Inflammation is a normal part of the body’s healing process. It is simply a natural reaction to tissue damage, chemicals, and other harmful elements. However, a continued state of inflammation that persists for months may lead to diseases and chronic pain. Fortunately, foods that fight inflammation may reduce your symptoms. Whether you’re already a committed vegan or simply looking to reduce animal products in your diet, we can help. Here are vegan anti-inflammatory recipes to keep you feeling healthy.
What are the basics of a vegan anti-inflammatory diet?
First popularized by Dr. Andrew Weil, the anti-inflammatory diet was founded on a simple concept. By choosing foods based on scientific knowledge of how they can benefit your health, you can help improve how your body functions. In the early 1970s, Dr. Weil wrote a book called The Natural Mind. This sparked his extensive research into integrated medicine and natural ways of helping the body heal itself.
Today, Dr. Weil is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. He continues to focus on holistic care to maintain optimal health and treat disease. To that end, Dr. Weil created an anti-inflammatory diet food pyramid.
It focuses on whole foods versus derivatives. For example, whole fruit instead of fruit juice, whole grains vs. refined grains, and full fat vs. low fat foods. There are reasons for this. Whole grains are infinitely better for the body than refined grains such as white rice and highly processed white flour.
While the traditional anti-inflammatory diet does provide guidance for animal protein and dairy products, it isn’t necessary. In fact, the diet already promotes a reduction in animal protein. You can adapt many of your favorite recipes to incorporate the basics of an anti-inflammatory diet. Here are tips for doing it the vegan way:
- Eat an abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables
- Try to include carbohydrates, fat, and protein at each meal
- Eat more vegetable protein, especially from beans and lentils
- Include soy foods in your diet
- Drink pure water (or drinks that are mostly water) throughout the day
As always, your diet is just one part of an overall healthy lifestyle. It’s also essential to get adequate sleep and exercise in order to reap the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet. You should also follow any additional guidelines or suggestions from your healthcare team.
It’s important to remember that this is not a weight-loss program, nor is it a temporary eating plan. If you stick to an anti-inflammatory diet, you can better maintain ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and protective phytonutrients in your body. For those who are following vegan anti-inflammatory recipes, the benefits are the same.
Scientists continue to research how food affects the body’s inflammatory processes. While there is still a lot to unravel, their findings can confirm a few things about an anti-inflammatory diet. When talking about inflammation, for example, you’ll often hear doctors refer to C-reactive protein, also known as CRP. This is a marker for inflammation. Research shows that what you eat can affect the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in your blood. Foods like processed sugars release inflammatory messengers that can raise your risk of chronic inflammation. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables help your body fight against oxidative stress that triggers inflammation.
Simply put, whole foods include a range of elements that can reduce inflammation. These include antioxidants, polyphenols, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids. All of these can reduce body-wide inflammation and lower inflammatory protein levels.
Beyond the possibility of keeping inflammation at bay, there are many additional benefits to following this type of diet. All of the anti-inflammatory diet recipes here can help lower your risk of obesity, heart disease, and digestive issues. If you’re already suffering from conditions like arthritis or neuropathy, adapting to a vegan way of life could even reduce pain when done safely.
The best vegan inflammatory recipes to try
Ready to get cooking? Let us help you get those creative juices flowing! Here are the best vegan anti-inflammatory recipes to try.
Note: While you can always incorporate these delicious recipes into your diet, do consult with your doctor before making the switch to a fully vegan diet.
Light, refreshing, and easy to make ahead of time, this white bean and tomato salad packs a nutritional punch. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant with impressive anti-inflammatory properties, while white beans provide protein.
Not bacon at all, this healthier alternative mimics the taste and texture of the breakfast staple. Shiitake mushrooms have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative properties due to the presence of many bioactive compounds.
3. Bean Stew
This healthy bean stew presents an opportunity to get creative. Add any additional vegetables you have on hand that you need to use up. Leeks, fennel, and parsnips would all be nice choices. Remember, the more vegetables you can consume, the better!
Dark, leafy greens are an essential part of any anti-inflammatory diet. That’s because greens like kale, chard, and collards are high in fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and anti-inflammatory agents.
This warm and comforting meal is satisfying, simple to make, and loaded with anti-inflammatory ingredients. Don’t forget to substitute the chicken stock for a vegan-friendly vegetable stock.
Indulge in the satisfyingly spicy taste of buffalo sauce while getting in a serving of veggies. The banana flour batter may also ease the passage of food through the digestive system.
You don’t need meat to enjoy a tostada! This unique take on the restaurant favorite includes nutrient-rich kale and sweet potato. Skip the yogurt or use a plant-based substitute in order to keep it vegan.
