When you have arthritis, you know that what you put in your body has a huge impact on your health and well being. Maybe you’ve seen foods in grocery stores marked “Non GMO” or heard the debate over genetically modified organisms, and you may be wondering if you should avoid them. Opponents say foods with GMOs may be harmful, and a law was passed in 2016 requiring labels on them. Some manufacturers are voluntarily labeling their products. But experts say safety concerns are overblown.
“There is a lot of confusion and fear surrounding GMO ingredients in foods,” says registered dietitian Kim Larson, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Let’s clear up the confusion.
Continue reading Genetically Modified Foods: What You Should Know
Fiber packs a big punch when it comes to your health. Research shows it helps lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss, which can ease pressure on joints. Scientists also have discovered that nutrients in dietary fiber help promote beneficial gut bacteria, which may reduce inflammation. And new research found that eating a high-fiber diet is linked with a lower risk for knee osteoarthritis and pain.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends about 30 grams of dietary fiber a day for men and 25 grams for women – much more than the 18 and 15 grams, respectively, that Americans typically consume. The good news is that adding just one fruit, vegetable or whole grain to every meal or snack can help.
Continue reading Fiber Up Your Arthritis Diet
Research has shown that eating a lot of refined carbohydrates, especially white flour and having a low-fiber diet increases inflammation. Getting 25g or more of fiber in your diet may also reduce the risk of colon and other cancers, lower cholesterol and possibly help regulate blood sugar. Stocking up on whole-grains products are good for overall health as they naturally have plenty of vitamin B-6, vitamin E, magnesium, folic acid, copper, zinc, and manganese. And studies also show that people who eat three or more servings of whole grains a day lower their risk of heart disease. Because high-fiber foods can help you to feel full faster, eating the right amount may make it easier to achieve and maintain a healthy weight which is important for people with arthritis.
Have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Try high-fiber gluten-free grains such as amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat and cornmeal.
Continue reading Arthritis Diet Power Shopping: Bread and Pasta
You probably already know that diet and arthritis symptoms are inextricably linked. Sugary, high-fat, processed foods may trigger an inflammatory response while those that are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, such as fruits, vegetables and heart-healthy fats may help quiet symptoms.
“Each organ in the body is responsible for specific functions, but food, stress and everyday living can compromise their ability to do their jobs effectively,” explains Sonya Angelone, MS, RDN, CL, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The organs of people living with arthritis are vulnerable to suboptimal functioning, not only because of the disease itself, but also because of its treatments.
The good news: You can help support each organ system – and stave off other chronic diseases – by amping up your intake of certain foods.
Continue reading Nourish Your Organs with These Superfoods
Meats, soups, fruits or vegetables, the canned variety offers many benefits. You’ll still get the inflammation-fighting omega 3 fatty acids in canned salmon, sardines and tuna. Canned vegetables and fruits are often processed shortly after they are picked, and nutrient losses don’t occur during shipping, on the grocer’s shelf, or in your home. Their portability makes them great for an arthritis diet on the go. They last longer and can save you money.
And there are some veggies that may be more beneficial in canned form rather than fresh. Canned tomatoes, for example, are a better source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, because cooking makes them easier for the body to absorb. According to a comparative analysis of canned, fresh, and frozen fruits and vegetables by the University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, fiber content is as high in canned products as in their fresh counterparts and the canning process may actually increase calcium levels in fish as compared to its freshly cooked variety.
Continue reading Arthritis Diet Power Shopping: Canned Foods
Looking for an easy, delicious way to improve your heath and arthritis? It’s all about filling your plate with the right combos. “Many nutrients have a synergistic effect. And what’s terrific is that the foods that contain these nutrients tend to taste great together,” says Joan Salge Blake, a registered dietitian and clinical associate professor at Boston University.
Here are five food duos that can supercharge your diet.
Continue reading Arthritis Foods That Are Better Together
“Clean eating means different things to different people, and the “eat clean” catchphrase can be misinterpreted. “It implies that anything but the most pristine food is bad for us,” says registered dietitian Kim Larson, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “but none of us eats a perfect diet.” But while the trend and the catchphrase are fairly new, the philosophy is not, and experts generally agree on the basics: Eating a diet of mostly whole, unprocessed foods and avoiding their highly refined, processed counterparts promotes health and well-being and is a good foundation for an arthritis diet. Some interpretations emphasize organic foods, avoiding genetically modified ingredients, eating more frequent, smaller meals, or “detoxing” with so-called “cleanses.” Here are some clean-eating principles dietitians say you can get behind – or skip.
Continue reading Can “Clean Eating” Help Arthritis Symptoms?
You’ve heard about the great foods you can add to your arthritis diet. But what if you’re on a budget? Here are some smart food swaps that are easy on your wallet.
Tea. Home-brewed tea is a good source of catechins, a type of antioxidant that benefits the heart by helping blood vessels relax. That’s especially helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis, who are at increased risk of heart disease. Bottled teas don’t have catechins, which degrade in a few days. Drink home-brewed instead.
Savings: About 50 cents per 8-ounce serving.
Continue reading Your Arthritis Diet on a Budget
Vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables contain high levels of phytonutrients – which lend plants a rich hue and protect your health by reducing susceptibility to disease. For optimal nutrition, combine them in one meal. “The more colors you eat at once, the more powerful the phytonutrients are, because of the synergy that happens,” says Steven Pratt, MD, a California-based nutrition expert and author of Super Health: 10 Simple Steps, 6 Easy Weeks, 1 Longer, Healthier Life.
Many of these brightly colored fruits boast anti-inflammatory properties which make them a great addition to your arthritis diet. So splurge on color at the produce department and reap the benefits of different types of phytonutrients.
Continue reading Add Color to Your Arthritis Diet