FOODS THAT SOOTHE ARTHRITIS PAIN
adapted from an article by Stacey Colino in iVillage
There’s no proven anti-arthritis diet, but certain foods may make a difference in your symptoms
The Mediterranean diet is strongly anti-inflammatory. ...with less red meat but more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and olive oil than the standard American diet. People who follow the Mediterranean diet may have fewer arthritis pain symptoms. But plenty of other tasty foods contain anti-inflammatory nutrients... You won’t be able to ditch your pain-relieving meds, but eating more anti-inflammatory, arthritis-fighting foods may help you feel and function better if you have arthritis.
Coldwater fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, halibut, herring and anchovies are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids (specifically, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)), which also combat inflammation. Research from Cardiff University in the UK suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish may ease osteoarthritis symptoms by reducing mRNA levels, the messengers involved in the synthesis of various proteins that contribute to osteoarthritis (OA). Keep in mind: Baking, broiling or grilling fish is healthier than frying it. If you’re a vegetarian or don’t like fish, look for omega-3-enriched eggs.
1 medium plum tomato, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
2-3 dashes hot sauce
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
8 ounces center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 2 portions
Yield: 2 Servings
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeño, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, salt and hot sauce to taste in a food processor; process until finely chopped and uniform. 3.Place salmon in a medium roasting pan; spoon the salsa on top. Roast until the salmon is just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
To Make Ahead: The salsa (Step 2) will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Other fatty fish can stand in for the salmon -- adjust the roasting time accordingly.
WALNUTS, FLAXSEED (LINSEED)and CHIA SEEDS
Walnuts, flaxseed and chia seeds are good sources of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), another type of omega-3 acid that comes from plants ...these nuts and seeds are another good way to sneak anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Toss a handful of chopped walnuts or a sprinkling of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds into your oatmeal or over your salad. ...go easy on the portions, because walnuts are high in calories.
Vitamin D is reduces inflammation and inhibits the enzymes that break down cartilage, thereby slowing the progression of arthritis, explains Jason Theodosakis, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of family and community medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and author of The Arthritis Cure. Fatty fish and egg yolks, as well as fortified milk, cereals and orange juice, all contain vitamin D; supplements are also a good source.
Tart cherries (and tart cherry juice) contain anthocyanins and anthocyanidins, health-promoting plant pigments (aka phytochemicals) that have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties ...consuming tart cherries daily for 90 days reduces both systemic and local inflammation, according to research from the University of Michigan. Top your whole-grain cereal with tart cherries or add them to a spinach salad
The catechins (a type of phytochemical) in green, white, black and oolong teas have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, though green tea contains the most. It’s the epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, in green tea that’s especially good at inhibiting a key gene involved in the inflammatory response... For optimal anti-inflammatory benefits, steep the tea bag for three to five minutes in boiling water before sipping the soothing brew.
A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has long been known for its heart-healthy benefits. Now it has another claim to fame: an anti-inflammatory effect, thanks to its high concentration of plant-based compounds called polyphenols ...regularly consuming olive oil can reduce blood levels of inflammatory cytokines and inhibit tissue damage in the joints, even in those with arthritis. Make an effort to use olive oil when you’re preparing salad dressing or sauteing veggies -- for the sake of your joints and your heart.
Lemon Slices in Spicy Olive Oil
North Africans preserve whole lemons in a brine made with lemon juice and plenty of coarse sea salt. They eat the skin and white pith of the preserved lemons, which acquire a distinctive flavour and aroma. Chop and add to potato salads, steamed cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, or bitter greens; also to grilled chicken or fish, and to stufﬁngs for pork and poultry, and wherever 'preserved lemons' are called for. Besides the slices, use a few drops of the strongly ﬂavoured olive oil, to which you may add a few chillies, to enliven dressings and marinades.
3 or 4 lemons, preferably organic
2 to 3 dried peperoncini (or any other chile), cut in half lengthwise with scissors but still attached to the stem
4 to 6 tablespoons sea salt
About 1 cup olive oil
Yield: 2 cups Servings
1. Wash and dry the lemons thoroughly.
2. Cut them into 1/8 inch-thick slices and lay one layer in a stainless-steel colander.
3. Sprinkle the lemon slices with plenty of salt and repeat, making more layers until you have used all the lemons and salt.
4. Set aside to drain for 24 hours.
5. Press the lemon slices carefully with paper towels to extract most of the juice, then pack the slices in a 1pint jar, adding the peperoncini between the slices.
