Dr. Oz's Brilliant Anti-Inflammatory Food Swaps
Making a few simple tweaks to your diet can help you feel better—and look better, too.
By Dr. Mehmet Oz
Heart disease, diabetes, skin irritation, aches and pains—all of these things may be caused by out-of-control inflammation. While stress, lack of exercise and genetics can all cause chronic inflammation, a steady diet of sugars and processed food can do the same. Replace some of the worst culprits in your diet with their healthier—and tasty!—counterparts.
Eat Walnuts and Berries Instead of Cereal
While whole-grain cereals may seem like a good choice, they are still high in carbohydrates and can cause inflammatory blood sugar spikes. If you want to start your morning with something sweet and crunchy, eat some walnuts and berries. Walnuts are full of healthy, anti-inflammatory fats while the berries are full of natural sugars.
Eat Greek Yogurt Instead of Eggs
Eggs are a good choice for breakfast when they are fortified with Omega-3s. Most eggs, however, are not. Start your morning with Greek yogurt instead. Greek yogurt has less sugar than regular yogurt and twice the amount of protein. It may also help decrease surges of insulin that can contribute to inflammation.
Sweeten with Cinnamon Instead of Sugar
It's time to put away those inflammatory sugar packets and try sweetening your morning coffee with cinnamon instead. Cinnamon is a super-sweet spice that helps reduce inflammation. Experts say just a quarter teaspoon a day is enough to get the benefits.
Eat Vegetarian Chili Instead of a Turkey Sandwich
Many people eat an animal protein at lunch—meat, chicken, fish—but if you want to fight inflammation, you should opt for protein-rich legumes and beans instead. Eating legumes regularly can help reduce the levels of inflammation-causing blood sugar spikes. A vegetarian chili is a hearty and healthful way to fuel your afternoon.
Use Olive Oil Instead of Creamy Salad Dressing
Store-bought salad dressings are full of inflammatory sugars and fats. When you use them to dress your vegetables, you can ruin an otherwise healthful meal. Olive oil, however, is full of anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Dressing your salad with a spoonful of extra-virgin olive oil is an easy way to reduce inflammation.
Spread Avocado Instead of Mayonnaise
Next time you're making a sandwich, use avocado as a creamy spread instead of mayonnaise. Whereas mayonnaise is full of damaging fats, avocados are rich in healthy fats and filling fiber.
Season with Spices Instead of Salt
Excessive sodium consumption can cause inflammation. Cut back on salt and season your foods with spices like chili powder, basil and turmeric to help reduce inflammation.
Next: 25 superfoods to incorporate into your diet now