5 Lunches That Can Help Fight Inflammation
Brimming with anti-inflammatory ingredients—and delicious too.
Photo: Paul Sirisalee
A Salad with a Healthful Crunch
There's more to nuts than protein, healthy monosaturated fats and fiber: A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who frequently ate nuts had lower levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein (CRP). Moreover, almonds, in particular, are an excellent source of vitamin E, which may help to protect the body from the effects of harmful free radicals and has been shown to reduce inflammation. This recipe has you sprinkle the nuts over a pesto-dressed salad made with bulgur (a protein-rich grain), green beans and tomatoes.
Get the recipe: Kale Pesto Bulgur Salad
Photo: John Kernick
A Healthy Trick for Cooling Off a Spicy Dish
You know that yogurt's good for you, but did you know that the dairy product's hefty dose of probiotics can be beneficial for everything from IBS to chronic stomach inflammation? In this delicious recipe, creamy Greek yogurt tames the heat on a spicy soup: You thin the yogurt with water, and then drizzle it over a curried (and cayenne-d) Indian lentil and chickpea stew, for a winning combo of hot and cold.
Get the recipe: Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup
Photo: Jonny Valiant
The Midday Take on a Morning Classic
Another reason to eat more eggs: They're an excellent source of vitamin D, and one study in the Journal of Inflammation found that healthy women who had low levels of vitamin D had higher levels of inflammatory markers. Here, the traditional breakfast food goes in a more lunch- (or even dinner-)ish direction, with the addition of scallions, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, feta and green olives.
Get the recipe: Turkish Scrambled Eggs
Photo: Alice Gao
An Alternative to Oatmeal
Love quinoa? Us too. The superseed contains magnesium, which helps boost your ability to ward off inflammation, and has a gently nutty taste that's adaptable to many flavors. It's not difficult to cook on the stovetop, but if you have a slow cooker, you'll want to try this recipe. The foolproof appliance takes the guesswork out—and also allows the other ingredients (here, carrots, golden raisins and anti-inflammatory ginger and cardamom) to soften and meld together, creating a rich-tasting breakfast or lunch. Top your serving with orange segments and enjoy the combination of sweet and spice.
Get the recipe: Cardamom-Orange Quinoa with Carrots
Photo: Kate Mathis
The Stew with a One-Two Beneficial Punch
You may not know that fruity, luxurious, extra-virgin olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal, which, research suggests, has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate aches and pains. This savory yet light stew includes olive oil two ways: for sautéeing the veggies and frying the eggs. And if you want to take it to-go, you can prep the stew ahead of time, and hard boil the eggs instead of frying them. Then, take a portion of veggies and a whole egg with you (quarter it just before eating). Get the recipe: Kale, Chickpea and Tomato Stew