39 Vegan Anti-Inflammatory Recipes | Tacos & More (2024)

Whether you’re interested in going plant based or simply looking to feel better, adding more anti-inflammatory recipes to the mix can go a long way!

Many years ago I dabbled with learning how to become a vegan runner. What came out of that was a better understanding for the ways to incorporate more vegetables in to every meal. And how to take advantage of wide range of super beneficial foods I’d been ignoring like lentils.

What are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?

The anti-inflammatory diet is a way of eating that will include mostly plant based foods like vegetables, fruits, foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, beans, nuts healthy fats and herbs that help with recovery.

Some inflammation is a good thing, after a workout it’s what tells the body to repair and build back stronger. What we are concerned with is chronic inflammation.

It’s this low level that just stays with the body all the time and is often see in runners with arthritis, asthma, eczema or simply a super high stress life.

Anti-inflammatory recipes will limit the use of things that could cause more systemic inflammation:

  • Sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Fried foods
  • Red meat
  • Transfats

Additionally, this is going to include any food sensitivities that you might have. In my case, eggs trigger my gut to get very unhappy which then leads to more inflammation and slows down my workout recovery.

It’s extremely important to know if you have any foods like that. Checkout the article linked above for tips to figure this out.

Benefits to Anti-Inflammatory Diet

We’ve often heard that food is medicine and this exactly how you might think of this way of eating. The goal is truly to help lower your inflammation levels and speed up recovery, healing and health.

In fact, the Mediterranean diet is often sited by Registered Dietitians as a great example of an anti-inflammatory way of eating!

  • Can help those with a Chronic Illness
  • Reduces high blood pressure and Type 1 Diabetes
  • Assist in lessening bowel inflammation
  • Help with fatigue, bloating, headaches or getting sick frequently

Need a little more motivation to up your plant game? How about these amazing reasons from runner Rich Roll:

I truly believe that eating plant-based is a secret weapon for maximizing athletic performance, primarily because it optimizes immune system functionality and significantly expedites physiological recovery from exercise induced stress.

For the non-athletic, maximizing athletic recovery is the holy grail of actualizing performance potential. If I could do what I’ve done athletically on nothing but plants in my mid and late 40’s, imagine your own untapped capabilities.”

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39 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes

If you’re still dipping your toe in the plant filled water and maybe just need to incorporate more plant-based meals, I’ve got you covered!

Here are some ideas to help make the transition to meat free, dairy free, egg free foods that will support your training.

Dinner and Lunch Ideas

The easiest way to make the switch is to find foods that feel hearty and if you can use spices all the better! Your new foods aren’t going to taste like meat, so you need to find flavors that still delight.

I’m starting with dinner ideas because that’s where most often the concern of protein shows up. Luckily, it’s not the issue you might assume, as noted by One Green Planet

“Plant-based nutrition is a great way to enhance your muscle mass by giving the body beneficial vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and complex carbs that meet the body’s needs on a number of levels.”

First up, an easy favorite Lentil Taco meat.

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Print Recipe

Lentil Taco Meat

A hearty recipe that is easy to make, and super healthy.

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan

Keyword: Gluten Free, Healthy, Vegan


  • 1 cup soaked and cooked lentils
  • 1 cup red beans
  • 1/2 cup pureed carrots a la sneaky chef
  • oregano
  • chili pepper
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper


  • Adjust total qty of beans for how large you want the batch to be

  • Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse

  • I like it really spicy, so start with 1/2 tsp each and adjust…I used a lot more ?

  • Serve it up with a bed of greens, sliced peppers, salsa and avocado

Soak your lentils before cooking. TIP: Just dump them in a bowl with water before heading to work or bed.

Some other ideas for a hearty anti-inflammatory dinner:

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Side Dish Ideas

We’ve covered the main dishes and meals, but sometimes what you need is just that little extra on the side. A few more ideas that you can use with any meal to get some awesome health benefits from your food.

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Breakfast Time Ideas

Of course you could always enjoy a fabulous overnight oats recipe with almond milk or even a green smoothie, but I’m all about getting in great protein at breakfast to help me feel satisfied all day long.

They’ve proven that can help reduce sugar cravings and I know if I can get in a couple veggies it puts me on the right track.39 Vegan Anti-Inflammatory Recipes | Tacos & More (7)

Looking for some new meal ideas, try these #plantbased #recipes for enhanced recovery Click To Tweet

Dessert Time Ideas

Have no fear, you can still enjoy sweet treats and even chocolate! You have to read labels a little more carefully to avoid the dairy, but it’s worth it for the bliss sans the bloat. 39 Vegan Anti-Inflammatory Recipes | Tacos & More (8)

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Incorporating just one or two plant-based meals each week, can help you to think differently about food. It opens up tons of new meal ideas and makes the focus on vegetables more prevalent in every meal.

For anyone who wants to recover faster, there are huge benefits to mixing up the foods you eat and incorporating more plant based meals!

These ideas are healthy with a focus on one’s that are easiest for the palate to adjust from a meat eaters diet.

A few more resources to help with your plant-based sports nutrition:

  • Thrive by Brendan Brazier (have read all his books and enjoyed)
  • No Meat Athlete (tons of great information)
  • Oh She Glows (fabulous healthy recipes, but many above my expertise in the kitchen)
  • Rich Roll (great cookbook and podcast)

How often do you have plant-based meals?

