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5 Breakfast Ideas to Reduce Inflammation

May 22, 2024

Your breakfast sets the tone for the whole day. And if you’re trying to reduce inflammation, what you pop into the toaster makes a huge difference.

The key, according to Melissa Keeney, RDN, clinical nutrition manager at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, is “nutrition by addition”.

“Foods that increase inflammation include those that are fried, red and processed meats and refined grains, but it’s more fun to look at the longer list of things that reduce inflammation and making sure you eat enough of those,” Keeney says.

Here’s what Keeney has to say about inflammation and breakfast.

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Why is inflammation bad?

Inflammation is your body’s natural response to threat and injury. In the right amount, it protects us. But too much disrupts the immune system and can cause tissue damage or chronic ailments like heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

An anti-inflammatory diet helps keep blood sugar balanced, avoiding spikes and crashes that can trigger inflammation. The foods also help you maintain a healthy gut microbiome which supports immune function.

> Related: These Foods Help Fight (or Cause) Chronic Inflammation

Fresh, unprocessed food helps reduce inflammation.

Examples of anti-inflammatory food includes:

  • Vegetables, especially leafy greens, cabbage and cauliflower
  • Fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, or sardines
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruit
  • Herbs and spices, especially turmeric and ginger
  • Green tea

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5 anti-inflammatory breakfast ideas for inspiration.

Not sure where to start? Here are 5 ways you can start your day with less inflammation:

  1. Hot or iced green tea. If you’re feeling adventurous, try matcha, a powdered Japanese green tea packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances.
  2. Sauté chopped vegetables like Swiss chard, kale and arugula, mix with five or six beaten eggs and bake it in the oven for a light frittata.
  3. Cook scrambled tofu like eggs for a high protein, vegan breakfast. A little turmeric or black salt can help give it an egg-like flavor.
  4. Top plain oatmeal or high-fiber (5g or more) cold cereal with blueberries or raspberries, adding walnuts, almonds or pumpkin seeds.
  5. Mix ginger or an herb like mint, basil, cilantro or dill into your daily smoothie.