If you have rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia or a different inflammatory condition, you know the importance of healthy habits and a balanced diet. Avoiding inflammatory foods such as red meat, refined carbohydrates (white bread or pastries) or sugar and basing your diet on fresh fruit and vegetables, fatty fish, whole grains and plant-based protein can reduce inflammation in chronic conditions. As March is a nutrition month, we decided to reach out to the creative foodies from the chronic pain community to share their favourite anti-inflammatory recipes with us. Keep reading for delicious and nutritious recipes perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Almond Butter Bars by Daniel
Hello internet people! My name is Daniel Moroyoqui and I run a Food Blog called “This is my take” where I try to share recipes made from scratch of mostly healthy recipes that we can all make at home. One of my go-to preparations for before a busy day or after a quick workout are these Almond Butter Bars. They are super easy and quick to make and are loaded with a good source of fats and protein, I promise flavour is still there!
- 1 cup of almond butter (yes, you can use peanut butter instead but why would you do that?).
- ½ cup maple syrup.
- ½ tsp vanilla extract.
- 2 cups of steel-cut oats.
- 1 tbsp of chia seed.
- 1 tbsp of hemp seed.
- 1 tbsp of flaxseed.
- ½ tsp kosher salt (or pink).
- ¼ cup of chopped almonds.
- 1 tbsp of goji berries.
- 4-5 dried figs, chopped. Or any other dry fruit you like.
- Use a wooden spoon and a large bowl to mix the almond butter, salt, vanilla extract, and maple syrup until well combined.
- Next, add the rest of the ingredients and mix using your hands until you get a thick paste.
- Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper, add the mixture and form a layer of around 1/3 inch.
- Refrigerate for a couple of hours to harden, use a sharp knife to cut bars and you’re all set!
Anti-inflammatory Chocolate Walnut Cookies by Kirsty
Hi, I’m Kirsty and I suffer from chronic migraine, POTS and hypermobility. Because of this, I’m consciously trying to make an effort to improve my nutrition by including some anti-inflammatory ingredients, but I didn’t want to miss out on delicious baked goods. This recipe for the buttery cookie packed full of melty dark chocolate and toasty walnut chunks is based on a cookie I ate in a café several years ago that I knew I had to try to recreate, given that dark chocolate and walnuts are both anti-inflammatories. It can easily be made vegan or gluten-free!
- 150g walnuts
- 125g dark chocolate
- 75g butter, softened (or vegan alternative)
- 75g agave syrup
- 125g oats (can be gluten-free)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 170°C fan.
- Lay the walnuts on a baking tray in a single layer and toast in the oven until fragrant. This should take 10-12 minutes but keep an eye on them as they burn easily! Leave to cool.
- Blitz the oats in a food processor until they are the consistency of flour.
- Chop nuts and chocolate very finely, or blitz in a food processor until fine, no bigger than a grain of rice but not processed to flour.
- Combine together butter and agave syrup until pale and fluffy.
- Add the oat flour and baking powder and mix to combine.
- Fold in the chopped chocolate and nuts.
- Scoop into small balls and bake at 170°C for 12-14 minutes or freeze half your batch for a rainy day! To bake from frozen, add 3 minutes to the bake time.
Find me on Instagram @kirstycooks 😊
Scrambled Egg Whites by Ashley
Hi! I’m Ashley Nicole and I am a RA Warrior! I’ve lived with rheumatoid arthritis for 18 years and counting. I’m the Founder and Coach at RA Warrior Fitness, LLC where the mission is to empower women living with RA or any inflammatory disease to improve their quality of life through faith, food and fitness without negative self-talk or strenuous exercise.
I like to keep my meals simple, especially now that I’m training for my first bodybuilding competition. Here’s my simple, yet nutritious go-to breakfast: egg whites!
