Bloat happens. It may be because you’ve eaten something that’s caused your stomach to start working overtime, or had a meal that’s a little high in salt, causing some water retention in your body.

But what if your stomach is stirring up more than just gas?

If you’ve ruled out food poisoning and still feel a mix of cramping, diarrhea, or acid reflux throughout the day, you might be experiencing inflammation. And it turns out even “healthy” foods you eat, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, legumes, and grains, could trigger inflammation in your body.

While this often affects people with super sensitive stomachs, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and allergies, loading up on foods high in FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols) could trigger digestive issues. Or you may be eating the typical American diet (aka the modern diet) more often than you think. Both diets mess with our gut microbiome and essentially leave less room for good bacteria.

Fortunately, there’s an answer to that: Avoid the triggering foods, especially ones with short-chain carbohydrates.

That’s why we’ve created this low-FODMAP and anti-inflammatory shopping guide as a tool for you to kick-start your health journey and break up with your inflammation symptoms so you can start living a healthier, happier you!

1. Protein-filled shakshuka

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Eggs are a great source of protein, and spinach and kale are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. You’ve already got a great trio, so why not add a few more vegetables and spices to create the perfectly balanced meal that can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner?

Serves: 2

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. avocado oil
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fire-roasted, canned tomatoes (drained*)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup harissa paste (optional*)
  • 1-2 cups kale
  • 1-2 cups spinach
  • 2-4 eggs

Directions:

  1. In a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the avocado oil, tomatoes, bell peppers, spices, and harissa. Sauté for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken.
  2. Add the kale and spinach. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes, or until they start to wilt.
  3. Form shallow indents for the eggs using the back of a wooden spatula.
  4. Add in the eggs and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes or until eggs are desired doneness.
  5. Top with fresh basil and serve.

2. Chia seed pudding with blueberry compote

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This will become a go-to snack or dessert, no doubt! It’s so simple, yet full of nutrients and flavor. We won’t judge if you eat that second serving yourself. however, sharing is caring, so we suggest making a big batch that you can eat throughout the week!

Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup

Toppings:

  • nuts
  • sliced banana
  • desiccated coconut

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together the chia seeds and almond milk. Once well-combined, allow to sit for 5 minutes, then give one final stir to break up any clumps.
  2. Place mixture in the fridge to set for 1 hour.
  3. In a small pan over medium-low heat, add the blueberries and maple syrup and stir occasionally. Allow the mixture to simmer until the liquid has been reduced by half.
  4. Add the blueberry compote to a jar and place in the fridge until the pudding mixture is ready.
  5. Once ready, divide the pudding mixture into two bowls. Add the blueberry compote on top and top with nuts, sliced banana, and desiccated coconut.

3. Fresh pasta salad

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When it’s 80-plus degrees out, the last thing you want to eat or make is a hot, dense pasta. But we get it, sometimes you need that pasta fix.

Insert this summer pasta salad. It has the word salad in it, so you know it’s pasta at its healthiest! Pasta in the right portions and paired with healthy veggies and some lean protein can make for a nutrient-dense and tasty meal.

Add on some freshly made spinach and basil pesto to take this dish to the next level. Dinner party approved!

Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups gluten-free brown rice farfalle pasta
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts

Spinach and basil pesto:

  • 1-2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • up to 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC).
  2. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add the chicken breasts and bake for 35 minutes or until chicken reaches the internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
  3. While chicken is baking, cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse and drain. Then lightly drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Put in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a high-speed blender and blend until well-combined.
  5. Remove chicken and allow to cool, then slice or shred (whatever you prefer).
  6. In a large bowl, add the pasta, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, chicken, and pesto. Toss to combine. Enjoy!

4. Chicken salad collard wraps

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Chicken salad doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler the better (and the tastier) in our opinion. This recipe is quick and can be made ahead for a grab-and-go lunch option. It’s packed full of protein and good fats that’ll help you get through that midafternoon slump!

Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 collard leaves depending on size, stems removed and lightly steamed (to keep them from breaking during the rolling process)
  • 2-4 slices of bacon
  • 1 tbsp. Primal Kitchen avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp. scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. Primal Kitchen mayo
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • sliced avocado (optional*)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC).
  2. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add the chicken breasts and bake for 35 minutes or until chicken reaches the internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
  3. When the chicken has 15 to 20 minutes left, add the bacon slices to the pan and continue baking.
  4. Once finished, chop the bacon and chicken. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Add sea salt and pepper if desired.
  6. Place a collard leaf on the counter, back side up. Add desired amount of chicken salad.
  7. Make one fold, then fold in the sides and continue folding up. Do this for the remaining collard leaves.
  8. Slice in half along the spine and serve with sliced veggies and hummus or a cucumber and tomato salad.

5. Delicious fruit smoothie combos

If you want to even further your anti-inflammatory meal-planning experience, smoothies are always a go-to for a quick breakfast or even a snack.

3 delicious recipes

  • 1 cup nut milk, 2 frozen bananas, 2 cups strawberries, 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup nut milk, 1/2 cup coconut or almond yogurt, 2 cups wild blueberries, 1 frozen banana, 3 tsp. chia seeds, 1 1/2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 cup nut milk, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1 frozen banana, 1 tsp. maple syrup

Add any of these smoothie ingredients to a high-speed blender, blending until ingredients are well-combined. Add more nut milk if needed to help thin or smooth out the blend.

Listed below are the ingredients to stock your pantry with, but we recommend doubling up and prepping ahead so you don’t have to worry about what to eat all week.

Keep in mind, inflammation affects everyone differently, so think of this shopping list as a starting point.

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Produce

Ingredients:

  • tomatoes
  • red bell peppers
  • kale
  • spinach
  • basil
  • blueberries
  • cherry tomatoes
  • collard greens
  • scallions

Proteins or healthy fats

Ingredients:

  • chicken breasts
  • eggs
  • walnuts
  • pecans
  • sunflower seeds
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Dairy

Ingredients:

Pantry staples

Ingredients:

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Spices and oils:

We’ve partnered with companies like Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value and Primal Kitchen to create this anti-inflammatory grocery list.

Experts suggest chronic inflammation is the root cause of most illnesses. If you knew there was a way to help reduce inflammation and keep your symptoms at bay, wouldn’t you consider it? After all, Hippocrates once said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”

Signs your body is experiencing inflammation

  • bloating around the abdomen
  • achy joints
  • cramping
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • nausea
  • acid reflux
  • loss of appetite

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should definitely check in with your healthcare provider, as they can help check to see if there’s a bigger cause for concern.

However, you may find relief in making some simple dietary changes, such as keeping your food intake to our shopping list above.

Time and time again, our gut has been referenced as our second brain. So why not start the process of healing by choosing nourishing foods?


Ayla Sadler is a photographer, stylist, recipe developer, and writer in the health and wellness industry. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and son. When she’s not in the kitchen or behind the camera, you can probably find her toting around the city with her little boy or working on her passion project MaMaTried.co — a community for the mama. To see what she’s up to, follow her on Instagram.