With the holidays approaching, many people’s minds are turning to food. Delicious meals are a staple of many holiday celebrations, and New Year’s resolutions often revolve around intentions to eat healthier in the months ahead. The best anti-inflammatory cookbooks make it easier to find healthy, delicious recipes for the holidays and beyond.
Why are anti-inflammatory cookbooks helpful?
For people with chronic pain or other chronic conditions, eating healthy can take on even greater significance. Some foods can exacerbate certain medical conditions while others can relieve symptoms and help you heal. For example, eating gluten could make celiac disease symptoms worse, while a plant-based diet may tame fibromyalgia flare-ups.
No food is a cure-all, but knowing which foods to eat and in what amounts truly can help you feel better. That’s why it is a good idea to find a reliable cookbook that offers realistic recipes and advice, not one that promises miraculous results. With the right cookbook as your guide, mealtime planning and prep can go from long and laborious to streamlined and rewarding.
Some of the best anti-inflammatory cookbooks featured in this article may appeal to more advanced chefs, but they also include some of the best healthy cookbooks for beginners: books that walk you through not only the recipes but also the benefits of the diet they advocate, which ingredients to stock up on, and more.
A few notes: This list is not ranked in any way. Each book featured here takes a different approach to healthy eating, so you can select the one that fits best with your goals, tastes, and dietary requirements. Also, Arizona Pain does not endorse any of these cookbooks and their use cannot replace advice from a medical professional. Always talk to your doctor before making major dietary changes. In general though, we have found these cookbooks useful in helping chronic pain patients live a better, healthier life.
Ready to find delicious new recipes? These are the best anti-inflammatory cookbooks to get started with.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Cookbook
The sheer number and variety of recipes in this book—500 in all!—make it easy to pick ones that sound delicious and doable to you.
Elis Mars provides dozens of meal options for every occasion. Whether you’re in the mood for a filling lunch of stuffed eggplants, a refreshing dessert of watermelon sorbet, or anything in between, odds are you’ll find a recipe you love in Anti-Inflammatory Cookbook.
2. The Everything Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook
Meal prepping is the practice of preparing a large amount of food, often a week’s worth, in advance. It could help you eat healthier by emphasizing portion control, reducing the time you spend in the kitchen, and making you more aware of what you eat. But, if you’ve never done it before, you probably have some questions about how to begin.
This book, written by Tina Chow, breaks down the dos and don’ts of meal planning. She also provides an impressive 300 recipes to get you started.
3. Oh She Glows Every Day
If you need or want to adopt a plant-based diet, Angela Liddon’s cookbooks are an excellent place to start.
From veggie burgers and pasta salads to cookies and cupcakes, Oh She Glows Every Day provides over 100 plant-based recipes. The book also specifies which recipes are safe for people with common allergies. This is just Liddon’s latest publication; if you enjoy the recipes found here, you can find similar ones on her blog and in her previous cookbook, The Oh She Glows Cookbook.
4. The Grain-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Family Cookbook
The recipes in this book were developed by Leah Webb, a health coach whose children have severe food allergies and cystic fibrosis.
Along with the recipes for nutritious meals and inventive snacks, Webb provides lessons learned from her own experiences, tips for saving time and effort in the kitchen, and the effects of different foods on the body.
With its family focus, this book’s recipes and the process of putting them together, make mealtimes easier for everyone.
5. Fit Men Cook
Fitness advocate Kevin Curry learned through personal experience that exercise alone is not enough to improve your health if you aren’t putting just as much effort into your diet.
This book discusses Curry’s journey to healthy eating and offers plenty of encouragement and tips to get you started on your own journey. Fit Men Cook acknowledges how difficult it is to change your diet. It eases the way though with over 100 great recipes, including jambalaya and stuffed chicken parmesan.
6. Gluten-Free on a Shoestring
Gluten is a type of protein found in grain and grain products. While most people have no trouble digesting gluten, certain conditions, such as celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome, make gluten consumption harmful to your intestines. These conditions are often comorbid with other chronic pain conditions.
This second edition of Nicole Hunn’s cookbook contains 125 completely gluten-free recipes, including pizza dough and pumpkin pie, which you can make without breaking the bank.
7. Pure Delicious
If you have multiple food allergies, trying to create appetizing meals may seem impossible. That’s where Heather Christo’s book, Pure Delicious, comes in.
Not only does it provide 150 recipes that exclude major allergens, such as nuts and dairy, it provides an outline for how to remove allergens from your diet entirely.
8. Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond
As you’re rethinking your diet and what you eat, don’t forget about what you drink!
Alex Lewin and Raquel Guajardo teach you how to ferment all sorts of drinks, from wine to soda, at home. The recipes found here can be much healthier versions of store-bought drinks, as they include probiotics. These helpful bacteria live in everyone’s digestive tract, but some people’s systems can benefit from the inclusion of additional probiotics.
Probiotics are generally safe and can ease symptoms in people with certain gastrointestinal disorders. (Though always check with your doctor before adding them to your diet!)
9. The New Soul Food Cookbook for People with Diabetes
Diabetes affects over 30 million people in the United States. It’s important for people with this condition to monitor when and what they eat in order to prevent blood sugar spikes and drops. Doing so can reduce the chance of painful complications.
