Take a Walk, Cure Arthritis

Arthritis pain can be so bad that a walk to the bathroom can seem like struggling through a bed of nails –if only the nails were being hammered into your knees and back!

Your body tells you to “sit down and rest” between every step. But that’s some horrible advice, no matter how well intentioned it may be.

The Real Future of Arthritis

Many doctors predict that technological advances like cutting edge medications and futuristic machines will someday emerge as the “cure” for arthritis. Unfortunately, no amount of money or science is going to take care of this pesky $120 billion dollar arthritis problem out nation struggles with.

After all, we already have prevention and a cure. Best of all, it doesn’t require a single dollar, a prescription, or even a doctor’s appointment.

What’s this amazing arthritis treatment that has arthritis scientists jumping up and down in excitement? Walking!

Walk It Off

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health recently looked at a group of people with knee osteoarthritis who weren’t yet in serious pain. Those that did light exercise for just 20 minutes per day completely put the brakes on arthritis.

What if you already have arthritis? Walking can change your life too.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a walking program reduced arthritis pain by nearly one third. That blows away the results from arthritis medications that tend to modestly improve pain levels by 10 percent or less.

Walk This Way

Arthritis can make walking an uphill battle. Fortunately, you don’t have to walk to China and back to see a very big difference.

Here’s how to do it:

Start S-L-O-W: The transition from couch potato to power walker is a dramatic one. Your walking program should be like a beat up 67′ Chevy: start slowly, gradually increasing the speed, and go strong after a thorough warm up.

Record, Rinse, Repeat: Just “going for a walk” may work for some, but your enthusiasm will quickly sputter out. Setting goals and benchmarks will keep you on track and make sure you stick to this life-altering change.Molly Walking

Don’t Be Afraid: To breathe, sweat and struggle. As long as you can pass the “talk test” (being able to carry on a conversation while exercising), you’re at the right intensity level.

Expect Miracles…Eventually: There’s no question that daily light exercise turns the tables on arthritis. But it’s going to take more than a few laps around the track to feel a difference. Stick with it and the results will come.

 

Nutritional Support For Your Immune System

Nutritional support for your immune system

Supporting your immune system with great nutrition is one of the best ways to get a leg up in keeping you well.

Start at the grocery store

The first place to start is to ensure your body is getting enough protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Protein is especially important and essential for the health of the immune system. Healthy fats (EPA and DHA) are important to the immune system as well.

When choosing foods, make sure you focus on fruits and vegetables because they contain nutrients your body needs like antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, and minerals such as zinc and magnesium.

Many foods have medicinal properties, make sure you include as many as possible:

  • Mushrooms (shiitake, matsutake, and others) have a long history of helping support the immune system, especially the reishi mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine. Modern science has shown that mushrooms contain substances (such as beta-glucans and others) that can enhance immune system function.
  • Garlic and onions not only taste great but research suggests they have the ability to modulate immune function.
  • Herbs such as turmeric, ginger, and others have long been used as spices and to preserve foods; these herbs also have benefits for our immune system.

Supplement

A good multivitamin is always a great place to start because almost any vitamin or mineral deficiency can affect a healthy immune system. Vitamins B6, B12, folate, C, E, and minerals zinc, copper, and iron all support a healthy immune response.

After a multivitamin, you may want to consider adding in some additional support with the following:

  • Beneficial bacteria: Since 80 percent of your immune system is located around your digestive tract, it makes sense that having good gut flora would benefit the immune system. Research supports there is a relationship betweenprobiotics and general immunity.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D, in particular, has been the focus of much research onoptimal immune system functioning. Vitamin D plays a role in the improving mucous membrane barrier functioning, the production of antimicrobial peptides (small proteins), and overall immune support.
  • Vitamin C: While there has been some controversy regarding the usefulness of vitamin C, a recent review of evidence suggests vitamin C may help the immune systems of people who are exposed to extreme physical stress.
  • Herbs: There are a number of herbs that have been used traditionally for immune system support. Research indicates there are immune modulating properties of Echinacealarchelderberry, and others.

