Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month®? Celebrated annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it’s an educational campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. It also acknowledges the hard work of dietetics practitioners, who work in health care systems, home health care, foodservice, business, research, educational organizations, private practice and the greater community to provide medical nutrition therapy as well as provide health promotion, disease prevention and wellness services.
You can learn more at www.eatright.org, a terrific site that features loads of ideas and information on meal preparation, vitamins and supplements, dietary guidelines, cooking tips, food trends and more. They even have a section for seniors, including an article on diet and osteoporosis.
Meanwhile, we thought we’d also take this opportunity to examine how people with arthritis can use diet to their advantage. Here’s a list of the Arthritis Foundation’s 12 Best Foods, many of which are noted for their ability to reduce inflammation:
- Fatty fishes like tuna, herring and mackerel. (See our own recent post on fatty fishes and other easy sources of Vitamin D and calcium.);
- Soybeans like tofu and edamame;
- Oils, including olive oil, avocado and safflower;
- Red and purple fruits like cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, which carry inflammation-reducing anthocyanins;
- Low-fat dairy products, like milk, yogurt and cheese – rich in Vitamin D and calcium;
- Broccoli – rich in Vitamins K and C and other nutrients which could slow osteoarthritis;
- Green tea, which is packed with polyphenols, antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction;
- Citrus fruits – like oranges, grapefruits and limes – are rich in vitamin C;
- Foods with whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain cereals lower the levels of CRP -- a marker of inflammation associated with heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis;
- Beans are packed with fiber, a nutrient that helps lower CRP. Beans are also an excellent – and inexpensive – source of protein, which is important for muscle health; and
- Garlic – which contains a compound that may reduce cartilage-damaging enzymes in human cells.
Get more information on eating for arthritis at: http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/. Here’s wishing you a healthy -- and delicious -- new start to better eating and better living!
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics