What is Arthritis
Arthritis is a broad term for over 100 separate conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. The most common forms of arthritis are believed to be autoimmune conditions. What almost all forms of arthritis have in common is that they create pain and stiffness and reduced range of motion in your joints. These symptoms are caused by inflammation.
We talked about inflammation in our Hot Topic blog some months ago, where we talked about how what you eat can positively – or adversely affect – your condition.
Recent studies suggest that inflammation can be reduced significantly by a diet high in proteolytic enzymes. Doesn’t that sound yummy? No? Well, in fact it really is! Proteolytic enzymes can be found in a wide range of fantastic foods. And what’s more – they seem to reduce inflammation more effectively than some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory drugs on the market.
So with summer coming up we thought, what better time than to give you some delicious smoothie recipes that will fill you up and help reduce inflammation. Side note – some might even help reduce the risk of cancer!
What to Eat to Beat Arthritis Inflammation
So, what foods are high in proteolytic enzymes? There are so many that even the fussiest eater will find something to love here:
- Pineapple (contains bromelain)
- Ginger (contains zingibain)
- Papaya (contains papain)
- Kiwi fruit (actinidin)
- Bananas (rutin)
- Fish – salmon, snapper, cod
- Nuts – walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts
- Good oils – olive, grapeseed and avocado
- Green tea
- Chocolate (70% Cocoa – and YAY!)
And now for the bad news…
Just as there are foods that will help with inflammation, there are foods that will aggravate it. Try and avoid:
- gluten rich foods – especially white bread and pasta
- processed foods – including fast food, processed meats
- trans fats – those pesky fast foods again
- blackened foods – sorry BBQ fans! The blackened bits on the food contain Advanced Glycation Ends, which are highly inflammatory
- The Nightshade Family – no, not a Marvel comic. The nightshade family includes potato, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers and tobacco.
The good news is, if you can get enough of the good foods in your diet, you should be able to tolerate a small amount of the bad foods. Just how much is enough, and not too much will be a matter of trial and error – and your own level of tolerance.
And Now for the Smoothie Recipes!
Berry and Beet
- ½ cup peeled and chopped beets
- 1 cup strawberries (fresh if possible, frozen at a pinch)
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 2 cm piece ginger
- tablespoon honey
- pinch of cinnamon
Pop it all in a blender and pulse until smooth.
This recipe requires you to first make a turmeric paste, which you can keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
1 cup fresh or frozen papaya
1-1.5 cups cold water
1 tspn grated ginger
1 tspn coconut oil
1 tspn turmeric paste*
- To make the Turmeric paste: In order for turmeric to be fully absorbed by the body it needs two things – fat (in the form of coconut oil in the smoothie) and black pepper.
Place ¼ cup turmeric powder and ½ cup of water in a pan over low heat, stirring until a paste is formed. Add and ¾ tspn black pepper. Cool and store in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Feel free to add your own spin and mix things up a bit – especially if you choose from the list of high proteolytic enzyme foods above. If you can get one of these delicious drinks in once a day, you will very quickly see an improvement in your pain and inflammation levels.
If you are suffering from any form of Arthritis, massage and chiropractic treatment will also improve your range of motion, reduce swelling and improve your pain. Call our Baulkham Hills Clinic today on 9639 7337 to make an appointment.