Being active when you have arthritis, is easier said than done. It’s sometimes perfectly understandable to let those achy joints get the better of you. But to keep your arthritis in check, exercise is incredibly important and so is maintaining a healthy diet. My London Nutritionist Kamilla Schaffner has a wealth of experience when it comes to tailoring diets to the specific needs of her patients. Kamilla sat down with us to discuss what the key ingredients are for a healthy arthritis diet.
Fish, Fish, and More Fish
You want to eat foods high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids help in reducing inflammatory response which is partially responsible for the pain felt from osteoarthritis. You want to include such foods as salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout. These are the best foods to include for people with osteoarthritis or any inflammatory condition.
Next step are foods that are also high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids but this time they are plant-based. Look for flax seeds or flax seed oil, walnuts or walnut oil. Another good option is algae. Algaes are a marine-based plant that grows in slightly salted water, they are very high in chlorophyll and typically high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Chia seeds are also high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids, they’re plant-based and they’re fantastic to include for management of inflammatory responses and pain.
Fruit And Veg
Basic fruits and vegetables are extremely high in antioxidants; we always look at berries because they’re readily available and are fantastic foods to include in your typical anti-inflammatory diet. Look for blueberries, strawberries, pomegranates, raspberries - you can sprinkle them over your breakfast porridge, you can drop them in your yoghurt, or sprinkle them over your salad. These fruits are available all year round in most supermarkets. They are also relatively high in Vitamin C. In addition, you could look for organic apples, ideally, green types like Granny Smith, kiwis, pineapples which are always available, and are quite high in nutrients that help fight inflammatory responses.
Certain teas are very potent in managing inflammation. We’re looking at green tea, which includes matcha green tea or oolong, it can be any type of green tea as long as it’s organic. True green tea, like matcha, where you mix the powder with either milk or hot water will go a very bright vivid green because of the chlorophyll content which is always helpful to your anti-inflammatory diet. The king of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich tea is rooibos; it’s caffeine free, it looks like real black tea and you can even add milk to it.
Whenever I suggest clinical preparations - certain dishes you should be eating on a regular, ideally weekly, basis - bone broth is near the top of the list. It is high in nutrients that assist in the partial rebuilding of cartilage and soft-tissue (although this will depend on the severity of your condition). It is rich in collagen, the very substance that helps make up your cartilage. If you are experiencing osteoarthritis then eating bone broth, rich in nutrients and collagen, can actually help maintain your joints. You can easily make your own bone broth by buying a small organic chicken, add some veg, add a litre and a half of water and let it boil for at least 2 hours. The broth you get from this is a true elixir.
Remember how joints work, they need to be very well lubricated, that’s why pain comes in because lubrication is lost to a certain degree and mobility and movement of the joint becomes painful as a result. The synovial fluid that keeps your cartilage and joints lubricated in turn needs to be kept hydrated. It’s an essential component in keeping your joints moving effectively. So by allowing yourself to become dehydrated, you are in turn allowing your joints to have less lubrication between them. This causes the cartilage in the joints, and in extreme circumstances, the bones themselves, to rub together causing a great deal of pain.
Find out Kamilla’s foods to avoid next week.
To find out more about Kamilla and My London Nutritionist you can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and on her website http://www.mylondonnutritionist.com/