During aging, chronic systemic inflammation increases in prevalence and antioxidant balance shifts in favor of oxidant generation. Avenanthramide (AVA) is a group of oat phenolics that have shown anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capability. The present study investigated whether dietary supplementation of avenanthramides (AVA) in oats would increase antioxidant protection and reduce inflammation after a bout of downhill walking (DW) in postmenopausal women. Women at age of 50-80 years (N = 16) were randomly divided into two groups in a double-blinded fashion, receiving two cookies made of oat flour providing 9.2 mg AVA or 0.4 mg AVA (control, C) each day for 8 weeks. Before and after the dietary regimen, each group of subjects walked downhill on a treadmill (-9% grade) for 4 bouts of 15 minutes at a speed of 4.0 km/h with 5 minutes rest between sessions. Blood samples were collected at rest, 24 h post-DW, and 48 h post-DW pre- and post-supplementation. Both DW sessions increased plasma creatine kinase activity (P < 0.05). Before supplementation, in vitro neutrophil respiratory burst (NRB) activity was increased at 24 h post-DW (P < 0.05) and C-reactive protein (CRP) was increased 48 h post-DW (P < 0.05). AVA supplementation decreased DW-induced NRB at 24 h (P < 0.05) and CRP level 48 h (P < 0.05). Plasma interleukin (IL)-1β concentration and mononuclear cell nuclear factor (NF) κB binding were suppressed at rest and during post-DW period in AVA but not C group (P < 0.05). Plasma total antioxidant capacity (P < 0.05) and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity were increased in AVA vs. C (P < 0.05), whereas glutathione redox status was elevated 48 h post-DW but not affected by AVA. Thus, chronic AVA supplementation decreased systemic and DW-induced inflammation and increased blood-borne antioxidant defense in postmenopausal women.