While inflammatory ingredients do hide in a lot of ready-made foods, the good news is that sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet doesn’t have to mean making everything you eat yourself or having a big food budget. Anti-inflammatory health coach Jenny Carr is on a mission to spread this mission to the masses. Her books—Peace of Cake: The Secret to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet and The Clean-Eating Kid—are full of tips on making anti-inflammatory eating easy, including lots of her fave grocery store finds.
Here, Carr reveals five of her favorite food swaps. As you’ll see, cutting out inflammatory foods doesn’t mean living a life of boring meals, or even skipping dessert.
Anti-inflammatory foods you for under $5
As far as staples go, Carr says this one is an all-star. “Long grain means it’s less processed, and organic is extremely important for brown rice, as arsenic can be readily found in non-organic rice,” she says. “Cook this with a little virgin coconut oil and sea salt for a delicious flavor.”
2. AMY’S ORGANIC LENTIL SOUP, $3
If you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory meal that can be made in five minutes flat, this is it. This heat-and-serve soup has an ingredients list that’s straight forward and simple; besides veggies, all it has is extra-virgin olive oil, bay leaves, and sea salt. “This is my favorite soup swap,” Carr says. “It’s full of protein, free of processed sugar—which is difficult to find with canned soup—and is it a nutrient-dense and simple meal on a chilly day.”
“These snaps are mildly sweet with a bit of zest,” Carr says of one of her go-to snacks. Made with coconut, sprouted sesame seeds, dates, and ginger she likes that the they’re sweetened naturally, and not with added sugar or chemicals.
4. LESSER EVIL ORGANIC POPCORN, $3
Another snacking staple at Carr’s house is this Lesser Evil popcorn. “I love this brand because they use non-genetically modified corn as well as high-quality avocado or coconut oil,” says Carr. Considering that corn is one of the biggest GMO crops there is, this one’s a great find.
5. SIMPLE MILLS PECAN COOKIES, $4
“These cookies are a great swap for graham crackers,” says Carr. Instead of being made with flour, sugar, and canola oil, this better-for-you pick is made with a nut flour blend (almonds, coconut, and tiger nuts), arrowroot, coconut sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and a few other simple ingredients. These cookies are a hit with Carr and her kids.
More advice for avoiding inflammation:
For more tips on following an anti-inflammatory diet, use this food pyramid as a guide and see the golden rules doctors recommend to all their patients.
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