The holidays are typically a time when we all tend to succumb to the temptations of rich foods. Since arthritis is an inflammatory disease that can be affected by the foods you eat, I thought this week was a good time to review some anti-inflammatory foods that could help you manage your arthritis. Not to put a damper on your holiday feasting – just consider this some food for thought.
With the help of Joy Bauer, TODAY Show and MSNBC health contributor, I’ll list some common anti-inflammatory foods for you to think about.
First of all, what foods to avoid? Well, you’ll want to avoid, or at least during the holidays, reduce your intake of, foods that are high in saturated fats, contain trans fats, and simple refined carbohydrates.
And when you are circling the Christmas or New Year’s Eve party buffet table, keep your eye out for these great anti-inflammatory foods:
- Omega-3 fatty acids. These actually work to decrease inflammation and are an arthritis sufferer’s best friends. The best foods for omega-3 fatty acids are salmon (wild, fresh or canned), herring, mackerel (not king), sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, Pacific oysters, and walnuts.
- Antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of free radicals, and are a critical part of an arthritis anti-inflammation diet. They include Vitamin C, selenium, carotenes, and bioflavonoids.
Vitamin C: Some of the best foods for vitamin C are guava, sweet peppers (yellow/red/green), oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, pineapple, papayas, mangos, lemons, broccoli, kidney beans, kiwi, cauliflower, red cabbage, and white potato with skin.
Selenium. Some of the best foods for selenium are Brazil nuts, tuna, crab, oysters, tilapia, whole-wheat pasta, lean beef, cod, shrimp, whole grains, and turkey.
Carotenes: Some of the best foods for beta carotene include sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet red pepper, apricots and spinach.
Bioflavonoids: Some of the best foods are onions (red, yellow, white), leeks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, cocoa powder, apples with skin, red/black grapes, and strawberries.
- Spices. Even spices such as cinnamon and ginger are inflammation fighters.
As you can see, many foods that are helpful in managing your arthritis are foods you will commonly see as part of festive holiday meals. Help keep your arthritis pain under control by watching what you eat.
(Photo credit – goodfoodgourmet.com)