Wrapping gifts and baking cookies can be a real challenge with arthritis pain and fatigue. We asked some experts for ways to make these time-honored holiday traditions easier and healthier.
Good-for-you foods provide a vast spectrum of nutrients important to battling arthritis inflammation, strengthening bones, fighting disease and generally helping you feel your best. So why not load up on vitamin and mineral supplements to make sure you’re getting enough of these nutrients? Food trumps supplements for several important reasons:
“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.
If you’re bypassing organic fruits and vegetables because of their higher prices, you may wonder if you’re shortchanging your health to save money. Even if non-organic produce isn’t doing you any harm, could organic be healthier?
In terms of nutrient quality, a scientific review of 162 studies published in 2009 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no significant differences between organic and conventionally grown produce.
Sticking to the perimeter of the store, where healthier whole foods are displayed, is your best bet when shopping for an anti-inflammatory diet. But it’s hard to avoid packaged foods altogether – especially when many labels promise everything from a slimmer figure to better health. Here are some common health claims you’ll see on labels, and the truth behind them. Continue reading Misleading Food Labels
You’re aiming to cook healthful, anti-inflammatory meals, but you’re in need of some wholesome side dishes. You want your plate full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats to pack a nutritious, anti-inflammatory, and arthritis-friendly punch.
You may be tempted to reach into the cabinet for a convenient box of seasoned pasta or even a rice mix to make your life easier, but Heather Bainbridge, a registered dietitian at the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, says it’s almost as quick – and a lot healthier – to make easy sides yourself.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help you fight the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Fruit is low in fat, sodium and calories. It can help you maintain a healthy weight – thereby reducing the pressure on your joints — and it’s rich in nutrients that help fight inflammation. Plus, it tastes great.
Here are tips for finding the freshest fruit and storage tips to increase shelf life.
Continue reading Choosing the Freshest Fruit to Fight Inflammation
Exercise can be a powerful balm for many of the things that ail us, including depression, bone loss, fatigue, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. But if a goal of exercise is to lose weight, you’ll increase your chances of success by changing your diet.
There’s nothing quite like eating a handful of freshly picked blueberries on a warm summer day, each bite bursting with flavor and inflammation-fighting polyphenols, bone-building minerals and must-have vitamins. Surprisingly, you can get nearly the same nutrition from a bag of frozen blueberries.
When you are tired and achy from your arthritis, a hot, nutritious meal at the end of the day may be just what you need – but preparing it can create even more pain and exhaustion.
Instead of toiling to prepare a meal full of anti-inflammatory foods every night, registered dietitian Sara Haas, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommends making meals in bulk and freezing them. At the end of a long day, all you have to do is reheat and serve.
Freezing meals, Haas says, “Is a great way to get balanced, more healthful meals in the comfort of your home.”
Continue reading Arthritis-Friendly Freezer Meals