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30 Inflammation Reducing Vegan Recipes

By Lora O’Brien

Your body is super smart. When you stub your toe or hit your elbow on the wall, it may hurt, but by gosh – you’re alive! Your healthy body is sending out some swelling and redness, meaning your immune cells are gathering to defend your bod against potential offenders, like harmful bacteria from the outside world. But this isn’t only true for bruises and bumps, it’s true for internal injuries too – and by ‘injuries’ I mean exposure to things like booze, pollution, tobacco smoke, harmful chemicals in cosmetics, prescription drugs, and food allergens to name a few. Which is good, right? The problem comes up when these irritations persist for longer than expected – this is when inflammation becomes chronic.

And that’s a seriously bad thing. As forever-switched-on immune cells get tired and confused, they turn against their own kind—a condition known as auto-immunity – which then leads to diseases like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, eczema, acne, chronic fatigue, depression, brain fog, worse PMS, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Type 1 diabetes, and even cancer.

The good news? Small shifts in what you eat can make a big difference in how you feel, and how healthy you remain over your lifetime. So which changes should you start with?

Focus on a plant-based diet

Processed foods, plus dairy, sugar, and bread can be delicious, but they’re also  pro-inflammatory. Sticking to gluten-free side-dishes like buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, and cauliflower ‘rice’ are good substitutes for processed carbs, and sub in agave or date syrup or small amounts of maple syrup for sugar. Frankly, as a vegan, I believe dairy and meat should be off the menu altogether, but if you must, ensure these are organic, at least.

Feel free to go crazy on the following foods, which are tops for reducing inflammation:

  • celery, leafy greens, broccoli, beets, bok choi, garlic, onions
  • fruits like pineapple, red grapes, berries, or acai
  • walnuts, coconut oil, olive oil, chia seed, flax seed
  • ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, green tea

Pile on the Omegas

Fat is good. Well, some fats, at least – namely Omega-3 and -6 fats. When combined in the right ways, these two can seriously reduce inflammation and keep all your cells functioning optimally. Forget downing supplements – the best way to get these is directly from food. Think:  walnuts, flax seed, chia seeds, mung beans, and hemp oil. Every. damn. day.

 Just Chill Out

One of the major causes of inflammation? Stress. It brings it on thanks to the pro-inflammatory effects of chronically-elevated cortisol levels, which increase the production of inflammatory cytokines. So the sooner you start chilling out, the better. All your devoted diet efforts will be in vain if you don’t meditate, take deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed, go on more holidays, or just avoid stress whenever possible.

End the Vicious Circle

Got inflammation? The doctor may well prescribe some pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs. Millions are doled out each year by doctors, and numbers are expected to rise as chronic conditions increase. But guess what the most common side effect of drugs are? Gastrointestinal injury. Instead of taking painkillers as a Bandaid solution, why not listen to your body? Learn what those aches and pains are trying to tell you about what nutrition and care your body might not be getting – and go find it.

Bottom line? Eating the right fresh foods can lower inflammation and reduce your risk of serious disease. And they’re easy to use: for example, turmeric can be added to salad dressings, curries, soups, tea, lattes or stir fries. Use ginger in hot water with lemon every morning, or add it to smoothies, tea, stir fries and even your baking. Replace coffee with green tea, and add berries to your cereal or smoothies. Or just follow any of the recipes below!

30 Inflammation Reducing Vegan Recipes

1. Turmeric Latte

This tasty turmeric latte not only has anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the black pepper, cinnamon and of course, turmeric, but it helps to relieve depression and prevent premature ageing. Not bad for a drink, huh?

Get the recipe here.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Green Smoothie

Smoothies are a really great way of packing in lots of anti-inflammatory goodies because a lot of them come in the forms of fruit and vegetables. So it’s the perfect way to get a healthy dose of those leafy greens and fruits. And smoothies are a great way to consume more fruit and vegetables if you’re someone that tends not to eat them. You can barely take the spinach in this smoothie as the fruit really works to conceal it, so it’s perfect. I’d recommend adding the blueberries on top as they not only contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, but they do wonders to make the skin glow!

