Food And Arthritis

Add the RIGHT foods to your diet to REDUCE arthritic pain and inflammation.
Include the WRONG foods to your diet and INCREASE arthritic pain and inflammation.
My choice? A life-journey based on a low-oil whole-food plant based diet.
Whatever your current state of health, make yourself healthier - you deserve it. Start your plant based diet journey today.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Andy's Arthritic Diet (Digestion part two)

Well not so much a triangle but at least three ways of looking at what you eat..  This is my first attempt at trying to explain my diet in terms of foods I concentrate on, foods I avoid and trying to look at this nutritionally.

I have found concentrating on these foods positively helps me get healthier day by day.  And by healthier I mostly mean arthritis free.
  1. Every day you should be ensuring you are getting many of these: 4 glasses Water, 2 cups Green / Hibiscus Teas, 3 servings Green Veg, especially dark Greens, 2 servings other Veg, 1 tbsp Flax Seeds, 1 or 2 servings Grains/PseudoGrains, 1 or 2 servings Legumes, Handful of Nuts, esp Walnuts, 2 cups Soy or Almond Milk etc, 2 servings berries, 2 servings fruit, esp Kiwi.
  2. Every week try to add in the following: An occasional piece of dark chocolate (dark chocolate has no dairy) is not only nice but include some anti-oxidants. Fermented Foods eg tempeh, saurkraut are great sources of pre-biotics. Three servings fresh green juices can be a great way of ensuring your system isn't getting too acidic as well as a way to boost intake of nutrition from dark green plants like Kale.  An occasion serving of fruit juice should not be a problem but whenever possible eat the full fruit in preference to juice since the fibre in the fruit helps slow down the absorption of sugars in the fruit.  Also note that the whole fruit is always better than a smoothie!
  3. And on a Monthly basis perhaps add in: Treat yourself perhaps to a gluten-free beer,  and perhaps some Sheep or Goats Cheese which is easier on the digestive system than cow's cheese.
  4. Specific Anti-inflammatory foods: Curcumin in turmeric has good anti-inflammatory properties.  If taking as a supplement get one with back-pepper extract since this boost the benefits dramatically.  Ginger and garlic can also help a lot.  Berries have fabulous anti-inflammatory properties.
I do not subscribe to either a Mediterranean or a paleo-diet.  I think advocates of these diets ignore significant evidence against consuming meat and fish.
  1. Meats: Meats can significantly increase cancer, heart attack risks and almost every other illness, they are full of saturated fats, very bad for climate change.  Any benefits can be out-weighed by toxins.  Poultry are linked to significant weight gain, even if steamed.  If you must have meat ensure it is organic
  2. Fish: Benefits of omega-3 over-weighed by disadvantages of oils etc
  3. Dairy: Milk really is made by cows for cows, not for humans.  Avoid anything that contains milk eg dairy Chocolate.
  4. Oils & Fats: Avoid saturated fats, never heat oil to smoking point, change cooking techniques to reduce and ideally avoid oils/fats, totally avoid cheap oils, avoid foods high in oils, avoid margarines.
  5. Gluten: If you are ceoliac totally avoid gluten, if intolerant keep gluten to a minimum.  Get a test for gluten intolerance.  Wheat is nearly unavoidable in most processed foods.
  6. Nightshades: There is lots of anecdotal evidence that nightshades are inflammatory.  This family of plants include Tomatoes, Potatoes.  I suggest you test each nightshade using elimination diet. You may be able to tolerate small amounts, eg chilli.
  7. Sugars & Sweeteners: Keep sugary foods and drinks to a minimum.  Especially avoid fruit juices that are high in sugars.  A sugar rush can cause inflammation.
  8. Processed Foods: Most enzymes destroyed in processing  also often include strange additives, so avoid.
Let's take a look at what's inside foods that we're trying to get more of.  Whilst this is good background information it is better to concentrate on taking whole foods that include these rather than getting hooked on just taking these as supplements: the whole is better than the sum of the parts!
  1. Omega-3: Every day ensure plenty of Omega-3, You cannot get enough Omega-3. Avoid Omega-6 whenever possible
  2. Enzymes: Young people generate many enzymes, Older people must take enzymes in diet
  3. Prebiotics & Probiotics: Any organic veg will provide lots of prebiotics, Fermented foods very high in prebiotics. Prebiotics so much better than probiotics
  4. Vitamins: Vitamin-B12 take weekly esp if vegan. Vitamin-C take daily in copious amounts: both Kiwi fruit and Kale are very high in Vitamin C.  To get Vitamin-D ideally get plenty of sunshine and if you cannot then take supplements.  If you can touch a bone (not a joint) and it feels tender that may mean you have a Vitamin D shortage.  Vitamin-E is a powerful antioxidant.  Non-dairy milks are often fortified with Vitamin D, E and B12.
  5. Iron: To avoid anaemia so take plenty of greens and legumes.  If at risk of anaemia consult doctor before taking iron supplements
  6. Trace elements: Potassium has good anti-inflammatory properties, Magnesium helps rebuild cartilage in your joints!!  A shortage of Selenium is linked to arthritis and can be obtained from Brazil nuts, but you do not need a lot of Selenium.

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