September is Arthritis Awareness Month and there is no better way to keep inflammation at bay than to fight it with your fork. Here is a peek at a few seasonal foods from my new book, Un-Junk Your Diet, that will help keep you cool as a cucumber and support your overall health and wellness in the fight against arthritis.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
This staple of any anti-inflammatory kitchen has been shown in an animal model to help protect cartilage. It’s primary fat, oleic acid, will not promote inflammation and early evidence suggests it actually helps to fight inflammation. Use as your everyday cooking oil. Typical storebought extra-virgin olive oil is safe to cook with up to medium-high on the stove. Reserve the special, cloudy varieties for dressing and finishing only.
The lycopene in tomatoes is a powerful anti-oxidant that helps fight inflammation in concert with a few other phytochemicals found in these rosy gems: naringenin, lutein and zeaxanthin. They also contain quercetin, which may help fight joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis. Eat fresh, canned or paste – and add a little olive oil, as lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient.
Apples are a low-glycemic choice that keep inflammation at bay with quercetin, catechins and chlorogenic acid fighting in your corner. Enjoy red skinned varieties for extra anti-inflammatory anthocyanin pigments.
Colour is your key – orange and purple sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory pigments to help you protect your joints. They also help keep inflammation at bay by keeping blood sugars more stable than your garden variety russet potato.
These affordable gems are worthy of a larger role in your anti-inflammatory kitchen. Mineral-rich, beets are full of unique anti-inflammatory compounds called betalains. These betalains work by inhibiting pro-inflammatory enzymes in the body. Be sure to eat the beet tops as well as the roots. Trim the greens and store, wrapped in paper towel, and eat within a day or two as they spoil fast.
Eat well…feel amazing!