Arthritis is a continuous issue that millions of people suffer all over the world. Some attribute it to age, genetics or certain health issues. Although these do play a role in why some have arthritis but our choices in food, lack of exercise and overall poor health play an even bigger role.
The information I’m going to give you today is nothing new! This information is available on the internet, in books, articles, etc. In fact, John Hopkins has, “The Johns Hopkins Guide to Arthritis Pain Relief”, a guide that is FREE to sign up :http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com/register_ppc_arthritis/arthritispainrelief_reg_landing.html?st=ppc&s=GLP_007039_arthritis_diet_exm&c1=GAW_SE_NW&source=ARTH_PAIN&kw=arthritis_diet_exm&cr5=6962551834&gclid=CPqWg5rHza0CFQ1dhwodj1SG0Q
What I’m going to try and do is just simplify for you the foods to avoid, the foods to incorporate in your daily diet and the exercises that can help relieve your discomfort. After that, it’s really up to you to get started and actually apply these tips to your life.
I know it’s difficult to make changes and it’s even more difficult to say “no” to some of those foods you really enjoy. But you need to ask yourself, “Is this food I’m about to eat worth it! Is it worth my continuous pain and discomfort? Is it worth my degenerate health?” You don’t have to give up these foods forever!!! You just need to make them an occasional treat, something you eat maybe once a week or once a month, an exception to the rule. Seriously it’s time to take control of your body and life!!! You can eat better & exercise, or you can make excuses, BUT YOU CAN’T DO BOTH! Relying solely on your doctor and medication to give you relief is only a band aid to the problem. Inevitably the toxins from the “man made” medication you are taking bring about more side effects and health issues. Laziness is a terrible reason for the slow death you are allowing by relying on medication for your health. STEP UP and take some responsibility for your health and overall wellness. Pointing the finger at Health Care Problems is fine as long as you are doing everything in your power to keep your health at its best.
All these food and exercise tips can be beneficial to EVERYONE, not just those suffering from arthritis. In fact, these guidelines can also help those with High Blood Pressure & High Cholesterol. Can you imagine lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol enough to no longer have to take the “man made toxic” medication anymore? YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN! I personally, have helped many of my clients do just that and you can not believe how good they feel now!
Okay, now I’ll get off my soap box and get down to the matter at hand.
Much of Arthritis is caused by the “ph balance” of your body being off, thus allowing your body to have a high acidic level. Just like your hair, in order to keep your hair healthy, shiny and strong you need to keep its ph balance at good levels. Getting your acidic levels down in your body can help alleviate your pain. Eating the right foods to help bring down inflammation and avoiding foods that increase inflammation, will be a big part of getting you back to balance.
Primary Key Components:
Eat Raw Fruits & Vegetables (these foods are natural Alkaline)
Take sufficient amounts of Calcium with Magnesium – Be sure to check with your physician to find the exact Amount of Calcium & Magnesium your body needs.
Drink ample amounts of Water daily. Getting your body weight in ounces of water each day helps to flush out the toxins. Especially if you drink "alkaline water" daily.
Keep the Stress Level Down, keeping your stress down, keeps the acidity level in your body down.
First, let’s start with foods to avoid…..BUT I will give you substitutes to modify these foods so that you don’t have to give up some of your favorites all together.
Try to stay away from foods that are GLUTEN, white or wheat flour based foods. Pastas, for instance, made of white or wheat flour can easily be substituted with rice pasta. Avoid wheat and white breads, try choosing gluten free bread (Rudy’s & Udo’s are great brands) or Sprouted Grain Bread, Spelt Bread or Rice Bread (Organic is best). Crackers that are flour based, substitute them with gluten free crackers or rice crackers (Crunch Master has great gluten free crackers). Cereals, read your labels, buy gluten free but be sure the sugar is also very low.
Avoid Fried & Processed Foods; these foods are big culprits to inflammation. The breading used on most fried foods is gluten based not to mention the saturated fat from the oils. Try making these foods at home, like fried chicken for instance.
Dip the chicken in egg whites until it is completely coated, then dip it in Gluten Free Bisquick mix with your choice of spices or seasonings, bake on a cookie sheet greased with Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (olive oil brings down inflammation).
Foods that are microwavable tend to be highly processed, loaded with preservatives, sodium and chemicals that will increase your inflammation. The more you can make your food from scratch the better. If it’s a time issue, then try using a Crock Pot. There are great Crock Pot recipes all over the internet; www.allrecipes.com is one of my favorites.
