holiday meals with anti-inflammatory

Holiday Meal Planning – Anti-Inflammatory Holiday Options

At Nashville Regenerative Orthopedics we don’t specifically deal with diet plans per se. However, you will hear us tout the importance of an anti-inflammatory diet – especially when you are dealing with joint pains, knee pain, osteoarthritis or even recovering from surgery.  The reason for this is that limiting inflammation reduces pain you are experiencing as well as increases the speed of recovery.

With the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to share some anti-inflammatory recipes me and my staff have come across which you can easily include in your holiday dinners or meals.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are packed with vitamins and nutrients. They are especially high in a compound called kaempferol, which is an anti-oxidant. Kaempferol has been found to have potent anti-inflammatory properties, making this an excellent side dish for your holiday dinner.

We found this DAMN GOOD Oven Roasted Brussel Sprout recipe from These are especially good when you add a little bit of bacon and substitute the lemon juice for balsamic vinegar!

Garlic Green Beans

Green Beans are a staple for many Thanksgiving and Holiday dinners.

Consider this alternative to the processed green bean casserole you probably had growing up. This recipe from Café Delites also contains garlic, which compounds the anti-inflammatory benefits of the dish! You could even through in some onions, which contain what are called organosulphur compounds with antioxidant, anti‐inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Leafy Green Salad

Leafy greens are always great when you are looking at reducing inflammation. Consider adding onions, peppers, cucumber and blueberries. You can check out my earlier blog on reducing pain with certain foods for more ideas here.

Here is a great recipe for a Balsamic Vinaigrette from Gonna Want Seconds to go along with your salad.

Elderberry Tea

Elderberries are from the Sambucus tree and are loaded with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Elderberries have been used for hundreds of years to help boost the immune system and fight off colds and respiratory illness. Because they also contain flavonoids, they have been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Elderberry supplements purchased from grocery stores often contain sugars and sweeteners, so preparing your own is a good idea. We found this simple recipe from DOWNSHIFTOLOGY by Lisa Bryan for Elderberry Tea.

Apple Tarte

Holidays just aren’t complete without some sort of dessert. You can easily find dessert alternatives which contain no added refined sugar thus lowering inflammation. You could consider a fruit salad as an alternative. But if you are like most of us, you may need a baked treat such as cake or pie. Consider this delicious Apple Tarte recipe from Sweet Potato Soul. This swaps out flour in the crust for nuts and rolled oats – which contain a good amount of fiber. She also opts for non-inflammatory sugar substitutes.

Let’s have a fun and healthy holiday season!


Dr. Ethan Kellum, M.D.

Nashville Regenerative Orthopedics