Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan and Snacks

Updated on March 14, 2019
KCO profile image

Katy researches healthy foods to build the best meal plans for her family using science-backed studies.

Salmon with a side of steamed vegetables is a great anti-inflammatory meal.
Salmon with a side of steamed vegetables is a great anti-inflammatory meal. | Source

Anyone looking to combat inflammation should take a good look at their diet. The food we eat has the potential to either decrease inflammation or make the situation worse.

In a healthy person, inflammation occurs naturally to fight diseases and infections. But, when our lives are filled with stress, pollutants, and over-processed foods, it results in an unhealthy amount of inflammation.

Stress, pollution, and a poor diet cause chronic inflammation, which leads to more health problems. One way to break the cycle is to adhere to an anti-inflammatory meal plan to give your body the best chance to be healthy.

Read on to learn how to use foods to control the amount of inflammation your body experiences.

Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan

Because eating a variety of foods is so important, following a strict meal plan to decrease inflammation is actually counter-productive. If you want your diet to be effective, it should include many different vegetables, healthy carbs, and different sources of fiber and nutrients.

Below is an example of how to build meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner that support an anti-inflammatory diet.


  • Oatmeal with almonds
  • Greek yogurt with blueberries or raspberries


  • Leafy green salad
  • Lentil soup
  • Tuna sandwich on wheat


  • Salmon with steamed broccoli
  • Chicken (cooked in olive oil and garlic) with sweet potatoes

Foods That Cause Inflammation

There are many other causes of inflammation, but often it's the food we eat that makes it worse. Processed and sugary foods are on the top of this list. These foods put extra stress on your body, causing inflammation.


Eating sugar is a common contributor to inflammation. If you’re trying to combat this issue, it’s actually one of the worst foods you can eat.

Taking in some natural sugars from fruits and vegetables is fine, but meals and snacks with a lot of added sugar will make inflammation worse. When your body tries to digest sugar, it releases advanced glycation end products and cytokines, both of which cause inflammation immediately. Diets with a lot of sugar also raise body fat and bad cholesterol, which are linked to increased inflammation.

Take a good look at your sugar intake. It’s a hard habit to kick, but it will have a big impact on your body. Start by avoiding simple sugars that cause your blood sugar to spike.


Alcohol is a toxin that your body needs to filter out. Consume too much of it and you force your system to work overtime. How much is too much? When you’re following a strict cleansing diet, cut out alcohol completely to let your body recover. When you do add it back in, don’t drink more than one or two drinks per day. Any more will undo all the hard work you’re doing in other parts of your diet.

Fats and Oils

Unless you’re a health guru, it can be hard to remember which fats and oils are good for you and which are bad. If you’re looking to reduce inflammation in your diet, just remember that vegetable oil and trans fats are the worst for you! Artificial trans fats and vegetable oils are correlated with inflammation. Realize that this is only a correlation. That means that doctors can’t determine why some foods cause inflammation. But, they know that a diet with trans fats and bad oils will cause this problem to get worse.

Foods That Reduce Inflammation

Now that we know what to avoid eating, let's look at what can we eat. The most effective diet approach to stopping inflammation is to eat wholesome foods and to cut out extra sugar and processed foods. But there are a few special foods that are effective as anti-inflammatories by themselves.


Turmeric root is ground into a powder and used as a spice. It's common in Indian food and you can add it to your meals as an anti-inflammatory spice.

In addition to adding it to foods, you can take turmeric in capsules. That helps to increase your turmeric intake, especially if you don't like the taste. Be cautious, it can cause an upset stomach at first. Make sure you ease into taking it.


Ginger is another root that works as an anti-inflammatory. Find fresh ginger in the produce section, dice or shred it, and then add as a spice to any dish. It’s easy to incorporate into teas and drinks. Just make sure you’re not also adding sugar!

Oily Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and tuna have omega-3s that are known for stopping inflammation.

Walnuts make an easy anti-inflammatory snack.
Walnuts make an easy anti-inflammatory snack.

Anti-Inflammatory Snacks

Anyone who has tried to follow a diet before can understand the need for good snacks. Changing your diet usually means changing your lifestyle to invest more time in meal prep. But, when you don't have time to cook a whole meal, it really helps to have some snacks on hand that fight inflammation.

Try these snack ideas:

  • Nuts (especially walnuts and almonds)
  • Berries (blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are the best)
  • Oranges
  • Seeds
  • Goat Cheese

Make sure the snacks you buy don't have any added sugar. Also, check the ingredient list for "partially hydrogenated" ingredients, so you can avoid artificial trans fats.

Who Should Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

Anyone can benefit from following an anti-inflammatory diet. The meal plan above contains healthy foods that any nutritionist would suggest. People suffering from inflammation related diseases will benefit the most from this kind of diet. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, an anti-inflammatory diet should be part of your care plan to reduce symptoms.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Katy Medium


Submit a Comment
  • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

    Katy Medium 

    16 months ago from Denver, CO

    Peggy, thanks for reading! I agree, an anti-inflammatory diet is a pretty healthy diet for anyone. From all my research I think that's because inflammation happens when our bodies are unhealthy, so it makes sense that eating only good foods is linked to lower inflammation.

    Of course eating healthy all the time is easier said than done!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    16 months ago from Houston, Texas

    These appear to be all good suggestions for healthy eating for just about anyone. Thanks for writing this.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)