Turmeric has moved to the top of the healthy food chain. The 4,000-year-old staple of Southeast Asian cooking is showing up everywhere, including ballpark snacks and Starbucks lattes. It’s easy to understand why; turmeric’s most active component, curcumin, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that may help treat or prevent diseases ranging from arthritis to ulcerative colitis and cancer. But does adding turmeric to your latte or plate of chicken masala do these things?
Not likely, says Randy Horowitz, MD, medical director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson.
“Turmeric only contains about 2 to 6 percent curcumin, so you’re not getting much [of the anti-inflammatory effect],” he says.
Ground turmeric has other strikes against it. Ezra Bejar, PhD, a San Diego-based expert in botanical research, warns that with turmeric’s increasing popularity, unscrupulous manufacturers are adding synthetic turmeric to the real thing. Some additives, like vibrantly yellow lead chromate, are toxic. In the last few years, 13 brands of turmeric have been recalled for lead contamination.
Continue reading Turmeric Probably Won’t Help Your Arthritis (But Curcumin Might)
The air is crisp. The leaves are changing colors. You’re in a great walking groove. But the days are getting shorter. The temps are getting colder. Don’t let the changing seasons get you off track. Nothing’s worth compromising your health.
“We know that walking is important for people with arthritis for a number of reasons, from reducing pain and fatigue to preventing weight gain and boosting your mood,” says Michael Mantell, PhD, a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. Try these strategies to keep your feet moving this fall:
Continue reading Make Your Arthritis Workout More Social This Fall
It’s fall, which means pumpkin spice season is upon us. The craze has spilled over from Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte to everything from yogurt to beer to doughnuts. But for all their flavorful goodness, many of these seasonal treats aren’t good for you. If you enjoy the flavor but want a healthier alternative, try real pumpkin.
“The fact that it’s a low-calorie food makes it a great option for people who might be trying to lose weight,” says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian in Atlanta. Pumpkin is high in fiber, so it helps you feel full longer. Plus, it’s packed with inflammation fighters beta carotene and vitamins B6 and C, as well as bone-healthy magnesium – all great nutrients for people with arthritis.
Continue reading Healthy Pumpkin Spice? Reach for the Real Thing
Shorter days and cooler nights mean cold and flu season is coming, so it’s time to get your flu shot – especially if you have an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or lupus.
Need a good reason to get your flu vaccine this fall? Here are THREE:
Continue reading Fall Means Flu Shot Season Is Here
The anxiety and pain of the injections shouldn’t prevent you from managing your arthritis and protecting your quality of life. Use these tips to ease the pain and stress of self-injections.
Love fall gardening, but find it painful with arthritis? Try these hacks to avoid straining joints.
If You Can’t Crouch Down
Hack: Go vertical. Wall gardens are easy to tend while you’re standing or sitting up. Buy one ready-made or make your own by hanging plastic pots on a wall. “Keep the plants between waist and shoulder height,” says Julia Henderson-Kalb, an occupational therapist at Saint Louis University in Missouri.
Continue reading Gardening Hacks
Though living with arthritis is the pits, life can be better with a bowl of cherries. Specifically, tart cherries, which are different from sweet cherries and not usually eaten in their fresh state. They are popular in juices, smoothies, baking and recipe creation, including cherry pies, cherry desserts and other cherry-based concoctions. Several studies have linked the consumption of tart cherries to decreased inflammation and inflammatory-related conditions like arthritis. Continue reading Nutrients in Tart Cherries Can Help Fight Arthritis Pain
Arthritis Today readers answer the question: What should you be doing for your arthritis?
» Exercise, definitely. But I am so tired all the time. I feel better when I get going, but making myself go for a walk is hard! —Pauline Turner
Continue reading Reader Insights: What I Should Be Doing for My Arthritis?
Traveling doesn’t have to be derailed by arthritis. We asked travel pros as well as casual travelers for their favorite arthritis-friendly travel destinations. Here are some of their suggestions:
Continue reading Arthritis-Friendly Travel Tips for Outdoor Adventures
Hot summer days call for a tall glass of something cold. Your healthiest option? Water.
Not only does it have zero calories, “for those with a chronic condition like arthritis, water also helps in lubricating the joints, so you can move more easily, and helps to flush out the kidneys, so your body can work more efficiently,” says registered dietitian Lyssie Lakatos, with Nutrition Twins consulting in New York City.
How much should you drink? It varies by person, but aim for about half your body weight in ounces. For a 140-pound individual, that would be 70 ounces (about 9 cups daily), but the water content in other beverages and foods also counts.
Not a water lover? Infuse it with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. “Infusing water will add flavor, which gives you a little more motivation to drink up,” adds registered dietitian Tammy Lakatos Shames, Lakatos’s partner in Nutrition Twins. To start, try these antioxidant-rich combos.
Continue reading Infuse a Little Zing into Your Water