In this cookbook, authors Fabiola Demps Gaines and Roniece Weaver show how you can continue to enjoy soul food favorites, from pork chops to chocolate cake, while keeping your diabetes under control.
10. The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These are carbohydrates, and their consumption can worsen symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Kate Scarlata and Dédé Wilson help you figure out which foods contain FODMAPs. Then, they provide 135 FODMAP-free recipes to help improve your digestive health.
11. Cook Once, Eat All Week
Author Cassy Joy Garcia outlines a 26-week plan for creating a week’s worth of meals in just one cooking session.
Each week’s recipes are centered around three ingredients, allowing you to prepare seven days of diverse, delicious meals with minimal fuss and expense. Garcia’s recipes focus on healthy eating and feature ingredient substitution options to make your meals grain-free, dairy-free, and more.
12. Korean Paleo
The paleo diet requires adherents to only eat foods allegedly available to humanity’s prehistoric ancestors. In other words, no grains, sugar, or dairy allowed!
This diet is not for everyone, but reducing your gluten or grain intake may help you manage certain chronic conditions, such as celiac disease. Jean Choi puts an Asian twist on the paleo phenomenon, laying out scrumptious paleo versions of Korean dishes like kimchi stew and pork belly wraps.
13. Skinnytaste One and Done
Diet foods and products are very popular, but they’re no substitute for balanced, nutritious meals that you make yourself.
Food blogger Gina Homolka offers plenty of lower-fat versions of popular dishes, including fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. She categorizes the recipes based on which cooking tools (e.g. an electric pressure cooker) you need to make them.
If you love this book, there are several others in the series, including The Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook and The Skinnytaste Cookbook.
14. The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
The Mediterranean diet includes a lot of healthy oils and few carbohydrates, so it is sometimes recommended to people seeking to lose weight or manage chronic conditions, from food allergies to diabetes. Plus it just tastes great!
Selena Rall and Deanna Segrave-Daly explain the benefits of a Mediterranean diet and include over 100 tasty and healthful Mediterranean recipes. Yes, that does include pizza.
15. Danielle Walker’s Eat What You Love
Eliminating ingredients doesn’t have to mean eliminating your favorite foods!
All of Danielle Walker’s cookbooks focus on cooking without gluten or dairy. Her latest book puts the spotlight on comfort foods, such as chicken potpie, banana bread, and tomato soup.
The nice thing about this book is its versatility. Walker includes a chart of potential ingredient substitutions to suit a wider array of tastes and dietary needs. Her recipes are suitable for those on the paleo diet, too.
16. The Low-Carb Diabetes Cookbook
David Cavan and Emma Porter’s cookbook helps you develop a diet plan that can help manage both Type I and Type II diabetes symptoms. (In the case of Type II, perhaps even reverse symptoms.)
All of the recipes are low in carbohydrates and include everything from breakfast omelets to sweet potato fries. The book also reviews how people’s eating habits have changed in the past 40 years and the effect these changes have had on our overall health. This historical perspective helps to highlight where you may have fallen into the pitfalls presented by modern food innovations.
17. The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook
If the prospect of trying to cook healthy meals seems overwhelming, Toby Amidor’s cookbook might be a good place to start.
Her recipes are relatively quick to make and cater to people with a variety of dietary preferences, from vegans to meat lovers. Amidor also includes advice on how to avoid fad or phony diets, what ingredients to buy, and how to save time and money as you cook.
18. ¡Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook
“Salud” is Spanish for “health,” and this cookbook allows you to enjoy beloved Mexican dishes with a healthy, vegan twist.
As author Eddie Garza points out, pre-Hispanic Mexican cuisine often relied on corn, chilis, rice, and other vegan-friendly ingredients. Creating delectable meat- and dairy-free versions of tamales, tortas, sopes, and much more is easier than you might think!
19. Damn Delicious Meal Prep
Low-calorie meals don’t have to be bland! Food blogger Chungah Rhee collects healthy, creative dishes that you can prepare for either now or later, for yourself or a whole dinner party’s worth of people.
Rhee deemphasizes the weight loss aspect of healthy eating, instead stressing the importance of meal prep and enjoying the food you eat.
20. Meals that Heal
Dr. Carolyn Williams’ recipes can be prepared in under 30 minutes, so you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen to enjoy a healthy meal packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Dr. Williams also takes time to discuss what inflammation is, its effects on your body, and what dietary habits you may consider adopting if you want to relieve or prevent specific conditions, including heart problems and joint disorders.
Find more anti-inflammatory recipes
Want more recipes that fit into an anti-inflammatory diet? The internet has plenty! From bountiful breakfasts to delectable dinners, there are tons of recipes out there for you to try. In addition to conventional meals, you may want to look into smoothie recipes. Smoothies are a great and easy way to incorporate anti-inflammatory ingredients into your diet.
Experiment with different diets and recipes—with guidance from your doctor, of course—until you find an approach that works for you. Or perhaps you can borrow elements from multiple diet regimens and create a new one just for you!
Many of the authors of the anti-inflammatory cookbooks featured here got their start writing food and health blogs. So if there’s a book you really love, check the author bio! Additional recipes could be just an internet search away.
If you live in Arizona and need help planning and sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet, contact the Arizona Pain team or click below to get in touch with one of our pain specialists today.