Get the recipe here.

3. Kiwi & Pineapple Smoothie

Fresh kiwi, pineapple, chia seeds, turmeric, ginger and spinach are all celebrated for their anti-inflammatory properties – so you can basically refer to this smoothie as medicine in a glass. And unlike the medicine of our childhood that had to be washed down with something strong to rid us of its horrid taste, this is pretty damn tasty!

Get the recipe here.

4. Golden Milk Overnight Oats

Ever heard of golden milk? It’s really just a combination of turmeric mixed with coconut milk (occasionally coconut oil, too). The oats can be served hot or cold, depending on the season, and throwing blueberries on top only boosts the anti-inflammatory goodness!

Get the recipe here.

5. Matcha Green Tea Chia Pudding

The matcha behind that glorious green contains antioxidant compounds that will help to reduce inflammation. Not only that, but matcha is brilliant for boosting the metabolism – just what you need first thing in the morning. Berries out of season? No problem – sub in red or purple grapes.

Get the recipe here.

6. Beet Pancakes

The antioxidant betalain gives beetroot its colour – and it’s actually a fantastic anti-inflammatory, too. As for the taste, don’t worry – you won’t notice the beets in these pancakes at all. Serve them in a stack with a dollop of coconut yogurt or chia jam if you’re feeling more adventurous.

Get the recipe here.

7. Amaranth Granola

Amaranth contains anti-inflammatory peptides and oils, which work to ease pain and reduce inflammation. But this granola has more going on for it – it’s crunchy and sweet and makes a great go-to breakfast or snack.

Get the recipe here.

8. Pesto Broccoli Sweet Potato ‘Rice’ Casserole

This recipe’s sweet potatoes will keep your gut healthy, and the broccoli will add some anti-inflammatory goodness, too. It calls for vegan mozzarella, but frankly – that’s just processed junk food, right? If it’s inflammatory reduction you’re after, I’d say add some tahini or organic runny yogurt instead.

Get the recipe here.

9. Deep Dish Falafel Recipe

This is a really great take on the popular pizza recipe. Freshly cooked chickpeas make up the crust of this pizza and blended with herbs and spices it goes crispy once out of the oven. The topping is then this bright and vibrant beetroot hummus and then a smattering of whatever veggies you fancy. And in case you miss that cheesy vibe, a nutty tahini sauce gets spread over the vegetables. Yum!

Get the recipe here.

10. Green Edamame Spinach Pesto

A hummus recipe . . . without the hummus. The sauce in this recipe is actually edamame, cooked spinach and tahini which is blended together to create a sauce that is creamy in texture like hummus yet it tastes more like a pesto. It spreads so well over a nice, buckwheat pasta and makes a quick and easy meal. Plus this recipe is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as the spinach, garlic and black pepper.

Get the recipe here.

11. Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is packed with vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that work to support a healthy heart, help to fight cancer as well as inflammation. Mixed here with anti-inflammatory turmeric and fresh herbs, it’s serving up good health on a plate, quite literally.

Get the recipe here.

12. Simple Sweet Potato & Quinoa Bowls

When choosing grains to eat, you want to find ones that are going to digest slowly. When this happens they keep our blood sugar low as opposed to the spike in sugar we would receive from eating processed foods like white pasta and processed sugary treats. When our blood sugar spikes it causes an increase in inflammation in the body, so we definitely want to be selective about the grains we use. It’s easy to do when so many healthy grains taste delicious such as brown rice, quinoa and even steel-cut oats. This quinoa bowl is perfect post-gym as it will nourish your body and all of the anti-inflammatory ingredients will ease any muscle soreness. Getting that summer bod has never tasted better!

Get the recipe here.

