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Lifestyle Tips

Breaking down the latest research on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Written By: Dr. Barry Sears, Ph. D | Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Mary Perry, MS, RD, LDN
on March 29, 2018

Not many of us have the luxury of spending hours in the grocery store going aisle to aisle. Here we’ve highlighted some of our top grocery finds from each area of the supermarket that can easily be incorporated into tasty weekdays/weeknight meals and get you in and out in a zip.


Dairy: 2% Lactose Free Milk

Why we Like It: It has the right balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat making it Zone approved. Plus it’s a good source of high-quality protein to promote satiety while being rich in calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and other essential nutrients. Why Lactose-free? Regular cow’s milk contains lactose, which many can be difficult to digest.  In lactose-free milk, the lactose has been totally removed to consist of only glucose and galactose.  Want an easy meal no matter the time of day? Add 10oz of Lactose free milk to a scoop of ZoneRx Shake mix to keep you going until your next meal.  

Seafood: Wild Salmon

Why we Like it: It’s a great source of protein, low in saturated fat and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known for their brain boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Opting for wild salmon over farm-raised brings the omega-3 content up even further and has been shown to be 8 times lower in PCBs compared to farm-raised. How does it’s omega-3 content compare to OmegaRx 2? A 3oz serving of raw wild salmon contains about 1700mg of total omega3 fatty acids, whereas one serving of OmegaRx 2 (4 capsules or 1 tsp.) contains nearly twice as much with 3000mg of the omega-3s EPA and DHA. 

Meat: Grass-Fed Beef

Why We Like It: Compared to regular beef, grass-fed beef can contain almost 2x the amount of omega-3s compared to regular beef. While we know red meat should be consumed in moderation, when you do choose to consume it, opting for grass-fed is a good way to go. Using it ground makes for great tasting burgers, a taco night hit, or a delicious filling for stuffed peppers.

Fruit: Berries (Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries)

Why We Like It:
They have one of the lowest glycemic responses compared to most fruits out there. Why we really like them is that they are rich in polyphenols, the chemicals in plants responsible for the color and wide range of nutritional benefits. Although summer is the peak season for berries, you can find different varieties (e.g blackberries) all year long that are fairly priced too. Berries make for a perfect sweet to end a meal, a great addition to steel cut oats, or nicely coupled with low-fat cheese for a mid-afternoon snack. 

Veggies: Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower and Kale)

Why We Like Them:
They’re nutritional powerhouses based on their levels of fermentable fiber, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and are known for their cancer-preventive properties too.  Plus they have lowest amounts of carbohydrate making them less likely to stimulate insulin. Roast or sauté in a little olive oil and use as a side dish to any protein choice. They’re also a great base for any salad when you swap in baby Kale, shaved Brussel Sprouts or Broccoli slaw in place of romaine or iceberg.

Frozen: Green Vegetables

Why We Like Them:
Produce that sits in the refrigerator for days or has traveled long distances to reach us, loses its nutrients with time. Frozen vegetables are a great option in this case as they are typically flash frozen at low temperatures to stop aging and retain their nutritional value. Spinach, broccoli, or asparagus make for great weeknight stir-fry’s. If you haven’t tried frozen riced vegetables yet (available in broccoli and cauliflower (although not green), these can be added to soups in a cinch or a great replacement for rice in any dish. Plus the ones in the microwavable steamer bags can be made in minutes for those nights you really run short on time.

Inside Aisles: Almonds      

Why We Like Them:
They are rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats, along with numerous vitamins, and minerals. Almonds are easy to have on hand or for a snack on the go, plus they add a nice crunch when topped on oatmeal, yogurt, or slivered on vegetables. Since they are about 79% fat, just be careful to limit your intake and be mindful of portions as the calories can really stack up and they are easy to over-consume. 

Steelcut Oats

Why We Like Them:
They contain GLA (gamma linolenic acid), an essential fatty acids known to help boost the production of the good eicosanoids (PGE-1). Consuming 2 to 3 times per week can help build up your GLA levels. Plus they are a great alternative to breakfast cereal since they have a lower glycemic response, and are high in fiber, B-vitamins and calcium. 

Canned Beans

Why We Like Them:
Beans are a great source of fermentable fiber and their versatility lends themselves to most dishes you create. While lectins, a protein within them, might be giving them a bad rap lately, don’t stress, because cooking sprouting or fermenting them degrades lectin. It’s only individuals who have a compromised gut barrier, like “leaky gut” whole need to limit their consumption.


Why We Like Them:
 Spices like basil, oregano and rosemary are incredibly rich in polyphenols (good for the gut), plus they are a great way to add flavor to any dish. Elevate any of your dishes by adding them to omelets, meat, salad dresses or vegetables. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Why We Like It:
It’s primarily a monounsaturated fat, known for their heart healthy benefits, and rich in the polyphenol known as hydroxytyrosol. A good rule of thumb is to buy a cheaper olive oil for cooking, since polyphenols degrade upon heating, and then use a high quality one like Zone Extra Virgin olive oil for use in salad dressings or on top of cooked dishes to reap all their health promoting properties.
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