7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Healthy Aging (2024)

The anti-inflammatory diet has generated a lot of buzz over the years, and for good reason. According to StatPearls, nearly 60% of Americans live with at least one chronic condition. These conditions include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases; as the name may imply, they are linked to chronic inflammation (low-grade, long-term). According to 2019 research in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, as we age, we enter a more chronic inflammatory state, coined "inflammaging," further increasing the risk of these chronic conditions. Though people from all walks of life could likely benefit from the anti-inflammatory diet, this research highlights the importance of aiming to decrease inflammation as we get older.

A 2021 study published in Biomedicines explored the anti-inflammatory diet and its role in healthy aging and found that no single food or food group can reduce inflammaging. Instead, it's best to focus on various foods with anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers emphasized a diet similar to the Mediterranean diet with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, whole grains and healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to a nutritious diet, it's important to incorporate other inflammation-busting strategies like reducing stress and proper hydration.

In this plan, we map out a week of delicious meals and snacks tailored to decrease inflammation and support healthy aging. Although it's just one piece of the puzzle, excess weight can contribute to increased chronic inflammation. To promote weight loss, we set this plan at 1,500 calories per day plus included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories per day to accommodate those with different calorie needs.

Strategies to Reduce Chronic Inflammation:

Apart from your food choices, focus on a whole-body comprehensive approach to help reduce inflammation:

  • Exercise: Whether you enjoy walking, yoga, biking or lifting weights, regularly moving your body is linked to decreased inflammation.
  • Get Better Sleep: Though a good night's sleep might often feel elusive, research links regular poor and inconsistent sleep to increased chronic inflammation.
  • De-Stress: It's no surprise that chronic stress is linked to increased inflammation. While stress can't always be avoided, working to de-stress can improve overall health.
  • Hydrate: Drinking more water is linked to improved inflammatory markers. Make sure you're drinking the right amount every day.

Anti-Inflammatory Healthy Aging Foods to Focus On:

  • Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines)
  • Nuts, including natural nut butters
  • Seeds (such as pumpkin, flax, chia and sunflower)
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetables (especially dark leafy greens, eggplant, beets and cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts)
  • Fruits (mainly dark blue, purple and red fruits, like cherries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, as well as fruits high in vitamin C, like strawberries and citrus)
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, edamame)
  • Lean proteins
  • Eggs
  • Whole grains (like oats, quinoa, bulgur, whole-wheat, fonio and brown rice)
  • Herbs and spices

Learn More: The Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Is It Right for You?

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make Overnight Steel-Cut Oats to have for breakfast on Days 2, 3, 5 and 6.
  2. Prepare Blueberry-Lemon Energy Balls to have as a snack throughout the week.
  3. Make Immunity Soup to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  4. Boil 5 large eggs to have as snacks throughout the week.

Day 1

7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Healthy Aging (1)

Breakfast (394 calories)

  • 1 serving Blackberry Smoothie
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, with a sprinkle of salt & pepper

A.M. Snack (30 calories)

  • 1 plum

Lunch (403 calories)

  • 1 serving Cucumber Salad Sandwich
  • 1 cup low-fat plain kefir

P.M. Snack (190 calories)

  • 3 Blueberry-Lemon Energy Balls

Dinner (473 calories)

  • 1 serving Best Oven-Baked Salmon
  • 1 serving

Daily Totals: 1,491 calories, 61g fat, 85g protein, 165g carbohydrate, 31g fiber, 1,801mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit hard-boiled egg at breakfast and kefir at lunch, plus reduce to 1 Blueberry-Lemon Energy Balls at P.M. snack.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving sprouted-wheat toast with 1 Tbsp. creamy natural peanut butter to breakfast, add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack and add 1 medium peach to lunch.

Day 2

7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Healthy Aging (2)

Breakfast (386 calories)

  • 1 serving Overnight Steel-Cut Oats
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (155 calories)

  • ¾ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup blackberries

Lunch (350 calories)

  • 1 serving Immunity Soup
  • 1 cup cherries

P.M. Snack (178 calories)

  • 1 Blueberry-Lemon Energy Ball
  • 15 unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (454 calories)

  • 1 serving Baked Kale Salad with Crispy Quinoa

Daily Totals: 1,523 calories, 62g fat, 78g protein, 177g carbohydrate, 33g fiber, 1,547mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Reduce to 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts at breakfast, omit yogurt at A.M. snack and change P.M. snack to 1 plum.

Make it 2,000 calories: Increase to 1/4 cup chopped walnuts at breakfast, add 1/4 cup sliced almonds to A.M. snack, plus add 1 serving to lunch.

