Arthritis is an inflammatory condition. It is this inflammation that causes pain, stiffness and loss of movement.
The food you eat can really affect the inflammation that you experience. Some foods increase inflammation and some foods are anti-inflammatory and help to reduce it.
Foods that cause inflammation in most people are red meat and dairy. It is a good idea to limit these foods to sensible levels. Other foods can be problematic in certain people but are fine for the majority. One client was able to completely rid himself from his arthritic symptoms by removing yeast from his diet. Other possible trigger foods are citrus fruits, wheat, chocolate and the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and tobacco). If you suspect food intolerance, it is possible to test for this.
An anti-inflammatory diet is one that is rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and oily fish. Pineapples, Papaya, Onions, Tuna and Mackerel are all great choices.
One of the best ways of reducing inflammation is to include lots of spices in your food. In addition to their anti-inflammatory properties, spices are a great way of adding flavour without using too much saturated fat, salt and sugar. Spices also contain a range of powerful phytonutrients that have a range of other health benefits.
Ginger: This is anti-inflammatory and has antiviral and painkilling properties. It is also warming as it helps improve your circulation. Try adding ginger to stir-fries or drinking hot water with lemon and ginger.
Chillies are a good source of capsaicin which is anti-inflammatory. They also help release endorphins, which are the feel good chemicals. Chillies can help liven up many dishes and help provide warmth in the winter months.
Turmeric is another anti-inflammatory spice. It supports the digestive and liver function. Try adding a spoonful to the water when you boil rice or potatoes.
Cumin is a good source of iron, which is important for red blood cell formation. It is also anti-inflammatory. Toast cumin seeds lightly to bring out the flavour. These can bring an African flavour to stir-fries.
Paprika contains capsaicin. This has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Paprika contributes colour and sweet pepper flavour and helps to bring out the flavour of many fish and chicken dishes. Chicken Paprika is a simple tasty recipe.
For some anti-inflammatory recipes go to our recipes page – you might want to try the Spiced fruit, nuts and seeds or the Salmon and Seabass ceviche.