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About

At age three, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (“JRA”) and it has presented many encumbrances to life, as I'm sure it has for many of you. It felt like an abysmal situation since I assumed nothing could be done. Later in life, I was informed that diet and lifestyle choices could help reduce arthritic pain and inflammation in some people. I began researching what foods are the best at reducing pain soon thereafter. 

 

However, I did not want to stop there. I wanted to help others who were also negatively impacted by JRA, so I created this website to direct people to the best food and recipes, allowing one to easily incorporate these foods into their diet. Sadly, none of the foods mentioned will magically cure one’s arthritis. Despite this, the worst that could come from following some of these recipes is a healthier diet and one will benefit from this diet by experiencing less inflammation and subsequently less pain.  I hope you find this website helpful and enjoy using it as much as I did putting it together.

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 Anti-inflammatory foods
Apples

 

Apples are loaded with two bioflavonoids that help protect the body from inflammation. 

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Avocados

 

Avocados have a significant amount of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, both of which are shown to lower joint damage seen in early osteoarthritis. Avocados are excellent for reducing inflammation. 

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Beans

 

Not only are they affordable and packed with protein, beans also contain fiber and phytonutrients, which both decrease inflammation.

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Berries

 

Berries are very high in antioxidants, which not only help fight off existing inflammation, but also reduce future inflammation.  Some of the better berries for fighting inflammation include blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. 

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Bone Broth

 

Known to be anti-inflammatory because of its glycine content that contains antioxidant properties. 

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Certain Oils

 

(Olive, avocado and coconut oil): Oils such as those mentioned include Omega-9 fatty acid that lowers inflammation. 

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Dark Chocolate

 

With small portion sizes (about half an ounce per day) and 70% or higher cocoa content is the best way to add chocolate into one's diet and have many added benefits. 

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Fish high in Omega-3s

 

(Salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel): Helpful not only to reduce inflammation, but also protects the heart with as little as a three to four-ounce servings twice a week.

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Green Tea

 

Helps reduce inflammation and in some incidents was found to lower the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

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Garlic and Onions

 

According to a 2009 study, garlic works great for swollen joints due to its ability to reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines. Onions are also quite helpful since they are packed with antioxidants that aid to curtail inflammation. 

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Herbs

 

Fresh herbs including: turmeric, chili peppers, black pepper and rosemary are some of the most beneficial, though there are many other herbs that are also efficacious. Turmeric, rosemary and black pepper all have antioxidant properties, while chili peppers, most notably, have capsaicin, both proven effective in decreasing inflammation.

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Mushrooms

 

Mushrooms contain an antioxidant called ergothioneine that fights inflammation. 

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Nuts

 

Packed with antioxidants that assist in the repair of the damage caused by inflammation. All nuts are great, but almonds and walnuts are especially beneficial since almonds are high in fiber and walnuts are high in omega-3 fats. According to the Arthritis Foundation, to reap the benefits it is best to have about one and a half ounces of nuts per day.

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Pineapple

 

With high amounts of bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme, pineapple has been shown to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

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Seeds

 

Certain seeds including; flax seeds, chia seed, and pumpkin seeds are all excellent at reducing inflammation. Flax seeds are especially good with a serving of only two tablespoons per day, these powerful seeds contain over 140% of the daily value of the inflammation-reducing omega-3 fatty acids.

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Soy

 

Filled with soy isoflavones, studies have found Soy can help reduce the effects of inflammation on bones. It has also been found that compounds in soy may assist in lowering inflammation levels in women. Though it is best to buy unprocessed soy because processed soy can trigger inflammation.

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 Tart Cherries

 

Surprisingly, these small fruits are considered to have one of the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food,” according to the Oregon Health & Science University scientists. To get the full benefits, it is best to eat about one and a half cups of tart cherries or cherry juice per day.

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Vegetables

 

Though most have pain reducing benefits, the most advantageous vegetables are leafy greens (the darker the green the better), broccoli, and beets. Many of the vegetables listed above have a substantial amount of Vitamin E, known for protecting the body from molecules that promote inflammation.  

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Whole Grains

 

Due to its high amounts of fiber content, whole grains have been found to reduce levels of C-reactive protein which is a marker of inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, to receive the benefits of whole grains it is best to consume between three to six ounces per day.

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anti-inflammatory foods
Recipes

Some have found that a vegan diet helps lower inflammation. If you want to try it out there are many delicious vegan recipes on the blog, by Catelyn Shoemaker linked below. https://frommybowl.com

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recipes
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Food to Avoid

There are some foods that are best avoided due to their ability to cause inflammation. Many of these foods have also been linked to weight gain and carrying extra weight is hard on joints. So, there are many positives to cutting out or lowering ones’ intake of these foods.

Processed and Fried Foods

Even without reducing one's' daily calorie intake, a 2009 study found that lowering a person's consumption of fried and processed food can reduce inflammation.

Sugars

any studies have been able to find an evident link between sugar and inflammation. It is best to avoid foods with high sugar content such as pastries, sodas, sports drinks, and even certain breakfast cereals. 

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Refined Carbohydrates

Being high-glycemic carbohydrates, refined carbohydrates often cause blood sugar irregularities and worsen inflammation. Refined carbohydrates include: granola bars, flavored yogurt, potato chips, and more.

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Alcohol and Tobacco

Alcohol in excessive amounts can increase one’s level of CRP (a marker of inflammation). Though tobacco is not technically food, it is still important to list. Tobacco causes a host of other health problems, and it also leads to inflammation since cigarette smoke induces inflammation. 

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Salt

Salt is only harmful in excess, though it is very common to include too much in one’s diet. When there is too much, it can have many harmful effects, resulting in inflammation. According to the Institute of Medicine, the average amount needed for a healthy adult to eat per day is about 1.5g.

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 Red and Processed Meats

These meats are best avoided, especially since they include chemicals that increase pain and inflammation in the body. Maybe switch out a beef patty for a vegetable or chicken one.

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Trans Fats

May be the worst fat one can eat, trans fats are also known to have a strong impact on inflammation. In clinical trials,  trans fats were shown to increase markers of systemic inflammation.  Trans fats tend to be in packaged foods because it gives food a longer shelf life. Foods like French fries, margarine sticks, ground beef and more often contain trans fats.

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foods to avoid
cooking videos
Cooking Videos
Lifestyle Recommendations
Lifestyle Recommendations
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Waking up with stiffness in the morning is never a great feeling, though there may be a way to combat this with heat. By simply using a heat pack, soaking in a warm bath, or taking a steamy shower, it can help reduce stiffness. It works by warming up the sore joint causing the blood vessels to expand, so more nutrients and oxygen can travel to damaged tissue. Be cautious when using heat and it is best not to use heat when one is experiencing a flare or acute injury.

 

Inflammation is affected by one’s calorie intake. Too many calories in those who live more sedentary lives can lead to an increase in inflammation because of the escalation of fatty tissues which can release pro inflammatory cytokines. Calorie restriction, of course with ample nutrition, can produce anti-inflammatory effects because it reduces the number of cytokines and promotes other anti-inflammatory effects on the body.

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