13. Chickpea Shwarma Dip

Oooh wow! How fancy does this look? And it looks pretty indulgent, too. But with its loads of lemon, olive oil, black pepper and garlic, this gorgeous dip is a seriously anti-inflammatory treat. Serve up with some quinoa crackers or crudites.

Get the recipe here.

14. Pineapple Guacamole

I am all about that guacamole life. It goes perfectly with sweet potato fries, crackers, on sandwiches – basically anything. I’m always up for trying new ways to keep food fresh and innovative, so I was happy to try this pineapple guacamole. It has a sweet’n’spicy vibe – it’s sweet from the pineapple with a real kick from the jalapeno.

Get the recipe here.

15. Immune-Boosting, Anti-Inflammatory Beet Soup

With a diet of meat, potatoes and vodka, it’s basically beetroot keeping the Russian population alive (kidding! kind of…). This hearty borscht is packed with garlic, turmeric and ginger, which along with the beets make it extra anti-inflammatory. Coconut cream gives this soup a dose of healthy fats and lends a delicious creaminess.

Get the recipe here.

 

16. Thai Coconut Soup with Bok Choy & Mushrooms

Let us talk about bok choy. Whilst it may not look like much, you may be surprised to discover that this noble green is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and it is an excellent source of an anti-inflammatory goodness. It goes great in a stir fry and also wilted in some garlic alone is delicious! Here, ginger, coconut oil and mushrooms all add further anti-inflammatory goodness.

Get the recipe here.

17. Broccoli, Ginger & Turmeric Soup

This soup may not look like much but it’s a real powerhouse of anti-inflammatory ingredients. And what better way to warm yourself up than with a cosy, comforting dish like this? The broccoli, ginger and turmeric are the real stars in this recipe. And to make it 100% vegan friendly, simply use a vegan butter or cook the veggies in coconut oil instead.

Get the recipe here.

18. Creamy Spiced Cauliflower Soup

I never thought to add cauliflower to soup, but now that I’ve tried this recipe I’m seriously making this all the time. The outcome in this silky and creamy, rich soup that just tastes mouth wateringly good. The coconut cream and cauliflower is infused with spices such as cardamon, cumin, coriander and turmeric which not only give it this stunning colour but also give it a delicious edge. Plus the garlic cloves give this soup an additional anti-inflammatory hit.

Get the recipe here.

19. Vegetable Lentil Shepherds Pie

When we think of shepherd’s pie, we tend to think of the heavily meat based dish. But it’s super easy to re-create with vegetables like with this lentil recipe. Lentils more than make up for the lack of meat, but if you’re not a fan, you can switch this for any bean of your choice. The topping is made from sweet potatoes and gives a deliciously sweet and creamy mix. It’s comfort food that is super healing.

Get the recipe here.

20. Miso & Shiitake Ramen

Did you know that mushrooms are a superfood? They provide vital nutrients like vitamin D, help maintain a healthy gut, help fight diseases including cancer, and are one of the only foods to not lose nutrients when cooked. Combined here with garlic – hailed for years for its cold busting properties- and miso, which is great for gut health, this recipe is a healthy winner! It’s easy to find the ingredients and throw them together, but if you want them delivered to your door along with other weekly meal supplies, Blue Apron has a meal plan that will do so, for two up to four people.

Get the recipe here.

21. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lentils & Tomatoes

The antioxidants in sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene and manganese that give out anti-inflammatory benefits – perfect for athletes with injuries, or those with arthritis. Not to mention they’re super tasty, and loaded potatoes make a filling yet delicious meal. Add a leafy green salad to boost the anti-inflammatory properties of this dish.

Get the recipe here.

 

22. Kale & Chickpea Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Squash is usually a side dish, as are most of our vegetables. Well, that’s about to change now that squash is the main event in this recipe. The squash is baked very much like a baked potato, and then filled with lots of yumminess. There’s sautéed kale, chickpeas and toasted almonds. There’s lots of anti-inflammatory fighting ingredients and the stuffed squash makes a refreshing change from baked potatoes.