6. Completely cover the lemon slices with olive oil.
7. Close the jar. The lemon slices will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 months.
TURMERIC, GINGER, CINNAMON
Turmeric, an ancient spice used in ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, ginger and cinnamon contain compounds with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. They block the production of cytokines and prostaglandins, which shuts off inflammation... In a study in Thailand, people with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee who consumed two grams of curcumin extract (the active compound in turmeric) daily for six weeks experienced reductions in pain and functionality while walking on level ground and up or down stairs comparable to those who took 800 milligrams of ibuprofen daily. Meanwhile, a University of Miami study found that people with OA of the knee who consumed ginger extract twice a day experienced greater reductions in knee pain while standing and walking than those in the control group.
Potato and Pea Curry
1 in (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1½ lb (675 g) all-purpose waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed
2-3 fresh hot green chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1¼ cups hot vegetable stock
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ cup frozen peas
small handful of dried curry leaves (optional)
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped 6 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Yield: 4 Servings
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the ginger, chiles, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds, and crumble in the curry leaves. Cook for a couple of minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook for a few more minutes.
2. Add the potatoes and turmeric, and pour in the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
3. Stir in the peas, and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper, and stir in the cilantro. Serve hot with rice or naan bread.
Notes: This is a fairly dry curry; if you want more liquid, simply add more stock
ONIONS, of any colour
The quercetin [a flavonoid] in onions has similar anti-inflammatory effects to ibuprofen or aspirin and it has antioxidant properties. Besides decreasing inflammation and perhaps reducing the pain that comes with it, the compounds in these fragrant bulbs also may protect cells from inflammation-induced damage. Keep onions on hand for stir-fries, soups, stews and omelets, and as a savoury caramelized topping for fish, meat or poultry dishes
Herb & Onion Frittata
1 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
2 tablespoons farmer’s cheese, or reduced-fat ricotta
Yield: 1 Serving
1. Bring onion and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the onion is slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the water has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle in oil and stir until coated. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes more.
2. Pour in egg substitute, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the egg is starting to set, about 20 seconds. Continue cooking, lifting the edges so the uncooked egg will flow underneath, until mostly set, about 30 seconds more.
3. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper over the frittata. Spoon cheese on top. Lift up an edge of the frittata and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon water under it. Cover and cook until the egg is completely set and the cheese is hot, about 2 minutes. Slide the frittata out of the pan using the spatula and serve.
EDAMAME, SOYNUTS, TOFU, TEMPEH, SOYMILK
Soy foods like edamame are featured prominently in the Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid created by Andrew Weil, M.D., founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson and author of Healthy Aging. The reason: They contain isoflavones, a class of phytochemicals that have antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory properties. In a study involving 135 people with OA or chronic knee pain, researchers found that those who consumed 40 grams of soy protein daily for three months experienced greater improvements in range of motion and various measures of pain compared to those who consumed 40 grams of milk-based protein per day. Consider this another good reason to consume one to two servings a day of cooked edamame, tofu or tempeh, soymilk or soynuts.
1/2 cup cooked edamame
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup cooked dried or canned chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup low-fat, low-sugar cereal (such as Puffins)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
Yield: 2 Servings
1. Place all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth, scraping down sides with a spatula as necessary.
2. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
The darker the grape, the more anti-inflammatory, antioxidant phytochemicals (plant-based compounds) like resveratrol it has ...resveratrol suppresses inflammatory signaling in cells called articular chondrocytes, which may help with the treatment of OA and related arthritic conditions. Make your next snack red or purple grapes, or propose a toast to your health with a glass of red wine or grape juice in the evening. Salut!
Grilled Curry Chicken with Watercress, Grapes, Peaches, and Orange-red Wine Vinaigrette
2 boneless, skinless split chicken breasts (cutlets), about 8 oz(225 g) each
2 ripe but firm peaches, pitted and sliced into 8 sections
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon good-quality curry powder
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 bunches watercress, trimmed, washed, and dried well
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley 20 green grapes, stemmed, halved, and deseeded
Yield: 4 Servings
1. Make the dressing: On the stove top, bring the orange juice to a boil in a small pan over high heat, then lower the heat slightly and simmer until reduced in volume to 1/4 cup (about 20 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the oil, wine vinegar, parsley, salt, and pepper, whisk together, and set aside.
2. Build a fire in your grill. When the coals are all ignited, the flames have died down, and the temperature is medium, you’re ready to cook.
3. Coat the chicken breasts with oil, rub them all over with the curry powder, and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Place them on the grill directly over the coals and cook until they are browned on the outside and just cooked through (6–8 minutes per side). To check for doneness, poke the chicken with your finger to test its firmness; if you’re unsure, make a cut in the thickest part of one of the breasts and check to be sure that it is opaque all the way through. When the breasts are done, transfer them to a plate and cover them loosely with foil to keep warm.
4. While the chicken is cooking, combine the watercress, grapes, and peaches in a large bowl. Stir the dressing again, add to the watercress-fruit mixture, and toss well to coat. Divide the salad among four plates.
5. Slice the chicken on the bias into strips, arrange the strips on top of each salad, and serve.