This cool summer noodle bowl is composed of mainly raw ingredients. No stovetop required! Even better, the sauce is enhanced by ginger, hot pepper, and turmeric, all of which boast anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to being anti-inflammatory, both carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and C. Warm up with this delicious stew and add a sprinkle of turmeric for another anti-inflammatory boost.
Vibrantly colored beets can fight off inflammation and even protect against heart disease. Use this recipe as a hearty side dish or add them to a leafy green salad.
This comforting lentil dish is flavored with turmeric, a seasoning that is rich with the powerful anti-inflammatory agent curcumin. Lentils are also high in the dietary fiber that will keep you feeling fuller longer.
Start your day with this anti-inflammatory powerhouse of a smoothie. Dragon fruit is low in calories but high in nutrients including calcium, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin C.
Anti-inflammatory spices like cinnamon and clove make this a warm and hearty breakfast, perfect for a cold morning. Even better, ancient grains are easily digested and provide fuel for your work out or workday.
Store-bought granola is often loaded with unnecessary sugar. Make your own with this easy recipe that includes anti-inflammatory ingredients like apricots, cranberries, and cinnamon.
Indulge in a sweet treat at the end of the day. Avocado is one of the best sources of healthy fat with properties that support brain function and fight inflammation. When blended with cocoa powder and nut milk, you get this decadent chocolate pudding.
Find more great vegan anti-inflammatory recipes online
Keep your vegan anti-inflammatory recipes fresh and new! By following bloggers and other influencers, you can try different recipes every week. Below you’ll find links to their blogs. Follow them on social media as well for quick skimming and frequent inspiration.
Dr. Judy Brangman is a board-certified internal medicine and lifestyle medicine physician. As an advocate for a whole food plant-based diet, she does much more than crafting recipes. She provides wellness programs and meal plans that are customized to fit your health goals and cooking skills.
British vegan blogger Rachel Ama uses Instagram videos to provide a personal feel for each recipe. You’ll even find tips and tricks when it comes to vegan skincare and her fitness routine. Subscribe to her YouTube channel for vegan comfort food recipes, hummus hacks, and much more.
3. Oh She Glows
Angela started Oh She Glows to write about her recovery from an eating disorder. As her love for healthy eating grew, she focused on creating plant-based recipes that would win over her husband’s approval. The result is a blog full of delicious vegan recipes, including Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies and Game Night Crispy Potato Bruschetta.
4. Vegan Richa
With step-by-step photographs, Vegan Richa makes recipes easy to follow! Her goal is to show people how easy it is to cook vegan Indian food or other cuisines. If you love her blog, she also has two cookbooks: Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen and Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen.
For hundreds of delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes, Sweet Potato Soul is your go-to. Jenné says she became a vegan because of concerns about animal exploitation, and now she enjoys the health benefits as well. Fan favorites include chickpea tuna sandwiches and broccolini mushroom linguine.
Joanne reluctantly went vegan in 2016 because she wasn’t sure how she would continue to eat the foods she loves. As a Korean American, these recipes are near and dear to her cultural heritage. You’ll enjoy her vegan renditions and will quickly find they don’t skimp on flavor.
This blog is a must for anyone getting the whole family in on a vegan diet. You’ll love Cara’s adorable approach to making vegan recipes appealing to kids. Between monster veggie burgers and vegan cinnamon teddy grahams, it’s easy to feel good about what you’re feeding your family!
From vegan potato corn chowder to vegan zucchini bread, there are recipes for every taste on The Full Helping. In addition to working as a blogger, Gena is also a registered dietitian (RD) with a decade of experience in nutrition counseling. Her goal is to help make vegan cooking accessible and fun.
If you enjoy baking, this is a blog for you. You don’t have to sacrifice your love of sweets in order to follow a vegan anti-inflammatory diet. Ashlae’s blog features plenty of wholesome goodies that are still nutritious.
10. Deliciously Ella
After being diagnosed with a rare health condition, Ella turned to a whole foods, plant based diet to improve her life. She now has five cookbooks, a recipe and yoga app, as well as a podcast to provide plenty of inspiration for your own journey.
Want even more anti-inflammatory diet recipes? Check out our list of the best anti-inflammatory cookbooks and smoothie recipes! Remember, many recipes can be modified to accommodate a vegan lifestyle. Simply replace meat with non-animal protein and rely on plant-based dairy products.
If you’re looking to try a vegan diet, but are nervous to try, start small. Consider declaring one day each week meat-free. Simply reducing animal products in your diet can have a big impact, even if you choose not to go fully vegan. As always, we encourage you to talk with a medical professional before making substantial changes to your diet. Your doctor will help you find a way to safely and gradually change your eating habits.
For more help with your pain or other inflammatory condition, find a pain doctor near you by clicking the button below. For assistance finding one in your area, use these helpful tips: https://paindoctor.com/pain-management-doctors/.