Day 3

7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Healthy Aging (3)

Breakfast (386 calories)

  • 1 serving Overnight Steel-Cut Oats
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (119 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • ½ cup low-fat plain kefir

Lunch (350 calories)

  • 1 serving Immunity Soup
  • 1 cup cherries

P.M. Snack (144 calories)

  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs
  • Pinch of salt & pepper

Dinner (522 calories)

  • 1 serving Copycat Sweetgreen Chicken Pesto Parm Bowl

Daily Totals: 1,520 calories, 59g fat, 94g protein, 163g carbohydrate, 33g fiber, 1,977mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit walnuts at breakfast, change A.M. snack to 3/4 cup raspberries and change P.M. snack to 1/4 cup sliced cucumber.

Make it 2,000 calories: Increase to 1/4 cup chopped walnuts at breakfast, 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds at A.M. snack and 1 large pear at P.M. snack.

Day 4

7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Healthy Aging (4)

Breakfast (394 calories)

  • 1 serving Blackberry Smoothie
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, with a sprinkle of salt & pepper

A.M. Snack (190 calories)

  • 3 Blueberry-Lemon Energy Balls

Lunch (350 calories)

  • 1 serving Immunity Soup
  • 1 cup cherries

P.M. Snack (155 calories)

  • ¾ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 plum

Dinner (397 calories)

  • 1 serving
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice

Daily Totals: 1,485 calories, 45g fat, 80g protein, 204g carbohydrate, 31g fiber, 1,341mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit hard-boiled egg at breakfast and change A.M. snack to 1/4 cup sliced cucumber.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving to lunch, 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to P.M. snack and 1 serving Simple Cabbage Salad to dinner.

Day 5

7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Healthy Aging (5)

Breakfast (386 calories)

  • 1 serving Overnight Steel-Cut Oats
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (113 calories)

  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ cup 1% milkfat cottage cheese

Lunch (350 calories)

  • 1 serving Immunity Soup
  • 1 cup cherries

P.M. Snack (190 calories)

  • 3 Blueberry-Lemon Energy Balls

Dinner (443 calories)

  • 1 serving Creamy Broccoli-Cauliflower Chicken Casserole
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 serving Italian Dressing

Daily Totals: 1,482 calories, 58g fat, 93g protein, 158g carbohydrate, 31g fiber, 2,016mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit walnuts at breakfast and cottage cheese at A.M. snack, plus reduce to 1 energy ball at P.M. snack.

Make it 2,000 calories: Increase to 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and add 1 hard-boiled egg to breakfast, increase to 3/4 cup cottage cheese at A.M. snack and add 1 avocado, sliced, to the salad at dinner.

Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve two servings of Creamy Broccoli-Cauliflower Chicken Casserole to have for lunch on Days 6 and 7.

Day 6

7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Healthy Aging (6)

Breakfast (386 calories)

  • 1 serving Overnight Steel-Cut Oats
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (113 calories)

  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ cup 1% milkfat cottage cheese

Lunch (385 calories)

  • 1 serving Creamy Broccoli-Cauliflower Chicken Casserole
  • 1 medium peach

P.M. Snack (231 calories)

  • 1 large pear
  • ½ cup edamame, in pods

Dinner (394 calories)

  • 1 serving
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa

Daily Totals: 1,510 calories, 46g fat, 108g protein, 169g carbohydrate, 35g fiber, 2,087mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit walnuts at breakfast and change P.M. snack to 1 plum.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Blackberry Smoothie and increase to 1/4 cup chopped walnuts at breakfast, increase to 3/4 cup cottage cheese at A.M. snack and increase to 3/4 cup edamame, in pods, at P.M. snack.

Day 7

7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Healthy Aging (7)

Breakfast (394 calories)

  • 1 serving Blackberry Smoothie
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, with a sprinkle of salt & pepper

A.M. Snack (93 calories)

  • 1 plum
  • 1 Blueberry-Lemon Energy Ball

Lunch (385 calories)

  • 1 serving Creamy Broccoli-Cauliflower Chicken Casserole
  • 1 medium peach

P.M. Snack (125 calories)

  • 2 Blueberry-Lemon Energy Balls

Dinner (498 calories)

  • 1 serving Lemony Chicken Soup
  • 1 serving

Daily Totals: 1,496 calories, 61g fat, 98g protein, 157g carbohydrate, 30g fiber, 1,932mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit hard-boiled egg at breakfast, change P.M. snack to 1 plum, plus change side salad at dinner to 1 serving Basic Green Salad with Vinaigrette.

Make it 2,000 calories: Increase to 2 hard-boiled eggs and add 1 slice sprouted-wheat toast with 1 Tbsp. creamy natural peanut butter to breakfast, increase to 3 Blueberry-Lemon Energy Balls at A.M. snack plus add 1 large pear to evening snack.

7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Healthy Aging (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Last Updated:

Views: 6517

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Birthday: 1992-02-16

Address: Suite 851 78549 Lubowitz Well, Wardside, TX 98080-8615

Phone: +67618977178100

Job: Manufacturing Director

Hobby: Running, Mountaineering, Inline skating, Writing, Baton twirling, Computer programming, Stone skipping

Introduction: My name is Wyatt Volkman LLD, I am a handsome, rich, comfortable, lively, zealous, graceful, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.