Get the recipe here.

23. Quick Vegan Curry

A curry is basically an anti-inflammatory dish in one pot. It’s packed with healthy spices like turmeric, garlic, cinnamon and basil and  has loads of veggies, too – this one also comes with highly nutritious chick peas. It’s simply bursting with flavour, and makes a filling meal, too. Extra hungry? Serve up with some brown or jasmine rice.

Get the recipe here.

24. Easy Tex Mex Quinoa

If you’ve ever read my food column here before, you’ll know that I’m a huge Mexican food fan. But I acknowledge that Mexican is often loaded with cream, meat and often comes on those nasty, processed tortillas or GMO tacos or fried nachos (well, in the USA anyway, right? Ick!) So hallelujah for this Tex Mex combo by Vegangela. It’s got all the Mexican flavour -including cilantro, black beans and tons of tomato – but none of the processed madness.

Get the recipe here.

25. Sundried Tomato and Kidney Bean Chili

This dish is seriously intense! It has a double tomato punch – sun dried and tomato paste – and is packed with parsley, chili pepper, olive oil and other flavourful foods. Who said being vegan is dull on the tastebuds? To make this really anti-inflammatory, ditch the baguette, tempting as it may be!

Get the recipe here.

26. Blueberry Vanilla Cheesecake

Sometimes, we  just can’t deny our sweet tooth. So when that craving for something sweet appears, resist the urge to reach for refined and processed treats and instead take the time to make your own. They may still be a little ‘unhealthy’ but they’ll be heaps better for you, your health and your body in the long run than most things you’ll find already made. And recipes like this are fab to have on hand because their sweetness comes from mostly natural sugars like medjool dates maple syrup.

Get the recipe here.

27. Sweet Potato Brownies

Who knew eating brownies could be so good for you? Well, at least they are when you make them full of plant-based goodness. And these sugar free brownie slices are made from none other than sweet potatoes! But if you think these will taste like you’re chowing down on chocolate covered potatoes, think again. The sweet potatoes lend their creaminess, whereas the gooey caramel edge it from the medjool dates and the sweetness from both almond meal and maple syrup. Hurrah to healthy treats that are good for us!

Get the recipe here.

28. Mango Sorbet with Banana & Pineapple

This zero sugar recipe is so quick and easy to make, you’ll surprise yourself. And with both pineapple and blueberries yielding some pretty strong anti-inflammatory brownie points, I may just go back for a second helping.

Get the recipe here.

29. Anti-Inflammatory Toddy

Coming down with a cold or the flu? Bash it with this toddy! Whilst the main healer in this warming beverage is the turmeric, the hidden hero is black pepper, which has potent anti-inflammatory properties of its own. Even if you’re feeling groovy, this drink is the perfect go-to recipe to give a little TLC back to our digestive system.

Get the recipe here.

30. Turmeric Pumpkin Spiced Latte

I can’t wait to try this out! I’m a huge fan of a pumpkin spice lattes, but they usually come with so much sugar. This recipe is an exception – it’s sweetened with a touch of maple syrup and coconut cream. The delicate blend of spices add autumnal flavour, whereas the turmeric yields all those great healing properties that you’re well aware of by now, I’m sure.

Get the recipe here.

Main image: pasta and sweet potato bowl with seeds. Get the recipe here.



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1 Comment

  • Reply
    David Seaman
    Nov 2, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    This post is really insightful. Inflammation is a vital part of the body’s immune response.
    Welcome to the DeFlame Nation, DeFlaming is about reducing inflammation. The focus of DeFlame.com is about how poor nutrition promotes chronic inflammation, which leads to aches, pains, depression, fatigue, general ill health, and chronic disease.
    For more information, Visit: http://www.deflame.com/

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