While more Americans are seeking traditional homeopathic and natural treatment for arthritis, gout, and many other muscle and joint aches and pains, the simplest and most economical home remedies for pain may be adding a few top foods to eat to the American diet. Here is a short list of anti inflammatory foods for health.
#1 – Fish Fish, especially a cold water fish like salmon, trout, or tuna, is loaded with anti inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Many studies confirm adding fish (or fish oil) to one’s diet will lower inflammation.
Choose your fish carefully There is much debate over wild fish versus farm-raised. Wild fish are usually higher in nutrients and lower in fat than farm-raised, because of their diet and the exercise they get swimming. Farm-raised fish, on the average, have about 20% less protein and 20% more fat than wild caught. Wild fish eat a diet of small fish, shrimp and red krill, which is where the abundance of omega-3 EFAs in their flesh originates. They are also free-range, and get abundant exercise, reducing their fat-content.
Farm raised fish are fed fishmeal pellets, usually made of ground, processed and compressed mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and other small fish, which does not contain the high concentrations of omega-3s that wild food sources do. In order to mimic the deep red color that wild fish have, especially salmon, most farm-raised fish are fed a dye along with their meal. Because fish farms are small, over-crowded net enclosures or pens, the fish are fed antibiotics to combat diseases, parasites, and infections.
There have also been reports of high mercury content, both in wild and farmed fish: the wild fish from living in contaminated waters, and the farmed fish from mercury contamination in their feed. Mercury in fish mostly accumulates in the skin, so do not eat the skin when eating any fish.
#2 – Extra Virgin Olive Oil Olive oil is a superb source of oleic acid; an anti-inflammatory oil. Olive oil also improves insulin function thereby lowering blood sugar. Because of its low smoke point, olive oil is not good for deep-frying, but is perfect for healthier cooking options, such as sauté and braising. Cook with olive oil instead of oils or shortening that are high in unhealthy trans-fats.
#3 – Nuts Almonds, walnuts, cashews, and many other nuts are high in oleic acid, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and other healthy phytochemicals. Because some nuts are high in fat, be sure to eat them in moderation.
#4 – Grapes Researchers report that grapes are high in flavonoids, which they believe have anti-inflammatory properties. According to Medical news today “Now, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have shown that powdered grapes appear to reduce pain and inflammation in a rat model of arthritis, where rats’ knees are inflamed using a chemical injection.” Perhaps drinking wine, as the Europeans know, can lower inflammation as well.
#5 – Cherries Cherries, especially tart cherries, are a rich source of antioxidants. Specifically, they contain large amounts of anthocyanins, one of the most powerful anti oxidants, which give the cherries their rich, red color. A study conducted by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their university colleagues suggests that cherries may reduce painful arthritic inflammation, as well as reducing the risk of other inflammatory conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
#6 -Green Tea Green tea, which is an unfermented tea, contains flavonoids called “catechins”. Catechins are powerful antioxidants which are destroyed during the processing and fermenting process that other teas go through. Green tea contains about 27% catechins, as opposed to oolong (partially fermented) which contains 23%, and black tea (fermented) which contains about 4%. Animal studies have shown that green tea significantly reduced the severity of arthritis. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), green tea affects arthritis by causing changes in arthritis-related immune responses.
If you discover you have headaches after consuming teas, you may have an allergy, as many people discover. As always, listen to your body and observe what works.
#7 – Leafy Greens Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are packed with fiber, anti-oxidants, and Omega 3s. Look for organically grown produce, or be sure to wash thoroughly to remove the chemicals and pesticides that tend to accumulate on the leaves.
#8 – Broccoli A compound, 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM), found in broccoli and its kissing cousins, cauliflower and brussel sprouts, has been shown to fight inflammation and help boost the immune system. These super-veggies also contain sulforane, a phytonutrient that helps liver function and increases your body’s natural detoxification ability. Eat them raw (frozen varieties of vegetables lose a lot of nutritional value) or steam them to preserve the beneficial nutrients, which can be broken down by cooking methods such as boiling or frying.
#9 – Apples Apples and red onions both contain quercetin, a chemical that research has shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, along with other antioxidants. The majority of the quercetin is in their skins, it’s what gives them their rich red coloring, so don’t peel apples before you eat them. Rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables well before eating to help eliminate pesticides and fertilizers.
#10 – Water The more fresh, clean water you drink, the better. Your body is made up of more than 70% water, and continuous replenishment helps to keep toxins flushed from your system, including joints, muscles, and blood.
In recent years, with the increased popularity of bottled water, there has been heated debate over tap water versus bottled water. In order to decide which is better for you, you should know what the differences are.
There is a bewildering array of choices in bottled water available on the market today, from spring water, mineral water, well water, to sparkling water. While some of them come from natural springs and other pristine sources, over 25% of the bottled water sold actually comes from municipal sources.
Yup, you may be drinking tap water!
Clever packaging messages have corralled the herd mentality of an easy-going, optimistic public!
It’s been treated, filtered and purified, then bottled and sold to you at a thousand-fold increase in price. There are no current regulations that force the bottler to state where the water comes from, so that pristine mountain glacier melt that you thought you were drinking might have actually just come from a tap in Alaska or New Jersey.
Bottled water is no healthier than tap water. In fact, current research suggests that it may be more harmful. BPA’s, chemicals in the plastic of the bottles themselves, can actually escape into the water you are drinking. (BPAs are known to cause neurological problems, among other things.)
In addition to the dangers of the chemicals in the bottles, there are other environmental footprints to consider. Fossil fuels, with their associated pollution and greenhouse gasses, are used to produce the plastic bottles. Shipping water bottles far and wide uses up more fossil fuels, as well as causing carbon pollution of our air and water ways. While most plastic water bottles are recyclable, over 75% of them end up in landfills, or littering beaches, lakes, and the sides of the road.
Look at your tap water
Municipal water sources are rigorously treated and tested by the EPA. EPA regulations of contaminants are very strict, while the FDA regulations for bottled water are much looser. Tap water also contains fluoride, to help protect our teeth from decay. Most importantly, tap water is extremely wallet friendly! Twenty ounces of water from the kitchen faucet costs pennies, but twenty ounces of bottled water costs over $1.
If the taste of the bottled water is what keeps you buying it, consider adding a filter to your tap water at home. There are many filters available in a huge range of prices, from simple pitchers that filter water for around $20, all the way up to complex systems for your entire house that cost thousands of dollars. Just be sure to check that it doesn’t filter out the fluoride that your teeth need. If you like the convenience of the portable bottle, consider investing in an inexpensive reusable bottle made of a safer, more durable plastic, such as that used to transport water on a bicycle, or even a glass or metal thermos. Your environment and your pocketbook will appreciate the effort.
The special report, Eating Healthy to Reduce Your Pain, from Blue Spring Wellness will give you detailed information about the benefits and drawbacks of different food choices, as well as providing you with options for natural pain relief and delicious food!
Blue Spring is the maker of original Super Blue Stuff OTC Natural Pain Relief Cream and other fine herbal supplements and remedies