The most basic definition of arthritis is inflammation in the joints. Inflammation is the body’s immune response to protect and heal us from infection and foreign substances, including bacteria and viruses. Chronic, or prolonged inflammation, results in long-term tissue destruction and may be the underlying basis to hosts of chronic diseases such as arthritis.
Research shows that there are certain foods you can eat to lower inflammation. Epidemiology studies show that populations such as the Greeks with a Mediterranean diet high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, healthy oils and fatty fish have less chronic disease including arthritis. Several nutrients may be specifically important in helping to reduce inflammation. The antioxidant, Vitamin C, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in growth and tissue repair. Essential for collagen formation, Vitamin C plays a role in helping to keep bone, cartilage and connective tissue strong, helping to relieve arthritis inflammation and pain.
The USDA recommends 75 milligrams per day of Vitamin C for women and 90 milligrams for men. Foods rich in Vitamin C include bell peppers, oranges, kale, strawberries, spinach, pineapple, and fortified cereal.
Strawberry and Kiwi Mixed Green Salad
From Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC Eating Well to Fight Arthritis cookbook, this stylish salad, light and refreshing, tossed with the sensational Poppy-Sesame Dressing, makes quite a statement.
Makes 6 – 8 servings
- 8 cups mixed greens (Bibb, red leaf, spinach)
- 1 pint strawberries, sliced
- 3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1/3 cup cane or raspberry vinegar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In large bowl, mix together greens, strawberries and kiwi.
- In small bowl, combine sugar, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion, cane vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When ready to toss salad, gradually add dressing, and serve immediately.
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 121, Calories from Fat 34%, Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 17mg, Carbohydrate 19g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugar 15g, Protein 2g, Diabetic Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 1 fat
Nutritional Nugget: Strawberries are one of the top ranking antioxidant-containing foods and research shows they may also help improve and stabilize blood sugar.
Written by: Holly Clegg, Culinary Expert
About the Author
With over 1 million cookbooks sold, Holly Clegg has become a culinary expert on easy, healthy and practical recipes through her best-selling trim&TERRIFIC® cookbook series, including the more targeted health focused cookbooks, Diabetic Cooking with the American Diabetes Association, Eating Well Through Cancer and Eating Well to Fight Arthritis. Clegg has appeared on Fox & Friends, NBC Weekend Today, QVC, The 700 Club, USA Today, Web MD and The Huffington Post. She also has a phone application, Mobile Rush-Hour Recipes. For more information, visit www.hollyclegg.com or http://thehealthycookingblog.com for more recipes and tips.