Two-week old yogurt? Milk that expired four days ago? Sardines past their “sell by” date? Is a food that has outlived its expiration date OK to eat? Chances are, it is. The dates on your groceries indicate only when a product is at peak quality, not whether it’s safe to eat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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
While the frozen foods aisle can be a trap – so many highly processed items with large amounts of fat and sodium, from pizza to breaded chicken strips – healthy choices can be found. The good news is that many frozen fruits and vegetables – without sauces and syrups – have all the nutrition of their fresh counterparts; sometime more so because they are packaged as soon they are harvested. Plus, they’re convenient (no worries about spoiling) and available year-round.
It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Research has shown that breakfast skippers tend to overeat at other meals and snack excessively throughout the day. That can make it hard to maintain a healthy weight as you manage your arthritis.
But what you eat for breakfast is important. Hot and cold cereals are good options. They are quick ways to get a serving of fiber-full whole grains that can help reduce inflammation. While oatmeal may be your go-to grain, there are several nutritious cereals made from corn, brown rice, quinoa, hemp, buckwheat and kamut. Keep in mind that whole grain choices are not calorie-free and portion control is important.
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.