The 21 Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet + Meal Plan

A 21 day anti-inflammatory diet can be challenging to follow, as you may have to give up some of your favorite foods, but most people find that the sacrifice is well worth the benefits of anti-inflammatory meal plans.

For example, studies suggest that following an anti-inflammatory diet can reduce fatigue.

But, what is a 21 day anti-inflammatory diet? What is the best 21 day anti-inflammatory diet meal plan? Is there a good 21 day anti-inflammatory diet PDF to follow? And what are the best anti-inflammatory diet recipes?

In this guide, we will provide a 21 day anti-inflammatory diet meal plan that you can use as inspiration for recipes and meal ideas on your anti-inflammatory diet weight loss and health plan.

We will cover: 

  • What Is a 21 Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
  • What Is the Best 21 Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan?

Let’s dive in!

A person making a heart with their hands over their stomach.

What Is a 21 Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

Studies suggest that certain foods can either increase or decrease inflammation in the gut and the body in general. 

Foods that inflame the body alter the composition of the gut microbiome in a way that shifts it from its ideal state, wherein the mucosal barrier goes from being strong and intact, and pathogens are successfully fended off, to one of excessive permeability and inflammation. 

Examples are sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and juice, red meat, refined grains, sugary foods, foods high in fats and processed oils like fried foods and margarine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and foods with additives like colors, chemicals, and pesticides.

An anti-inflammatory diet includes anti-inflammatory recipes that support the gut microbiome and may either increase the production of anti-inflammatory compounds or inhibit inflammatory pathways. 

Studies have determined certain nutrients that seem to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties in the body, including the following:

  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Omega-3 fatty in particular
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamins C and E
  • Zinc
  • Polyphenols
  • Probiotics 
A weekly meal plan.

What Is the Best 21 Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan?

There isn’t a single best 21 day anti-inflammatory diet meal plan or 21 day anti-inflammatory diet PDF that you can download that will work for everyone because we all have different caloric needs and food preferences.

In fact, some of the available anti-inflammatory diet meal plan PDF downloads are problematic because they give specific portions with the anti-inflammatory diet recipes.

The problem here is that any two individuals following a 21 day anti-inflammatory diet plan may need a significantly different number of calories.

For example, not only are the recommended or average daily calorie needs for men and women different, but someone may be an athlete with even higher caloric needs vs someone wanting a 21 day anti-inflammatory diet plan for weight loss.

Therefore, we have created a 21 day anti-inflammatory meal plan that doesn’t give specific portion sizes and can be modified by either removing snacks or adding additional anti-inflammatory snack ideas from other days on the provided anti-inflammatory diet meal plan.  

In this way, our 21 day anti-inflammatory meal plan is modular.

You can pick and choose from the list of anti-inflammatory breakfasts, dinner, lunch, and snack ideas to meet not only your calorie needs but also your food preferences while still choosing healthy anti-inflammatory recipe ideas and anti-inflammatory foods.

That said, we have laid out a complete 21 day plan in case you want to take all of the thinking out and just follow something fully guided.

A green smoothie.

Day #1:

  • Breakfast: Smoothie made from unsweetened almond milk, spinach or other leafy greens, banana, berries, low-fat Greek yogurt, flax seeds, Chia seeds, ginger, and coconut flakes
  • Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with sliced banana and a dash of cinnamon, and a side of carrot sticks and snap peas 
  • Snack: Rice cakes with avocado 
  • Dinner: Baked salmon, chicken, turkey breast, or tofu steaks over cauliflower rice with roasted asparagus
  • Snack: Banana with almond butter

Day #2:

  • Breakfast: Overnight oats made with almond milk, coconut flakes, flaxseeds, cinnamon, and blueberries.
  • Lunch: Red power smoothie made from raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate juice, and kefir
  • Snack: Edamame and snap peas
  • Dinner: Homemade turkey meatballs in lettuce wraps with a pomegranate or plum
  • Snack: Desert smoothie made from Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, banana, and unsalted peanut butter or almond butter
A berry smoothie bowl.

