Tame Inflammation with Whole Grains

Swapping refined grains for whole ones could lower your levels of a protein linked to heart disease and diabetes, suggests a study from the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." For 12 weeks, 50 obese adults ate low-fat dairy, lean protein, five daily servings of fruits and veggies, and either whole or refined grains. Both groups lost an average of 8 to 11 pounds, but only study members on the whole-grain-rich diet had a decrease in C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker associated with a number of diseases.

By cooking a pot of brown rice, barley, or quinoa each week and refrigerating it, you can add whole grains to every meal, says Robin Asbell, author of "The New Whole Grains Cookbook." Serve grains with scrambled eggs, stir into soups, and reheat with leftover vegetables for a quick stir-fry.

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