12 Months of Healthy Eating: Anti-Inflammatory Meals

Table full of colorful food, including raw Salmon, chicken breasts, grains and vibrant fruits
Written by Jenn Fernandez
clock-line icon
3 minutes

Did you know that May is National Arthritis Month? It’s a time to raise awareness about arthritis and the importance of supporting research and education for people who have been affected by it. In America, around 21% of all adults experience some form of arthritis, according to the Center for Disease Control.1 You might be surprised to learn that while there is no cure for arthritis, what you eat every day can have an impact on arthritic pain.2 This is why we’re offering 12 months of healthy eating, featuring meal plans created by a registered dietician.

ICYMI: 12 Months of Healthy Eating: Antioxidant Boost

This month, our meal plan features foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Incorporating these foods into your diet, especially leafy greens, dark yellow vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, can have important overall health benefits. As part of a healthy lifestyle, diets rich in these types of foods can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,3 and benefit people with arthritis. Learn how you can benefit from selecting anti-inflammatory foods and incorporating them into your healthy meal planning by reading on, and check out our 7-day meal plan now!

Download The Printable Meal Plan 

Impact of Diet on Arthritis

If you’re living with arthritis, it’s especially important to be mindful of what you eat and focus on consuming foods known to contain antioxidant compounds, such as flavonoids and other polyphenols, that can help decrease oxidative stress associated with inflammation. One of the most well-studied diets is the Mediterranean Diet, which according to Arthritis.org, is “The Ultimate Arthritis Diet,” thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.4

Which Foods are the Best Choices?

There are a lot of delicious and nutrient-rich foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. The Mediterranean diet focuses on these types of foods, including nuts, fruits, fish, whole grains, healthy oils, and vegetables.5 Green leafy vegetables, like spinach, and whole grain carbohydrates are especially important. You should also focus on snacking on colorful veggies and fruits like cherries, oranges, or blueberries, rather than reaching for a bag of potato chips or a slice of salami. You’ll want to switch out butter and lard for more healthy fats like olive or sunflower seed oil. It’s also important to avoid highly processed foods across the board. Last but not least, be sure to incorporate fatty fish like salmon into your meals — as often as once or twice per week.6

Read more: Cuisine of the Month: Mediterranean

What Not to Eat on an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Most foods that may cause inflammation can be easily distinguished from foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Foods that may cause inflammation often have a lot of sugar and are composed of simple, “white,” carbohydrates, including white bread, fried foods, and flaky pastries. Typically, if it seems unhealthy for you—like fast food staples such as onion rings and giant cups of soda—the food item is likely to be inflammatory. While red meat can provide your body with nutrients like zinc, iron, B vitamins, and protein,7 eating too much red meat or overly processed meat, like deli turkey or ham, can also increase inflammation.8 While these foods might be delicious, there are a lot of scrumptious, healthy alternatives to enjoy instead.

Healthy Recipes for Meals with Anti-inflammatory Properties -

What are you waiting for? We’ve partnered with a Registered Dietician to create a whole week of meals that include foods with anti-inflammatory properties, designed to support overall health and well-being, especially for those with arthritis. The meal plan is full of mouth-watering breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks that you can feel good about. Start your day off with a refreshing strawberry mango smoothie, or chow down on an aloha burger—a Hawaiian twist on the delicious turkey burger we know and love. And for snacks? Who doesn’t love dark chocolate or a rhubarb and apricot yogurt parfait?

For more healthy meal options, download our heart-friendly cookbook. It’s full of twelve additional healthy dinners that are delicious, easy, and fun to make. Or, for more ways to have fun while building heart healthy habits, sign up for our Healthy Heart Challenge.

Written by:

Jenn Fernandez

Director of Marketing

Jenn Fernandez is the Director of Marketing for Kaneka Nutrients. Jenn brings nearly two decades of healthcare, marketing, and tech experience to her work with Ubiquinol.

As seen in:

  • ABC Logo
  • The Dr. OZ Show Logo
  • Fox Logo
  • Whole Foods Magazine Logo
  • CBS Logo