Total Time: 8 minutes
- 1 cup of egg whites
- 1 handful of spinach
- 2 Tbsp tri coloured peppers and onions
- 1 Tbsp pico de Gallo
- Herbs and spices of your choice (I use garlic powder, onion powder, and everything but the bagel seasoning)
- Spray pan with olive oil spray
- Add peppers and onions first. Cook until soft.
- Add spinach. Wilt.
- Pour egg whites over the peppers and spinach. Scramble.
- Season with herbs and spices of your choice.
- Plate it up, top it off with pico de gallo.
- Serve with a side of guac and 1 cup of fresh cucumber and grape tomatoes.
Anti-inflammatory Vegetable Soup by Larissa
My name is Larissa and I am a nutritional therapist and Bioresonance Practitioner currently based in London. In my practice, I deal with many chronic inflammation-related cases. Chronic inflammation is all too common these days and it is responsible for so many illnesses and chronic conditions. I love promoting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and all the foods that go with it. One of my favourite go-to quick meals is this brothy wholesome plant-based soup packed with vegetables and spices that have anti-inflammatory effects. It’s gentle on the gut, it’s good for the liver, full of gut-loving fibre, rich in antioxidants and healing phytonutrients. It’s quick and easy and very versatile in terms of ingredients to suit preference. You can decide on quantities based on your preference and the number of people that you’re going to serve.
- Brussel sprouts
- Savoy cabbage
- Cannelini beans
- Fresh coriander
- Boil water in a large pot.
- In a separate pot precook cannellini beans (or chickpeas).
- Chop up the cabbage into big chunks, cut the Brussel sprouts in half, dice the carrots and slice the leeks, peel and chop the potatoes into cubes.
- Throw the veg all into the pot, add the cannellini beans (or chickpeas) and let it simmer until almost tender.
- Add the peas and samphire near the end to maintain colour and crunch.
- Add finely chopped or freshly crushed garlic, a teaspoon of ground turmeric, a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
- Let it simmer for at least 3 minutes.
Enjoy! You can find more inspiration on my Instagram.
Courgette Salad Bowl by Cristina
Hi, I’m Cristina and I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjögren’s Syndrome at 22 years old. On my website Arthritis Dietitian and Instagram, I guide adults with inflammatory conditions struggling with chronic pain and fatigue to recognize their unique dietary and environmental inflammatory triggers, renovate their bodies with an anti-inflammatory way of eating and mindfully refocus towards a more positive mindset despite their chronic illness.
This simple, yet delicious summery salad is perfect for a quick and nutritious lunch. Courgette is the star of this dish – low in calories and high in antioxidants, this tasty veg provides nutrients supporting bone and muscle health, such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1 medium courgette ends trimmed
- 1/2 medium lime, juiced
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 Hass avocado, diced
- 1/3 cup frozen edamame cooked (as per package instructions)
- 3 stalks of green onions, chopped
- 1/3 cup sliced Kalamata olives
- Fresh oregano, parsley, and basil to taste (optional)
- Using a spiralizer, cut the zucchini into thin spaghetti-like strands. Trim the strands into bite-size lengths, about 8-inches long and place them in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Add diced avocado, olives, edamame, green onions, and herbs to the work bowl. Mix in the vinaigrette.
- Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese to taste.
- Serve immediately!
If you liked this recipe, you can find more sweet and savoury anti-inflammatory recipes on my website.
Vegan Spaghetti Squash Noodles with Creamy Coconut Cauliflower Sauce by Emerald
My name is Emerald Santacruz and I am the owner of The Nutrition Restoration, a holistic nutrition and integrative wellness company in California. I run an online program that helps people learn how to manage their chronic inflammatory symptoms by educating them about the impact that diet and lifestyle factors have on inflammation and chronic pain. I have rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis myself, so I hold a special place in my heart for individuals dealing with the same or similar autoimmune/inflammatory conditions. Being diagnosed with these conditions in my 20s, and seeing the impact nutrition has on my body, is what began my passion for all things nutrition and wellness related. You can go to The Nutrition Restoration for more information me and about my online program. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: @joint.health.nutrition.girl!
