Arthritis relief: Three cooking tips

Arthritis relief starts in the kitchen. What you eat and how you prepare food can be the difference between joint pain and comfort; start with these tips. Photo: Hans Gruber

CHICAGO September 28, 2012 — Tissue inflammation is detrimental to overall health and longevity. Besides causing arthritis pain, it has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and depression. By eliminating foods that trigger inflammation, you may avoid future health problems and meanwhile feel more energetic. 

Those of you who experience the joint pain and inflammation of arthritis, and anyone who wishes to remain healthy, may want to experiment with anti-inflammatory cooking. It involves not only what you eat, but how food is prepared; to get started, here are three suggestions. 

Anti-inflammatory Cooking Tips 

1. Some cooking oils, such as corn, sunflower, and safflower have a high content of omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-6s delight our tastebuds, they mess with our body’s ability to regulate inflammation. Consider switching to extra-virgin olive oil and eat more foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Our body cannot produce omega-3s and they are considered essential for the control of inflammation. You can increase consumption of omega-3s by enjoying fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, and tuna (packed in water). Another option is snacking on or cooking with flax seed, pumpkin seeds, and nuts, particularly walnuts. 

2. Many of us love dairy products but even adding dairy to recipes can trigger our body’s immune system, causing inflammation. This is always true for those with a milk allergy. If someone is allergic, milk skyrockets their production of histamine, resulting in joint swelling and pain. 

While it is true that dairy products provide protein, you can get plenty by eating more fish, nuts, and vegetables. Many physicians recommend avoiding or cutting back on all white foods. They are referring to dairy, refined grains (i.e., white flour), and sugar. 

3. Foods that are cooked at high temperatures can contain elevated amounts of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that trigger inflammation in our body. Foods from animals with high protein and fat content are prone to producing AGEs when heated. Examples are barbecued and blackened meats, French fries, and fried chicken. 

As you might expect, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits contain few AGEs, even when cooked. You can reduce the presence of AGEs in food by cooking with moist heat, lower temperatures, reducing cooking time, and by adding acidic products such as vinegar or lemon juice. 

Hard To Avoid 

Other sources of inflammation are stress, parasites, environmental toxins, some bacteria, viruses, obesity, high blood sugar, insomnia, and over-eating. Unless you live a hermetic life, some sources are difficult to avoid. 

If you have inflammation or feel at risk, Dr. Andrew Weil suggests addressing it by taking 400 to 600 mg of turmeric extract three times per day, or, 500 to 1,000 mg of dry powdered ginger twice every day (with food). If you have a medical condition or take medications, check with your doctor first. 

To learn more about which foods to eliminate, other arthritis preventions, or treatments, there is a virtual library of information at Healthline.com.

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Other source: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/PAG00361/anti-inflammatory-food-pyramid.html


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Jacqueline Marshall

Jacqueline Marshall is a writer for Help For Depression, and freelances primarily in the areas of psychology and personal development. She has a MA in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed therapist living near Chicago.

Jacqueline has experience helping those diagnosed with severe, persistent mental illness, and in providing general therapy services for individuals, couples, and families. Prior to counseling, she worked in graphic design and music education.

When not writing or counseling, Jacqueline enjoys reading literature and math-less books about quantum physics. She is a published poet, and has studied animal communication and energy healing.  

 

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