When reading the labels on foods check the ingredients, the fewer there are the better. When there’s a long list of items you can’t even pronounce, then that my friend, is a food loaded with preservatives and chemicals.
Limit your SUGAR intake; processed sugar not only helps to keep the excess body weight, it also lowers our immune system and adds to hormonal imbalance. Keeping your sugar intake to mainly raw fruits and organic fruit juices helps to lower your inflammation, as does the Vitamin C contained in those foods. Try to also substitute your sweeteners with Stevia based sweeteners like Purvia, Truvia, etc.
Lowering your DAIRY can also help bring down inflammation; try to substitute with soy, rice, coconut or almond products. You can find milk and ice cream made of soy, coconut, rice or almond, as well as yogurt, creamers, etc. If using a Protein Powder try to stay away from “whey protein”, a better choice is “brown rice protein”, or “hemp protein”.
Alcohol & Tobacco always play a big role in health issues; issues like joint pain and discomfort. Sorry I’ve got no substitutes for this one :(
Oils to Avoid; cooking and foods containing vegetable, corn, soy bean or canola oil tend to add to inflammation.
This now brings me to the foods we want to add to our diet to bring down inflammation:
Good Oils; Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Flax seed oil, Avocado Oil, these contain high amounts of Omega 3 which have shown to help bring down inflammation.
Other forms of Omega 3 to add to your diet: Nuts, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Fish (salmon, tilapia, mahi mahi, tuna, herring, etc.). Try also adding a good Omega Supplement to your daily routine, organic is always best. Something New to try….Organic Chia Seeds, they are extremely high in Omega 3 and are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Chia Seeds can be purchased at any Health Food Store or online.
Vitamin D; Since we are trying to lower your dairy try getting your vitamin D through a good supplement and getting 10 – 15 minutes of sunlight a day, without sunscreen. When taking a supplement, a good daily dose is 5,000 - 10,000 iu's.
Vitamin C; this is such an important vitamin that we need daily, besides helping our immune system it also adds to protecting collagen. Getting your daily vitamin C thru foods like citrus fruits, broccoli, sweet peppers, etc, are a better choice but if you take a supplement be sure not to exceed 1500 milligrams per day. One of my favorite supplements is made by Health Force Nutritional called “Truly Natural Vitamin C”, comes in powder form and is organic & vegan. (http://www.healthforce.com/shop?page=shop.product_details&flypage=garden_flypage.tpl&product_id=31&category_id=2)
Spices & Other Foods – Tumeric & Curry are great spices to not only help boost your metabolism, add flavor to foods but are great Anti Inflammatory. Add Ginger to your meals, Ginger has shown to bring down inflammation and for some have aided as a pain reliever. Chili Peppers, spicy can be better! Fresh Chili Peppers or dried added to foods can bring down inflammation.
Besides getting a good diet dialed in, you also need to MOVE! Arthritic pain gets worse the more you lead a sedentary life style. Make exercise a big part of your everyday life, it will improve muscle tone (which will take a lot of pressure off your joints), improve circulation, improve your energy levels, etc.
Strengthening Weight Resistant Exercises – Building up muscle tone helps to keep pressure off your joints and give you the strength to get around more efficiently. It also helps in reducing the risk of osteoporosis. This can be accomplished thru light weights, exercise bands, resistant exercises, etc. Be sure to check with your physician before starting any exercise program.
* Stacy’s Fitness Channel on YouTube offers instructional videos on strength training. http://www.youtube.com/user/StacysFitness?feature=guide
Flexibility – Stretching is a great form of exercise without putting any pressure on your joints, improves range of motion, gives relief to stiff joints and improves circulation. Try taking a yoga or tai chi class to learn some beneficial stretches. Doing stretches first thing in the morning or before an exercise regime is a great way to get the body warmed up and relieve tension.
Cardiovascular Exercises – Doing some form of cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise at least 3 – 4 times a week from 20 – 30 minutes will help keep the blood flowing, the body’s heart and lungs healthy, stronger bones, relieve stress & tension and aid in maintaining a healthy body weight. Find a form of aerobic exercise that you enjoy and is low impact on your joints, for instance; walking, water aerobics, bicycling, swimming, etc. But find something you can take pleasure in and will do on a regular basis. Changing things up is always good for the body and the mind.
Remember every “BODY” is different and finding what works best for you is going to take some trying of different things.