Feb 25, 2019

5 Meals That Reduce Arthritis Inflammation

If you or someone you love has arthritis, you’ll know just how debilitating it can be. Going through your daily routine when you’re experiencing a flare-up can be painful.

Arthritis is so prevalent that it’s actually the leading cause of disability in America today. In, fact, more than 54 million people in the United States have doctor-diagnosed arthritis — and it’s not just older adults that have it. More than 300,000 children and infants have been diagnosed with rheumatic conditions or arthritis.

In order to treat your arthritis and make it easier to live with, many people use prescription drugs like corticosteroids, analgesics, and biologic response modifiers on a regular basis. All these drugs should be taken only under the supervision of a doctor and may be able to help relieve pain and inflammation. There are other natural, drug-free therapies and treatments that many people have used successfully, like massage for arthritis relief, hot and cold therapy, and occupational therapy. If you’re struggling to find ways to deal with your painful arthritis flare-ups, you’re probably ready to try anything that you think will work.

What many people don’t realize is that the foods we eat have a huge potential to help heal our bodies. There’s no food or specific diet that can cure arthritis, but there are some foods that have the potential to help reduce inflammation and ease the pain.

New research has shown that a diet high in fiber and healthy fats showed less evidence of a specific type of protein in the blood that’s associated with rheumatoid arthritis. A study on that research confirmed that 25 to 54 percent of study participants who followed a high fiber diet rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and lost weight showed lower levels of this key protein in their blood. If you’d like to give this diet a try, here are some meal ideas to get you started.

  • A bowl of oatmeal is a great way to start the day — it’s filling, super nutritious, and is endlessly customizable.

    If you want to follow an anti-inflammatory diet, oats are great because they’re extremely high in fiber. Just one small serving of this gingerbread oatmeal gives you seven grams of dietary fiber, which is almost 30 percent of your daily recommended intake. This breakfast uses steel-cut oats, which have a lower glycemic index than regular rolled oats, so we digest them slower. This keeps us fuller for longer. Plus, they’re rich in fiber.

    This recipe cooks the oats in water until they’re tender and creamy, then uses gingerbread spices like clove, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg to add flavor without adding calories. If you like your oats sweeter, you can add a bit of maple syrup.

  • This delicious Thai-spiced pumpkin soup is super rich in flavor but only uses five ingredients! You can use a full Sugar Baby pumpkin to make the puree necessary for the soup, but it will add an extra step. For an easy weeknight dinner or lunch, just use a can of pureed pumpkin — you’ve probably already got one in your pantry that’s left over from Christmas. Pumpkin is also a great source of an anti-inflammatory antioxidant called beta-cryptoxanthin, making it a great food to eat when trying to cut down on arthritis pain.

    All you need to do is heat the curry paste until fragrant, then add the pumpkin puree and chicken broth, followed by the coconut milk. Garnish with cilantro or sliced red chilis, and an artful swirl of additional coconut milk.

  • This kale caesar wrap with grilled chicken is a great meal to take as a work lunch. Since the kale leaves are sturdy, they won’t wilt if you need to make it in the morning and eat it a few hours later. In fact, the kale leaves will only get more tender and delicious the longer they sit in the dressing.

    After whipping up a quick Caesar dressing, mix it into a bowl of curly kale that’s been cut into bite-sized pieces. Once you’ve prepped the kale, you can cook the chicken however you want, or even use pieces of store-bought rotisserie chicken if you want to make your life easier. Then, wrap the chicken and the kale up in tortillas or pieces of flatbread. If you’re trying to stick to a low-carb diet, using tortillas is preferable.

  • This deliciously colorful anti-inflammatory Buddha Bowl is absolutely stuffed full of anti-inflammatory whole foods like avocadoes, beets, cauliflower, kale, and blueberries. This meal-sized salad is the perfect thing to make after an indulgent weekend when you just want to get your body back on the right track.

    The individual ingredients are prepared separately, starting with the cauliflower, which is tossed with olive oil and baked for 30 minutes. Then, the kale is wilted in a skillet, the beets are roasted or steamed (whatever you prefer), and the avocado is cut into bite-sized pieces. Once all the ingredients are arranged in a bowl together, it’s finished with an easy oil-and-vinegar dressing made with turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory spice.

    If you want to take this to work, store the dressing separately.

  • If you’ve been wanting to hop on the sheet-pan dinner bandwagon but don’t know where to start, this lemon herb salmon with zucchini might pique your interest. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is key to any anti-inflammatory diet. This recipe uses tons of dried herbs, brown sugar, lemon juice, mustard, and garlic to create a deeply flavorful crust for the salmon, which bakes in the oven for only 18 minutes. At the same time, zucchini medallions cook alongside the salmon, soaking up the flavor of the fish as it cooks. If you don’t like zucchini, you can use other veggies like asparagus or potatoes, but you may have to adjust the cooking time.

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