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New Lifesaving Foods: The Anti-Inflammation Diet

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Sample Meal Plan

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

How can you incorporate foods that fight inflammation into your daily eating plan? Linda Antinoro, RD, and Julie Redfern, RD, dietitians at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, offer the following healthier alternatives to the typical American diet:


Typical Choice: Large bagel with cream cheese and a 20-ounce coffee with cream and sugar

Better Choice: A cup of oatmeal with skim milk, two tablespoons of raisins, and one tablespoon of walnuts; a half cup of blueberries; a cup of green tea

Why: Oatmeal contains flavonoids and has no saturated fat, unlike the cream cheese and light coffee's 13 grams. Raisins are among the most powerful antioxidant foods, according to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service; blueberries come in second. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids; green tea is rich in antioxidant polyphenols but isn't linked to increased inflammation the way moderate-to-heavy coffee drinking is.


Typical Choice: Cheeseburger with fries and a 20-ounce soda

Better Choice: Turkey sandwich with 3 ounces of meat, 100 percent whole wheat bread, red leaf lettuce, tomato, and 1 teaspoon mayonnaise; 6 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice.

Why: The sandwich has 10 to 15 fewer grams of saturated fat than a cheeseburger and fries, while the tomato, lettuce, and whole-grain bread contain antioxidants lycopene, anthocyanins, and lignans, respectively. Fruit juice provides antioxidants as well, unlike sugary soft drinks, which some research links with markers of inflammation in women. And the small amount of omega-6 in mayo's soybean oil is okay if the rest of your diet is healthy.


Typical Choice: Three chocolate chip cookies

Better Choice: Two tablespoons mixed nuts and 3/4 cup grapes

Why: Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fat; grapes contain anthocyanins.


Typical Choice: Six-ounce steak, packaged white-rice side dish with powdered cheese and seasonings, and green-bean casserole

Better Choice: Three ounces of baked wild salmon sprinkled with oregano; 1/2 cup brown rice; steamed asparagus spears drizzled with olive oil; salad with 1 1/2 cups spinach leaves tossed with sliced red peppers, red onion, 2 tablespoons avocado cubes and dressing made with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon vinegar; 6 ounces red wine.

Why: Salmon is a top source of omega-3. Oregano, asparagus, red peppers, and onions all contain various antioxidants. Spinach does too, along with a small amount of omega-3. Brown rice is high in lignans, unlike packaged white rice, and that powdered sauce also contains omega-6. Avocado is a source of monounsaturated fat, as is olive oil, which may have additional unique anti-inflammatory properties. Wine contains polyphenols and has been linked to lower rates of inflammation.


Typical Choice: One cup of chocolate ice cream

Better Choice: One cup of sliced fresh peaches sprinkled with cinnamon

Why: Peaches contain carotenoids and flavonoids instead of the saturated fat found in ice cream; cinnamon packs polyphenols.

Total calories

Typical American Diet: 2,583
Anti-Inflammation Diet: 1,543

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2006.


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9be1ceae wrote:

Hemp hearts and chia seeds are also extremely good sources for Omega 3's

9/12/2013 04:38:06 PM Report Abuse
cmlee12254782 wrote:

An excellent article on how foods can help play a part in helping with anti-inflammatory diseases.

1/5/2012 03:55:25 PM Report Abuse
cphillips371 wrote:

Love reading all this. Nutrition is fascinating!

8/16/2011 06:46:44 AM Report Abuse
sumandmom wrote:

Sent this to my sister...this sounds like her problems to a 'T'. I sure hope it helps her. Thank you for the heads up about inflamation.

8/14/2011 05:20:10 PM Report Abuse
carmalea28 wrote:

I thought this story was very informative. I eat this way as regularly as possible. Also, drink green teas daily.

8/12/2011 11:04:23 AM Report Abuse

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