkraut slaw 

Day 5

tabouli

Try some tabouli for dinner on Day 5.

BURCU ATALAY TANKUT/Getty Images


Breakfast: Banana-based smoothie bowl with almond milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, raw cacao (or unsweetened cocoa powder), and warm blackberries

Lunch: Spring pea bowl with bok choy (or spinach), broccolini (or broccoli), toasted nori, and miso tahini dressing (or other preferable dressing)

Dinner: Cauliflower and quinoa tabouli with roasted beets and pickled red onion vinaigrette

Day 6

fittata

An asparagus and basil frittata can help you stay full until lunch.

Cavan Images/Getty Images


Breakfast: Asparagus and basil frittata with roasted parsnips, swiss chard, and lemon chili oil 

Lunch: Sesame garlic lentils with brown jasmine rice biryani, bok choy (or spinach), and kimchi

Dinner: Lamb (or other ground meat) meatballs with roasted squash, Brussels sprouts, and cumin apple cider vinaigrette

Day 7

sirloin

Sirloin and salad make for a tasty, protein-packed lunch.

Claudia Totir/Getty Images


Breakfast: Mango lime smoothie with toasted coconut 

Lunch: Smoky grass-fed sirloin (or other meat) with parsnip puree and pickled green bean and fennel (or celery or onion) salad

Dinner: Five-spice tempeh with daikon slaw, wilted greens, and sesame lime dressing

Insider’s takeaway

What you eat plays a significant role in preventing and managing inflammation and the many diseases associated with it. 

As a general guide, the anti-inflammatory diet emphasizes eating more antioxidant-rich plant-based foods (such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains) while minimizing your consumption of foods high in added sugars, saturated fat, or trans fats.

Another crucial component of the anti-inflammatory diet is optimizing your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio by prioritizing omega-3 over omega-6 fats.

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