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Here's how to eat an arthritis diet, what foods it includes, and what foods to avoid. A diet for osteoarthritis will help keep inflammation down and give you the nutrients to heal.
If I had one wish, it's that more people understood the effect of the food they eat on their bodies. An arthritis diet is one that has no processed foods, lots of fruits, vegetables, and fresh juices (fresh means you juiced it yourself!). The proteins included are lean and rely mostly on fish and lean poultry. The grains are whole and include brown rice, whole grain bread, kashi, steel cut oatmeal, and quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). Pasta, white flour (and all products made with it) and white rice are eaten minimally.
If more Americans knew the relationship between diet and arthritis, I'm certain our eating habits would change dramatically.
Our standard American diet (the acronym is SAD which should tell us something) relies heavily on processed foods (foods that come in a box, jar, or can) and processed foods rely heavily on artificial ingredients to make them affordable. After all, food companies make food for profit, not for health.
Here's an experiment I like everyone to try. Go to your pantry or cupboards and pull out your bottle of syrup. You know, the stuff you put on pancakes and waffles (and by the way, do you make your own pancake/waffle batter or is it pre-mixed and in a box? read those ingredients, too!).
Got the syrup? OK, now turn it around to the back and read the ingredients label.
If it says anything other than "pure maple syrup" I can tell you that it is making your arthritis pain worse and you should not use it if you want to follow an arthritis diet.
Why is that? Those processed ingredients, including corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are inflammatory. They also promote obesity, and being overweight is a major cause of arthritis pain. Syrup with a label that looks like this one has been manufactured for pennies. Americans tend to eat cheap food, but then we pay for it on the back end in higher medical costs.
Wouldn't it make more sense to eat real food? Pure maple syrup costs more, yes. But since it's free of artificial ingredients, it is also better for our health. That's the goal of eating an arthritis diet; nourishing your body with real food so that you can decrease pain and help your joints, naturally.
Eating an arthritis diet
Eating a diet that helps your osteoarthritis is pretty easy. Let me give you a sample day:Breakfast
- 1/2 - 1 cup steel cut oatmeal, sweetened with honey, agave syrup or brown sugar
- One cup of fresh strawberries or blueberries, or an apple, pear, orange or kiwi
- 1-2 organic eggs, poached or pan fried with 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- For best results, I recommend a healthy salad (click here for recipes on another website) most days of the week (that link will open in another window)
- Salmon burger, black bean burger or veggie burger on a whole grain bun
- Tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, onions
- Organic ketchup (this will be free of artificial sweeteners - most brands of ketchup have high fructose corn syrup. Don't believe me? Read the label!), organic mustard
- Organic cheddar cheese for your burger
- Carrot sticks or celery sticks
- One ounce of dark chocolate for dessert (dark chocolate has anti inflammatory properties!)
- Lean grilled steak (filet, NY Strip) seasoned with balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper
- Steamed broccoli finished with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt
- Baked sweet potato or brown rice pilaf
- Caesar salad made with homemade dressing (use organic eggs)
- Fresh berries with fresh homemade whipped cream
You'll notice that this is real food, prepared by you. Is it more work? Yes. But in my opinion, nothing is more important than my health and the time that I spend in the kitchen I value as an investment in my health. And since my daughters help me, it's quality family time as well, which is equally important to health.
For a more detailed explanation on which foods help arthritis and on low glycemic foods, just follow that link. There, I offer a free 7 day meal plan designed to balance blood sugar and decrease inflammation.
For a bunch of great recipes using organic ingredients, follow this link.
As a side note, I had lunch today with a gentleman I know through our business community. We were talking about juicing (I have a page on juicing for weight loss, if you're interested), and without any prompting from me, he said, "If everybody with arthritis drank fresh pineapple juice every day, their pain would go away!"
It made me smile. 🙂
Other pages of interest you may want to read...Is there food that causes arthritis?
Juicing can help with weight loss and inflammation
The ALCAT test helps you learn which foods are causing you to hurt