AIP stands for Autoimmune Protocol. Specifically, the Autoimmune Protocol Diet. The Autoimmune Protocol Diet is an umbrella term for a specific way of eating that “aims to reduce inflammation and relieve other symptoms of autoimmune disorders.” Autoimmune disorders cause “the immune system to attack and damage healthy tissues or organs by mistake,” therefore by following an inflammation-reducing diet, such as the Autoimmune Protocol Diet, those suffering from autoimmune disorders — such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus — are able to manage their symptoms.
While the AIP diet may be helpful for those suffering from autoimmune disorders, it’s also a great diet for those suffering from chronic inflammation or even those seeking to reduce moderate to low inflammation in their body.
So, what’s it all about? The AIP diet eliminates inflammation-causing “foods and [replaces] them with health-promoting, nutrient-dense foods that are thought to help heal the gut, and ultimately, reduce inflammation and symptoms of autoimmune diseases.” A large part of what makes the AIP diet stand out from other inflammation-reducing diets is its strict elimination and reintroduction processes.
Simply put, this diet is designed to discover, target, and remove the specific foods that trigger each individual body inflammation. With that said, if you’re looking for some simple ways to reduce inflammation that also go along with the general outline of the AIP diet look to the most common inflammation triggers: dairy (and eggs), gluten, and sugar. If you’re really getting into the weeds, following the AIP diet also means avoiding grains, legumes, nightshade veggies, nuts and seeds, processed vegetable oils, refined or processed sugars, and food additives and artificial sweeteners.
The list may seem overwhelming, but there are actually lots of options on the AIP-friendly list including veggies (except those nightshades and algae!), fresh fruit, tubers, fermented foods, minimally processed oils (such as avocado, EVOO, and coconut), herbs, spices, vinegar, natural sweeteners, and green and black tea. The key is to go simple and then build out from there, adding ingredients as needed.
Here are a few simple recipes to kick-start your AIP diet! Keep in mind that these recipes are a great base that requires a few tweaks here and there to make AIP-friendly. It’s also important to remember that the AIP diet is incredibly individualized, therefore make sure to keep an eye out for your personal triggers and make adjustments as necessary!
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Whole Foods Archives!
1. Crispy Roasted Cauliflower Leaves
This Crispy Roasted Cauliflower Leaves recipe by Lorna is the perfect simple recipe that you can keep as is or build upon as desired. Plus, all you need are some cauliflower leaves (perfect if you’re cooking up a head of cauliflower), a bit of olive oil, and salt and pepper.
2. Baked Smoky Carrot Bacon
Another great simple recipe to build upon! This Baked Smoky Carrot Bacon recipe by Lisa Andersson and Erik Huss requires a few extra ingredients and a few AIP-friendly swaps — swap out the rapeseed oil for coconut oil (still gives it that crispiness!) and nix paprika for a non-capsaicin spice such as cumin.
3. Sage Tempura
Great as a side to a larger meal or as a snack, this Sage Tempura recipe by Simona Malerba is simple yet filled with flavor! Sage leaves are a gentle, gut-friendly, savory option. Swap out rice flour for cassava flour or coconut flour and make sure to choose an AIP-friendly oil such as coconut, avocado, or EVOO.
4. Chilled Zucchini, Orange, and Basil Soup
This Chilled Zucchini, Orange, and Basil Soup recipe by Philipp Ertl is a great recipe to make a big batch of and have on hand for the week. Super light and filled with flavor, make this recipe 100 percent AIP-friendly by nixing the pine nuts and hot sauce. Also, either nix or research the ingredients on the vegan yogurt you choose!
5. Cleansing Detox Soup
This Cleansing Detox Soup recipe by Shannon Leparski is filled with a rich selection of colorful veggies and detoxifying ingredients to pump your body with nutrients and plant-based antioxidants. With that said, there are a few ingredients to nix to make this 100 percent AIP-friendly — tomatoes and cayenne pepper — both of which are part of the nightshade family.
6. Savory Apple and Potato Pancakes
Think you can’t enjoy some delightful, home-cooked, pancakes on an AIP diet? This Savory Apple and Potato Pancakes recipe by Maya Sozer is a wonderfully creative and delicious spin on the traditional pancake. Make it AIP by choosing sweet potatoes over all others, coconut or cassava flour instead of whole wheat, and coconut oil to round out the flavor.
7. Crispy Oil-Free Garlic Fries
8. Pan-Roasted Herbed Potatoes
9. 3-Ingredient Coconut Avocado Mousse
Dessert may be one of the most difficult food items on the AIP diet in order to avoid that processed sugar, but this 3-Ingredient Coconut Avocado Mousse recipe by Pauline Hanuise is a great option! With three simple ingredients — nutrient-dense avocado, healthy fat-filled coconut, and cacao nibs — you’ll slake that sweet tooth without suffering the nutritional consequences. Make sure the cacao nibs are 100 percent cacao to meet the AIP diet.
10. Creamy Green Soup
The trick to making this Creamy Green Soup recipe by Nikki Zuzana creamy without using the required nuts and seeds is to rely on one of those AIP-friendly flour options such as coconut, arrowroot, or cassava. You can also add an additional date in order to balance out the texture!
11. Carrot Avocado Ginger Soup
12. Energizing Turmeric Tea
This Energizing Turmeric Tea recipe by Laura Peill is not only AIP diet-friendly, but it also has specific ingredients to fight inflammation such as turmeric, matcha, and cinnamon. On top of that, this tea will be filling due to the healthy fat-rich coconut milk (or cream) and coconut oil.
13. Zucchini Tater Tots
If you’re craving some of those old processed foods from your childhood, but want to stick on a healthy, AIP-friendly diet in the process, try out this Zucchini Tater Tots recipe by Kirsten Kaminski. It’s super simple with only five ingredients and is easily transmutable into AIP-friendly. Choose sweet potatoes and ditch the sweet paprika!
14. Roasted Sweet Potato Bites With Guacamole
This Roasted Sweet Potato Bites With Guacamole recipe by Liz Martone is a great recipe for some AIP-friendly party snacks! Make sure to stick with sweet potatoes — other potato varieties are not AIP-friendly — and absolutely nix the tomatoes. Also, stick with homemade guacamole to make sure it’s AIP-friendly.
15. Crispy King Trumpet Mushroom Calamari
This Crispy King Trumpet Mushroom Calamari recipe by RG Enriquez takes a bit of manipulation to make it fully AIP-friendly, but you’ll still get the same crispy, delightfully “meaty” bites in the end. Choose a high smoke point oil, — such as avocado or coconut — a gluten-free flour and bread crumb variety, — such as arrowroot, cassava, or coconut — opt-out of the chili flakes and coconut vinegar. When it comes to your alternative dairy, go for coconut instead of seed or nut-based milk.
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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