Eat Yourself Out of Joint Pain!
By: Holly L. Thacker, MD • Posted on January 10, 2016
Food as Medicine
Using food as medicine is a hot health topic. Food can reduce a need for medicine, and emerging research shows that food can help improve the following:
The foundation of good health by and large is a healthy, anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet paired with:
- regular exercise
- stress reduction
- adequate sleep
Holly Clegg’s Cookbook Offers Recipes to Ease Arthritis Pain
Arthritis is a common medical condition, particularly degenerative joint disease also called osteoarthritis, which affects up to 80% of folks.
I was intrigued with Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC™ Eating Well To Fight Arthritis cookbook. The book not only contains 200 easy recipes, but lots of practical kitchen tips to help the cook who may have arthritis as well as terrific recipes to help reduce inflammation and ease joint symptoms. The cookbook has a full menu guide for the week with several recipes highlighted as diabetic friendly or noted as vegetarian, freezer-friendly and gluten-free.
Many of Holly Clegg’s recipes are rich in 2 very important vitamins:
- Vitamin C - Think strawberries, pineapples, broccoli, bell peppers, Brussel sprouts
- Carotenoids - Think squash, sweet potato, mango and carrot cake
The focus of the book is on good fats with simple recipes such as “Guacamame” (combo of guacamole and edamame) and the famous omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna and walnuts. Clegg’s Honey Mustard Salmon is a great example of a recipe filled with omega-3 fatty acids, providing a host of nutritional benefits including reduced risk of heart disease and inflammation, which helps with joint pain and promotes healing.
There is a chapter in Holly Clegg’s arthritis cookbook on bone building with recipes chock full of the following vitamins:
- calcium (best to get in your diet)
- vitamin D
- bone-building vitamin K (salmon with spinach feta stuffing - Yum!)
Did you know that just a quarter cup of sesame seeds provides more calcium than an entire glass of milk? I didn’t until I read Holly Clegg’s Eating Well To Fight Arthritis cookbook.
The book has healthy high fiber recipes that help with digestion and increase satiety. Maintaining a healthy weight is key to reducing wear and tear on the big joints such as:
There are several easy-to-make recipes that feature spices known to reduce inflammation such as turmeric and ginger.
Dessert Can Be Healthy, Too
One of my favorite dessert recipes is dark chocolate paired with berries, which is packed with anti-oxidants. Several of Clegg’s dessert recipes include pineapple and shredded coconut. Pineapple contains a protein called bromelain, which may be helpful for joint pain.
There is no doubt that what you ingest affects how you feel. Science is elucidating some of the mechanisms of healthy food on the gut microbiome, metabolism, inflammation and formation of brown fat.
Eating well can taste and feel so good!
Be Strong. Be Healthy. Be in Charge!
-Holly L. Thacker, MD
Holly L. Thacker, MD, FACP is nationally known for her leadership in women’s health. She is the founder of the Cleveland Clinic Women’s Health Fellowship and is currently the Professor and Director of the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at Cleveland Clinic and Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Thacker is also the Executive Director of Speaking of Women’s Health and the author of The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause. Her special interests and areas of research include menopause and related medical problems including osteoporosis, hormone therapy, breast cancer risk assessment, menstrual disorders, female sexual dysfunction and interdisciplinary women’s health.