Your immune system is complex and has many moving parts that all need the proper nutrition in order to function well. Give your immune system strong nutritional support for the best chance of being well prepared.

I would love to hear about what are you doing to support your immune system. Use the comment section below.

Be well,

Dr. Jamie

Eating To Reduce Inflammation

 Here Is a partial list of some foods you might add to your food choices:

 

  • 4-5 servings per day of fresh vegetables (especially those from the cabbage family) like:
    • Broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, cabbage and kelp are loaded with antioxidants that detoxify the body of harmful substances.
    • Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes;
    • Other good choices are carrots, butternut squash, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, red and yellow onions, celery and celery seeds.
  • 3-4 servings per day of fresh or frozen fruits:
    • Especially blueberries, tart cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, acai, and grapes.
    • Also oranges, apples, pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe and mango.
    • Choose organic whenever possible
  • 3-5 servings a day of whole grains and cracked grains such as brown rice, bulgur wheat, cooked oatmeal
  • 2-3 servings per week of whole grain pastas cooked al dente
  • 1-2 servings per day of beans and legumes
  • 5-7 servings per day of healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, nuts especially walnuts, cashews and almonds, avocados, and seeds like hemp seeds and freshly ground flaxseeds.
  • 2-6 servings per week of fish and seafood: wild Alaskan salmon, black cod, herring and sardines
  • 1-2 servings per day of whole soy foods: edamame, soy nuts, tofu, tempeh
  • Cooked asian mushrooms – unlimited amounts
  • 1 – 2 servings per week of other sources of protein: natural cheeses, non-fat greek yogurt, omega 3 enriched eggs, skinless poultry, and lean meats

There are healthy herbs and spices that can be introduced or added to recipes like:

  • Garlic, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon – unlimited amounts.
    • If you are not regularly eating ginger or turmeric consider taking these in supplemental form:
      • Ginger 500 – 1000 mg /day and turmeric or curcumin 1500 mg/day. CAUTION: if you are on a blood thinner like Coumadin skip the ginger as it can act as a blood thinner. Consult your doctor before adding to your daily regimen.
    • You can add cinnamon to your hot beverages (coffee, tea, cocoa—see below) and your oatmeal.
  • Dark chocolate with a minimum cocoa content of 70%. Eat sparingly.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) determined that an adequate fluid intake for men is close to 13 cups (8 ounces = 1 cup) of total beverages a day and around 9 cups for women. The common advice of drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (equals 8 cups/day) remains popular because it is easy to remember. It is close to the IOM recommendation if you remember that all fluids count toward the daily total. So, take a look at what beverages you select and drink:

  • Water or drinks that are mostly water (such as very dilute 100% fruit juices), sparkling water with lemon or lime
  • 2-4 cups per day of tea – white, green and oolong
  • Coffee with caffeine in moderation (if you do not have a medical condition where caffeine is not permitted)
  • No more than 1-2 glasses per day of red wine if you are not headache prone from tannin
  • Dark chocolate hot cocoa is another option—drink occasionally

  • 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
  • 4-6 cups of water
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • Optional: honey to taste and 1 tsp ground or fresh ginger

While the list I have suggested is not exhaustive you can see that an anti-inflammatory diet is full of healthy choices than can help you calm the pain. Like anything, start with small changes; make substitutes in one area at a time. For example, begin with adding more fresh fruits and vegetables or eating sweet potatoes instead of white. Look at the holiday feasts presented and choose carefully. As you adapt to new eating and succeed, you will be more willing to take on a new challenge. Remember, change of any kind is a marathon not a sprint.

I believe that the key to the anti-inflammatory diet is to eat healthy, eat fresh whole foods rather than processed foods, exercise to the extent you are able and reduce your stress all of which will increase your well-being, decrease inflammation and help you cope better with the daily stressors of life and calm your pain. Here’s to healthy eating and reducing your pain. Please share with me any tips you might have to reduce inflammation from foods.  What foods have you found that help your pain?

by Dionetta Hudzinski