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Anti-Inflammatory Salad | Health Benefits

This anti-inflammatory salad is the easiest way to load up on all of the tasty, healthful ingredients to help control chronic inflammation.

Anti Inflammatory Salad Overhead

Inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body heal from injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. (I suffer from severe Crohn’s disease so I know how it goes…!)

There are many things you can do to reduce inflammation, including eating a healthy diet. Anti-inflammatory foods are those that help to reduce inflammation in the body. Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Get my Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat and Avoid here.

Salads are a great way to get your daily dose of anti-inflammatory foods. They are packed with nutrients and can be easily customized to fit your taste and dietary needs.

This anti-inflammatory salad is jam-packed with all kinds of ingredients that reduce chronic inflammation. And it’s really tasty and satisfying too!

The Science Behind the Food

As always, I like to give the scientific reasons for including these ingredients in your diet. It adds to the motivation to actually use them!

I have done lots and lots of research on how foods affect our bodies. The results of that research are shocking. We have tremendous power over our own gene expression simply by choosing to consume the right foods. And we want our genes to control chronic inflammation.

The Building Blocks of an Anti-Inflammatory Salad

The base of this salad is a combination of baby spinach and baby kale. They are rich in iron, calcium, and potassium. These are all necessary for proper blood flow and muscle contraction.

Spinach and Kale in a  bowl

Plus, it has been well-established that the carotenoid phytonutrients in spinach reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and can moderate inflammation.

Additionally, the glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables like kale have very strong anti-inflammatory compounds and have been shown to reduce the inflammatory effects of chronic stress. This is why I prefer to use spinach and kale as a base for nearly all my salads.

I switch up the other ingredients I add, depending on my mood. Read about my favorite anti-inflammatory salad additions below.

Are Salads Good For Inflammation?

Yes (and maybe no)! So keep reading. The good news is that anti-inflammatory salads are most definitely great for fighting inflammation. I’ve explained all about the spinach and kale base above, but there’s more to it than that.

All of the extra add-ins can also help with inflammation. Be sure to choose ingredients that are known to actually reduce chronic inflammation. Foods like red onion, dark berries, many kinds of nuts, and the olive oil in the dressing all help. See below for my full list of favorite inflammation-fighting salad add-ins.

Be Careful With The Salad Dressing

Speaking of salad dressing, this is where things can go wrong in a salad and turn an anti-inflammatory salad into an “inflammatory salad.” It is essential to use the right kind of dressing. And store-bought dressings are almost always a disaster when it comes to inflammation because they can be high in sugar and refined oils.

homemade salad dressing

It is very easy to make your own, healthy salad dressing. And it’s a lot more economical! My basic anti-inflammatory salad dressing recipe is below, but follow these basics and you’ll be just fine. (See full recipe below.)

  • Always use olive oil or avocado oil. NEVER use refined oils like canola, sunflower, or vegetable oil. These oils are loaded with trans fats that cause all kinds of problems.
  • Then add some extra anti-inflammatory ingredients to the dressing to make it extra powerful (and extra tasty!) Garlic, ginger, and turmeric are all good choices. And black pepper will help your body absorb the spices – especially the turmeric.
  • Now you’re good to go on the dressing! Stick with the good. Stay away from the bad and your salad will be the picture of anti-inflammatory goodness.

Here are some tips for making anti-inflammatory salads:

  • Choose a variety of dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, arugula, and romaine lettuce.
  • Add colorful fruits and vegetables, such as berries, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers.
  • Include lean protein, such as grilled chicken, fish, tofu, or roasted chickpeas.
  • Use healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts.
  • Dress your salad with a vinaigrette dressing or a homemade dressing that is low in sugar.

My Favorite Anti-Inflammatory Salad Add-Ins and Toppers

  • Red Onion – Red onions have quercetin, which helps protect the body from cancers, ulcers, and heart disease. I particularly like my Mexican Pickled Onions for this!
  • Crimini Mushrooms – Mushrooms contain helpful bacteria that are good for your gut microbiome. Having a well-balanced microbiome helps reduce chronic inflammation.
  • Dark Berries – Blueberries and blackberries are my favorites. They are loaded with antioxidants and low in sugar to help reduce any inflammatory effect.
  • Avocado – One of the best superfoods! Avocado adds loads of healthy fats, fiber, and potassium. All of these nutrients help reduce inflammation.
  • Organic Tomatoes – Tomatoes have lycopene and vitamin C, which curb inflammation. Be careful, though, because tomatoes can cause irritation for those who have problems digesting nightshades.
  • Nuts – Walnuts, cashews, and sliced almonds are my top picks because they have high levels of inflammation-reducing Omega 3 fatty acids. Plus they add a very nice crunch!
  • Added Protein – Choose your protein based on your own dietary philosophy and taste. I like roasted chickpeas, air fryer chicken cutlets, and salmon.
Roasted Chickpeas Vertical

These are just a few ideas for anti-inflammatory salads. There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating your own anti-inflammatory salads. So get creative and enjoy!

Benefits of Eating Anti-Inflammatory Salads

In addition to reducing inflammation, there are many other benefits to eating anti-inflammatory salads. They can help to:

  • Improve heart health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce the risk of cancer
  • Improve digestion
  • Boost the immune system
  • Promote weight loss
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve skin health
  • Improve mood

How to Make Anti-Inflammatory Salads More Delicious

If you are new to eating anti-inflammatory salads, you may be wondering how to make them more delicious. Here are a few tips:

  • Use a variety of ingredients. The more variety you have in your salad, the more flavorful it will be.
  • Add different textures. Crunchy vegetables, soft fruits, and different dressings all add different textures to your salad, making it more interesting to eat.
  • Use fresh ingredients. Fresh ingredients always taste better than frozen or canned ingredients.
  • Season your salad with herbs and spices. Herbs and spices add flavor and complexity to your salad.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are no rules when it comes to making anti-inflammatory salads. Get creative and have fun!
anti inflammatory salad vertical

Anti-inflammatory salads are a delicious and healthy way to eat. They are packed with nutrients and can help to reduce inflammation in the body. There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating your own anti-inflammatory salads. So get creative and enjoy!

anti inflammatory salad

Anti-Inflammatory Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Anti-Inflammatory Salad is a great way to fill your body with tasty, nutritious ingredients to help fight inflammation.


  • For The Salad:
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups baby kale, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds or crushed walnuts
  • Protein of choice - 2 cups diced cooked chicken breast, 1 cup roasted chickpeas, or 8 ounces cooked salmon
  • For The Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasonings (or seasoning of choice)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and gently toss to combine.

Add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk thoroughly to emulsify. Pour dressing over salad and mix well.

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