If you are managing inflammatory symptoms by avoiding certain foods but are a pasta lover like me, you need to try this “pasta and cream sauce” recipe. Spaghetti squash, coconut, cauliflower, extra-virgin olive oil, broccoli, and mushrooms are all known to have anti-inflammatory properties. They contain antioxidants to help fight inflammation, and spaghetti squash also contains omega 3’s and 6’s which can help reduce inflammation. Additionally, this dish is free of dairy, gluten, grains, legumes, nightshades (controversial – I know), and it is vegan! If you are in the initial phases of an autoimmune protocol diet, the ingredients in this recipe should be compliant. However, please do your own due diligence and double-check that the ingredients meet your personal needs.
Using spaghetti squash instead of brown rice or lentil pasta is what makes this dish grain and legume-free. However, the spaghetti squash can be substituted for any pasta you prefer. You may also substitute the mix-ins if broccoli and mushrooms are not your favourites. The recipe calls for frozen riced cauliflower. I used a brand called Boulder Canyon which has no additives, or seasonings. I highly suggest you use the same brand or a similar single-ingredient option. Of course, if you prefer, you may grate and steam fresh cauliflower. I hope you enjoy this recipe and can see how versatile it is, especially the sauce! It can be used as a pizza sauce, soup base, pasta sauce, fondue style sauce, or even modified to serve as a side dish instead of mashed potatoes (reducing the blending time and cutting the coconut cream in half will give you a thicker consistency). Enjoy!
Time: 50 minutes (for prep and cooking)
Yields: About 8-10 servings (4 cups of sauce and 8-10 cups of noodles)
- Spaghetti squash (2 medium-sized, or about 6 lb. total)
- Broccoli, chopped (2 heads, or about 16 oz.)
- Shiitake mushrooms, chopped (2 small cartons, or about 7 oz.)
- Fresh parsley, chopped (Enough to garnish)
- Salt, pepper, garlic powder (enough to season when sautéing veggies)
- *Extra virgin olive oil (Have at least 5 ¼ Tbsp. on hand – reserve about 2 Tbsp. for baking the spaghetti squash, 2Tbsp. for sautéed veggies, and 1 ¼ Tbsp. for the sauce
- Frozen riced cauliflower or grated fresh cauliflower (2 bags, or 20 oz.)
- Italian seasoning (½ tsp.)
- Onion powder (½ tsp.)
- White wine vinegar (2 tsp.)
- Unsweetened coconut cream – full fat, do not use lite or coconut milk!! (1 can, or 13.5 oz.)
- Nutritional yeast (1 ½ tsp.)
- Garlic (1 clove)
- Garlic Powder (¼ tsp.)
- Salt (½ tsp.)
- Pepper (½ tsp)
- *Extra virgin olive oil (1 ¼ Tbsp.)
- Water (½ Cup)
- Prep the squash: Preheat oven to 375. Microwaving the squash helps to soften the skin so that it is easier to cut open. Before microwaving, use a knife to poke holes in the skin to allow for the release of steam/pressure. I like to poke holes in a dotted line where I plan to cut the squash in half (along the long side). . Do not cut all the way through the squash but make the holes deep enough to allow steam to be released. Microwave 1 squash at a time for no more than 3-4 minutes. Allow them to cool for 1-2 minutes before attempting to cut.
- Cut the squash in half, remove seeds and scoop out all seeds and the connected fibres with a butter knife or spoon, then brush olive oil (about 2 Tbsp.) on the inside of the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place the halves face down on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes at 375.
- Once the squash is in the oven, prepare the cauliflower. Follow the instructions on your frozen riced cauliflower package.
- Blend the steamed cauliflower rice, olive oil, garlic, and water first. Blend until as many lumps as possible are removed before adding any further ingredients.
- Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, blend for around 3-5 minutes until smooth and creamy, then set aside.
- Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan and sauté broccoli and mushrooms for about 3-5 minutes.
- Warm up the sauce on low-medium heat, for about 3-5 minutes while frequently stirring.
- Shred the spaghetti squash into noodles. When your spaghetti squash comes out of the oven, carefully turn the halves over with tongs or oven mitts. Using a large fork or metal tongs, shred the flesh of the squash. If cooked adequately, it should naturally pull apart into noodle-like shreds. If it is too difficult to shred, try cooking for additional 3-minute intervals until it easily shreds with the tongs. Transfer noodles to a separate bowl and discard the skin of the squash.
- Plate, garnish, serve and enjoy!
Air-fried Salmon with Cauliflower Rice and Sauteed Spinach by Catina
My name is Catina Morrison and I’m a Registered Nurse, Chronic Illness Coach and Founder and CEO of Nurse Loves Essentials LLC. After more than two decades of symptoms, I was finally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and endometriosis in my 30s. My journey taught me the importance of learning to maintain the proper mindset, advocate for my own health and implement natural and holistic methods, such as anti-inflammatory nutrition. My experiences with the healthcare system fueled my passion for assisting women with autoimmune diseases to reach their best quality of life through wellness mindset, self-advocacy and implementing natural and holistic methods consistently. I use my platform to educate and inspire others with autoimmune diseases and chronic illnesses to thrive and not just survive as they learn to overcome the challenges of their health condition.
One of my favourite recipes is my air fryer salmon paired with cauliflower “fried rice” and garlic and herb sautéed spinach. It’s filled with amazing anti-inflammatory ingredients. It starts with a selection of a lean protein, wild-caught salmon, full of omega-3 fatty acids that can not only reduce inflammation but also ease joint pain. Then, the pairing of gluten-free cauliflower rice and sauteed garlic and herb spinach creates a meal filled with antioxidants that are known to contribute to reducing inflammation. I season the dish to taste with low sodium to no-sodium seasonings, and my favourite saying is “if you don’t see the seasoning, it’s not seasoned.” My meal selection and recommendations are not only centred around anti-inflammation but are also flavorful, bursting with a combination of healthy oils, seasonings, herbs and spice that make each bite delectable.
- Wild-caught salmon
- Olive oil
- Organic low-sodium Italian Dressing
- Chopped garlic
- Dash Italian Seasoning
- Dash Garlic & Herb
- Red pepper flakes
- Seasoning of choice
Garlic & herb green spinach
- Fresh spinach
- Olive oil
- Red bell pepper
- Red wine vinegar
- Chopped garlic
- Dash Italian Seasoning
- Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning
- Red pepper flakes
- Seasoning of choice
Cauliflower fried rice
- Fresh/frozen cauliflower rice
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil (optional)
- Red bell pepper
- Dash Garlic & Herb
- Red pepper flakes
- Coconut aminos or Worcestershire sauce
- Seasoning of choice
- Season the salmon with olive oil, low-sodium Italian dressing, chopped garlic and other spices and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Place in the air fryer on fish setting 180 degrees for 20 minutes (or as long as you prefer). Alternatively, you can bake it in the oven using the same directions.
Garlic & Herb Sauteed Spinach:
- Sauté onions, red bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil and add seasonings.
- Once vegetables are translucent, add spinach with a touch of red wine vinegar, and additional seasoning. Sauté spinach for 5-10 minutes maximum.
Cauliflower “Fried Rice”:
- Sauté onions, red and yellow bell pepper, carrots and garlic in coconut oil (olive oil optional) and season them.
- Once vegetables are translucent, add cauliflower rice and coconut aminos or Worcestershire sauce. Add additional seasoning. Sauté for 5-10 minutes maximum.
Thank you for reading our article! We hope that our list of recipes has sparked creativity and inspired you to plan some healthy and delicious meals. If you’re in the mood for exploring even more recipes, head to our articles page and choose the ‘Nutrition’ category for tips and ideas.