Part 2: Dietary management of Osteoarthritis

2017-10-30 02:12:48

This post is the 2nd of the 4-part series on the dietary management of osteoarthritis (OA). Please refer to our blog for previous postings.

2. HELP FIGHT INFLAMMATION

There is no specific diet which has proven to help with osteoarthritis; however many studies have shown benefit in following a healthy balanced diet that includes the following anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Fatty fish: Aim to eat fish such as salmon, mackerel, pilchards, and sardines at least twice a week. Tinned fish is an economical choice that can easily be used to make a quick meal.
  • Variety of colourful vegetables and fruit: Bulk up all meals with a variety seasonal vegetables and fruit. Try using frozen berries and spinach in a smoothie.
  • Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocado pear: Use avocado pear or a nut butter as a spread instead of margarine.
  • Legumes: Add lentils, red kidney beans or chickpeas to salads, stews, bolognaise or soups twice a week.
  • Whole grains: Swop refined grains for whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, oats, rye or whole wheat bread and pasta.
  • Spices: Instead of using salt, use a variety of spices such as ginger and turmeric in cooking. Have a look at our section, A-Z of Spices on our blog for more ideas.
  • Ceylon and Green tea: Drinking 4 cups of unsweetened Ceylon or green tea a day has been shown to help fight inflammation.
 

Part 1: Dietary management of Osteoarthritis

2017-10-26 06:09:27

World arthritis day 

October is the month of awareness for World arthritis day, so I have decided to focus on the dietary management of Osteoarthritis (OA). OA is known as a degenerative disease and often results due to an injury or the “wear and tear” during sport or manual jobs. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased the range of motion and can range from mild, moderate or severe which can lead to chronic pain and ultimately overall create a negative quality of life.

At the moment there is no cure or specific diets used to treat OA. However appropriate nutrition can help to manage specific symptoms. Over the course of the next month, we will briefly discuss key focus areas for dietary intervention that may ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

This post is the 1st of the 4-part series.

1. MANAGE YOUR WEIGHT

Excess weight can add additional strain to weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, hands, feet, and back. If you are overweight, losing weight in combination with appropriate exercise can help aid in easing joint pain and reduce inflammation which overall can improve health and mobility. The best dietary approach to achieve sustainable weight loss depends on your unique requirements (such as your age, activity level, lifestyle, weight history and other medical concerns). Working with a registered dietitian will help you determine what the best approach for you is. 

In saying that, there are key areas that remain non-negotiable for a healthy lifestyle and they include limiting your alcohol intake to 1 units* (females) or 2 units* (males) a day and reducing your intake of sugar-containing beverages such as (cooldrinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and fruit juice). 

*1 unit alcohol = 1 tot spirits; 120ml wine; ½ regular beer/cider; 1 lite beer/cider

 

Lavender

2017-10-05 07:44:50

Lavender

 

There is so much to say about Lavender (lavare), a quintessential herb with a multi-purpose sweet floral fragrance, that I decided to keep to a ‘herb theme’ rather than a spice. 

The origin of lavender (called Lavender nardus by the ancient Greeks), dates back almost 2500 years. It was considered one of the holy herbs and the Romans first introduced it to the UK who used Lavender to scent their baths, beds, clothes and even hair.

Lavender oil has been used as a complementary alternative medicine as well as for cosmetic products. It is believed to have sedative, calming, anti-depressive, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. However many of its claims have not been validated by scientific research and the majority of the current research is based on English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and not the other species of the plant. Lavender should be used cautiously and avoided if there is a history of lavender allergy. Only use lavender oil externally and use with caution when pregnant and breastfeeding. 

The most commonly used species for cooking is the sweet and fragrant English lavender, which can be used to add colour and flavour to desserts, sorbets and custards or lift the taste of a savoury dish. It can also be used as a garnish for salads or be substituted for rosemary in bread recipes, whisked into vinaigrettes, roasted vegetables or in pasta. It also works well in a marinade for grilled lamb, wine-reduced sauces or brine for pork chops. Add lavender blossoms and lime or lemon slices to water for a refreshing drink.. As a general rule, use 1/3 quantity of dried lavender to fresh lavender flowers while cooking (1/2 teaspoon dried = 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh).  

Lavender and honey roasted chicken

Serves 2 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves pulled off stem
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 pieces of bone-in, skin removed chicken, either breast or leg
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Crush lavender using either a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin. In a large bowl, combine crushed lavender, oil, honey, thyme, and lemon zest and juice. Mix well. Add chicken pieces and spoon marinade over chicken until well coated. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours).
  2. Preheat oven to 200°. Put chicken and marinade into roasting pan. Sprinkle tops of chicken with salt. Roast chicken for 45 minutes, turning pieces over halfway. Cook chicken until it has an internal temperature of 75° or when thickest part is pierced with a skewer, the juices run clear (not red or pink). Serve chicken with cooking juices poured over and around.