Day #3:

  • Breakfast: Berry smoothie bowl made from a Greek yogurt smoothie with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and baby spinach topped with unsweetened muesli, coconut flakes, Chia seeds, flax seeds, and sliced almonds
  • Lunch: Greek salad with greens, feta cheese, cucumber, Kalamata olives, and hummus with whole grain pita or veggie sticks
  • Snack: Nut butter with carrot sticks and celery
  • Dinner: Sheet pan chicken with olive-oil roasted vegetables
  • Snack: Dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa with cashews

Day #4:

  • Breakfast: Banana, mango, turmeric smoothie blended with unsweetened almond milk, turmeric, ginger, leafy greens, and clean protein powder
  • Lunch: Edamame salad with edamame, chickpeas or white beans, lemon juice, and avocado
  • Snack: Rice cakes with almond butter
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts and asparagus
  • Snack: Apple with cinnamon and dark chocolate chips
Avocado toast with a fried egg.

Day #5:

  • Breakfast: Avocado toast on whole-grain bread with a fried egg on top and a banana on the side
  • Lunch: Chicken quinoa salad bowl with chopped baby kale, pumpkin seeds, and avocado
  • Snack: Nut butter with carrot sticks and celery
  • Dinner: Eggplant steaks with baked tempeh and a tahini dipping sauce
  • Snack: Dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa with blueberries

Day #6:

  • Breakfast: Protein pancakes made from ground oats, mashed banana, and egg whites topped with sliced strawberries and chopped almonds
  • Lunch: Tuna salad with a side of snap peas and a plum
  • Snack: Edamame and snap peas
  • Dinner: Chicken, kale, and white bean soup
  • Snack: Almond butter on apple with cinnamon sprinkled 

Day #7:

  • Breakfast: Warm porridge with berries, flaxseeds, and walnuts
  • Lunch: Chicken, kale, and white bean soup
  • Snack: Nut butter with carrot sticks and celery
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon with steamed vegetables and a baked sweet potato
  • Snack: Desert smoothie made from Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, banana, and unsalted peanut butter or almond butter
Grilled salmon and vegetables.

Day #8:

  • Breakfast: Berry smoothie bowl made from a Greek yogurt smoothie with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and baby spinach topped with unsweetened muesli, coconut flakes, Chia seeds, flax seeds, and your walnuts.
  • Lunch: Homemade turkey meatballs in lettuce wraps with a pomegranate or plum
  • Snack: Toasted pumpkin seeds or squash seeds
  • Dinner: Eggplant steaks with baked tempeh and a tahini dipping sauce
  • Snack: Peanut butter on banana with cinnamon sprinkled 

Day #9:

  • Breakfast: Avocado toast on whole-grain bread with a fried egg on top and a banana on the side
  • Lunch: Pumpkin soup made with ginger and cinnamon with a piece of sourdough bread
  • Snack: Low-sodium trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate
  • Dinner: Baked salmon, chicken, turkey breast, or tofu steaks over cauliflower rice with roasted asparagus
  • Snack: Baked pear crisp with peeled and sliced pears, whole rolled oats, chopped walnuts, honey, flax seeds, and coconut oil made in a casserole dish

Day #10:

  • Breakfast: Overnight oats made with almond milk, coconut flakes, flaxseeds, cinnamon, and blueberries.
  • Lunch: Chickpea power bowl with chickpeas, quinoa, greens, chopped zucchini, avocado, beets, carrots, and sprouts with a lemon tahini dressing
  • Snack: Unsweetened Greek yogurt topped with berries, cherries, or melon
  • Dinner: Sesame seed-crusted tilapia, salmon, or other fish with broccoli and cauliflower
  • Snack: Dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa with cashews
Pumpkin soup.

Day #11:

  • Breakfast: Smoothie made from unsweetened almond milk, spinach or other leafy greens, banana, berries, low-fat Greek yogurt, flax seeds, Chia seeds, ginger, and coconut flakes
  • Lunch: Sardines on whole grain crackers with a pomegranate, plum, or strawberries
  • Snack: Roasted, unsalted cashews, walnuts, almonds, and other unsalted nuts
  • Dinner: Sheet pan chicken with olive-oil roasted vegetables
  • Snack: Almond milk chia seed pudding with pomegranate seeds

Day #12:

  • Breakfast: Banana, mango, turmeric smoothie blended with unsweetened almond milk, turmeric, ginger, leafy greens, and clean protein powder
  • Lunch: Homemade turkey meatballs in lettuce wraps with a pomegranate or plum
  • Snack: Rice cakes with peanut butter
  • Dinner: Avocado boats with an egg baked in the middle and cauliflower rice with pumpkin seeds on the side 
  • Snack: Baked pear crisp with peeled and sliced pears, whole rolled oats, chopped walnuts, honey, flax seeds, and coconut oil made in a casserole dish