What’s your favorite vegan recipe?

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39 Vegan Anti-Inflammatory Recipes | Tacos & More (2024)


What is the number one food to fight inflammation? ›

Research shows that vitamin K-rich leafy greens like spinach and kale, berries, and yellow and orange fruits and vegetables may be particularly protective. Whole grains. The fiber in oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and other whole grains may help with inflammation. Beans.

What vegan foods are anti-inflammatory? ›

Anti-Inflammatory Foods for a Vegan Diet:

Vegan proteins including beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh and seitan. Plant-based "milks" and "yogurts" Healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, avocado, flaxseed oil, nuts and seeds.

How long does it take for a vegan diet to reduce inflammation? ›

There are various studies on the impact of these diets on inflammation, but results are mixed. In a 2015 study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 600 participants followed a vegan diet for three weeks which significantly reduced C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker for acute and chronic inflammation.

What is an anti-inflammatory breakfast? ›

Smoothies are a great way to load up on key anti-inflammatory foods like berries, probiotic-rich yogurt and greens. When creating your blender breakfast, incorporate a protein source like Greek yogurt, tofu or even a protein powder to balance carbs and to keep you fuller for longer.

What are the 10 worst inflammatory foods? ›

Here are the top ten worst offending foods that can trigger or cause inflammation:
  • Dairy Products. ...
  • Wheat, Rye, and Barley. ...
  • Fried Foods. ...
  • Refined Flour. ...
  • Red Meat. ...
  • Processed Corn. ...
  • Artificial Chemicals and Additives. ...
  • Trans Fats. Trans fats, aside from causing cancer, also create low-density lipoproteins, which feed inflammation.
Dec 9, 2023

How do you flush inflammation out of your body? ›

Healthy eating tips to help reduce inflammation
  1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. ...
  2. Choose high-fiber carbohydrates. ...
  3. Eat more fiber. ...
  4. Choose plant-based and leaner animal protein sources. ...
  5. Be conscious of your fat sources. ...
  6. Reduce the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in the diet. ...
  7. Reduce your sugar intake. ...
  8. Limit or avoid alcohol.
Nov 16, 2023

What are the five foods to avoid for inflammation? ›

Inflammatory Foods
  • Red meat, such as steak and hamburgers.
  • Processed meat, such as bologna, bacon, sausage and lunchmeat.
  • Commercial baked goods such as snack cakes, pies, cookies and brownies.
  • Bread and pasta made with white flour.
  • Deep fried items such as French fries, fried chicken and donuts.

Which vegetable is rich in anti-inflammatory? ›

6 Anti-Inflammatory Vegetables You Should Be Eating, According to a Dietitian
  • Tomatoes.
  • Broccoli.
  • Edamame.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Garlic.
  • Carrots.
May 17, 2023

What vegan milk is anti-inflammatory? ›

Coconut Milk is a great option for those who suffer from acne. It is anti-inflammatory, contains healthy fats, is gut friendly and has magnesium and potassium. Almond Milk, if unsweetened, is also a good alternative because it contains antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory and made up of healthy fats.

Does not eating meat reduce inflammation? ›

Studies have shown that people who adopt no meat diets can dramatically lower their level of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation in the body.

Is keto or vegan better for inflammation? ›

Research indicates that low-fat vegan or vegetarian diets can lower inflammation and heart disease risk, while ketogenic diets may benefit certain epilepsy types and reduce neuroinflammation. However, the precise effect of diet on human immunity is still unclear.

Can going vegan heal your gut? ›

The gut benefits of a vegan diet

Research has found that there is a reduction in inflammatory gut bacteria, as well as an increase in the protective species of bacteria. This is likely due to the higher fibre content of the average vegan diet.

What are the top 3 anti-inflammatory foods? ›

Anti-inflammatory foods

green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards. nuts like almonds and walnuts. fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines.

Do boiled eggs help with inflammation? ›

Functional foods such as eggs contain a variety of essential nutrients and vital components including egg proteins, phospholipids, lutein and zeaxanthin that curb inflammation. The vitamin D present in the eggs modulates the inflammatory response in rheumatoid arthritis.

Are bananas anti-inflammatory? ›

Bananas contain magnesium and potassium and also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These components may help bone density and alleviate arthritis symptoms. Eating foods that are part of an anti-inflammatory diet may also help reduce arthritis symptoms.

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory fruit? ›

Berries. From strawberries and blackberries to cranberries and blueberries, these gemlike fruits are particularly potent in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

What are the 7 most inflammatory foods? ›

These 7 high-inflammatory foods can sap your energy and raise your risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease
  1. Char-grilled meat. ...
  2. Processed meat products. ...
  3. Alcohol. ...
  4. Deep-fried foods. ...
  5. Sugary foods and drinks. ...
  6. Ultra-processed foods. ...
  7. Highly refined carbs.

Are eggs good for inflammation? ›

Various functional foods, nutrients and vital components have shown to modify the inflammation response in the body. Functional foods such as eggs contain a variety of essential nutrients and vital components including egg proteins, phospholipids, lutein and zeaxanthin that curb inflammation.

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