Inflammation is an important part of your body’s natural healing process. It’s your immune system sending out cells to fight bacteria, infections or heal injuries.1

Chronic inflammation is completely different.

It can be caused by an autoimmune disorder, an untreated injury or infection, or even overexposure to allergens such as pollen. It can lead to heart disease, diabetes, psoriasis and other illnesses. Symptoms may include fatigue, body pain, joint stiffness and puffiness in the face, especially under the eyes.If you suffer from chronic inflammation, there are foods that can make inflammation worse.2

Try limiting these types of foods and ingredients:

  • Saturated fats—Like those found in margarine, shortening and lard, processed meats (hot dogs, sausages), cream and butter.
  • Trans fats—Fast foods and fried foods.
  • Refined Carbohydrates—Processed foods made with white flour (white bread, pastries) and refined sugar (cane sugar, molasses, brown sugar).
  • Soda and other sweetened beverages.

Eat this instead:

  • Cherries3
  • Blueberries
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Oranges
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Tuna
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Coffee
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
  • Sauerkraut
  • Turmeric

Here are some delicious lunch and dinner options that may help you fight inflammation.

A bowl filled with a healthy lentil salad

Greek Lentil Salad

Makes 4 servings | Prep: 40 min



  • 1 cup black beluga lentils (dry/uncooked)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups of baby spinach, chopped
  • ½ medium red onion, chopped
  • ⅓ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed
  • ⅓ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
  • ⅓ cup basil or flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Optional garnish: crumbled feta cheese

Greek Dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  • Pick through the lentils and remove any debris (like tiny rocks).
  • Pour the lentils into a fine-mesh colander and rinse under running water. Dump the lentils into a medium saucepan. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally. The lentils will be tender in about 25 to 35 minutes. Drain the lentils and return them to the pot to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium serving bowl, combine the spinach, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and basil. Set aside.
  • To prepare the dressing, combine all of the ingredients and whisk until thoroughly blended.
  • Once the lentils have cooled for about 5 minutes, add them to the serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until blended. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve in individual bowls with a sprinkle of feta cheese on top, if desired.4


(Serving size: 1 cup)

Calories: 214; Total fat: 16 g; Saturated fat: 2 g; Sodium 215 mg; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Total carbs: 15 g; Fiber: 5 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 6 g; Potassium: 441 mg

Three grilled shrimp tacos on a table with a side of salsa

Grilled shrimp tacos with cabbage slaw

Makes 4 servings | Prep: 30 min


  • 3 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ chipotle pepper en adobo, minced into a puree*
  • 1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 limes, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ medium green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra, if needed, for brushing
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 small whole grain corn tortillas


  • Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise and chipotle pepper; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, toss together shrimp, juice of 1 lime and chili powder; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine shredded cabbage, carrots, cilantro and the juice of the remaining lime; toss well. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Thread shrimp on skewers, 3-4 shrimp per skewer.
  • Brush each skewer with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Coat the grill rack with cooking spray and grill shrimp skewers 2-3 minutes on each side, or until pinkish and opaque in color. Meanwhile, warm tortillas, as desired, on the grill.
  • To assemble, spread a few teaspoons of the chipotle mayo along the center of a warmed corn tortilla. Lay 3 or 4 shrimp across the mayo. Top with a generous spoonful of the cabbage slaw. Serve additional slaw as a side salad.

*Chipotle peppers en adobo are sold in small cans in the Mexican food section of most supermarkets. One-half of a minced chipotle pepper measures about half of a tablespoon. 5


(serving size: 2 tacos)

Calories: 389; Total fat: 11 g; Saturated fat: 2 g; Sodium: 509 mg; Cholesterol: 229 mg; Total carbs: 40 g; Fiber: 8 g; Sugars: 10 g; Protein: 37 g; Potassium: 564 mg

Speak with a dietitian today

Now that you what to eat, figure out why you’re eating it by breaking free from emotional eating habits.

Published July 5, 2023



This portion of the Teladoc Health website occasionally offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is provided for educational purposes only. You cannot rely on any information provided here as a substitute for or replacement of professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Teladoc Health cannot assure that the information contained on this site always includes the most recent findings or developments with respect to the particular subject matter covered.

If you ever have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical- or health-related advice from your healthcare professional because of something you may have read on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

If you are in the United States and think you are having a medical or health emergency, call your healthcare professional, or 911, immediately.