Day #13:

  • Breakfast: Protein pancakes made from ground oats, mashed banana, and egg whites topped with sliced strawberries and chopped almonds
  • Lunch: Homemade turkey chili with a side salad
  • Snack: Unsweetened Greek yogurt topped with berries, cherries, or melon
  • Dinner: Vegan chickpea curry made with turmeric, stewed kale, and other minced veggies over quinoa or brown rice
  • Snack: Fruit such as pears, berries, melon, nectarines, cherries, pomegranates
Overnight oats.

Day #14:

  • Breakfast: Cream of rice cereal with chopped nuts and sliced strawberries on top
  • Lunch: Homemade turkey chili with a side salad
  • Snack: Toasted pumpkin seeds or squash seeds
  • Dinner: Chicken quinoa salad bowl with chopped baby kale, pumpkin seeds, and avocado
  • Snack: Peanut butter on banana with cinnamon sprinkled 

Day #15:

  • Breakfast: Warm porridge with berries and walnuts.
  • Lunch: Pumpkin soup made with ginger and cinnamon with a piece of sourdough bread
  • Snack: Rice cakes with avocado 
  • Dinner: Tuna salad with a side of snap peas and a plum or pear
  • Snack: Dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa with blueberries

Day #16:

  • Breakfast: Berry smoothie bowl made from a Greek yogurt smoothie with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and baby spinach topped with unsweetened muesli, coconut flakes, Chia seeds, flax seeds, and your favorite nuts.
  • Lunch: Edamame salad with edamame, chickpeas or white beans, lemon juice, and avocado
  • Snack: Edamame and snap peas
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts and asparagus
  • Snack: Almond milk chia seed pudding with pomegranate seeds
Berry smoothies.

Day #17:

  • Breakfast: Smoothie made from unsweetened almond milk, spinach or other leafy greens, banana, berries, low-fat Greek yogurt, flax seeds, Chia seeds, ginger, and coconut flakes
  • Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with sliced banana and a dash of cinnamon, and a side of carrot sticks and snap peas 
  • Snack: Low-sodium trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate
  • Dinner: Sheet pan chicken with olive-oil roasted vegetables
  • Snack: Fruit such as pears, berries, melon, nectarines, cherries, pomegranates

Day #18:

  • Breakfast: Overnight oats made with almond milk, coconut flakes, flaxseeds, cinnamon, and blueberries
  • Lunch: Chickpea power bowl with chickpeas, quinoa, greens, chopped zucchini, avocado, beets, carrots, and sprouts with a lemon tahini dressing.
  • Snack: Nut butter with apple or banana
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon with steamed vegetables and a baked sweet potato
  • Snack: Dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa with pomegranate 

Day #19:

  • Breakfast: Banana, mango, turmeric smoothie blended with unsweetened almond milk, turmeric, ginger, leafy greens, and clean protein powder
  • Lunch: Greek salad with greens, feta cheese, cucumber, Kalamata olives, and hummus with whole grain pita or veggie sticks
  • Snack: Roasted, unsalted cashews, walnuts, almonds, and other unsalted nuts
  • Dinner: Sesame seed-crusted tilapia, salmon, or other fish with broccoli and cauliflower
  • Snack: Warm porridge with berries and macadamia nuts
Dark chocolate.

Day #20:

  • Breakfast: Avocado toast on whole-grain bread with a fried egg on top and a banana on the side
  • Lunch: Chicken, kale, and white bean soup
  • Snack: Nut butter with apple or banana
  • Dinner: Large green salad with fresh vegetables, protein of choice, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds
  • Snack: Almond milk chia seed pudding with pomegranate seeds

Day #21:

  • Breakfast: Protein pancakes made from ground oats, mashed banana, and egg whites topped with sliced strawberries and chopped almonds
  • Lunch: Chicken, kale, and white bean soup
  • Snack: Toasted pumpkin seeds or squash seeds
  • Dinner: Avocado boats with an egg baked in the middle and cauliflower rice with pumpkin seeds on the side 
  • Snack: Cream of rice cereal with chopped nuts and sliced strawberries on top

If you want a complete list of anti-inflammatory foods, click here!

Apple and peanut butter.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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