Living your best life with arthritis.

Exploring food choices: Fruits and Veggies

The Fall season is great for exploring food choices. With seasonal holidays like Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas, it is easy to fall off the healthy eating wagon while creating the perfect holiday dish. Here are some fun facts to consider before you prep your next meal.

Bell PeppersBell Peppers

In a recent article on WebMD, it is noted that scientists define fruit as the part of a plant that develops from a flower and has seeds. It means that bell peppers, squash, cucumbers and pumpkins are considered fruits. Did you also know that one green pepper contains 176 percent of your daily needs for vitamin C? Red and yellow peppers can double that number. A citrus fruit, like the orange, contains just 75 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. Sweet peppers are also rich sources of vitamin B6 and folate.

BananasBananas

Bananas are berries because it is a fruit that develops from a single flower and a single ovary (the female part of a flower). In a similar fashion, grapes and kiwis are also berries. Bananas are rich in potassium and the arthritis-fighting vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin C. They are also a source of soluble fiber, which helps you lose weight by making you feel full without adding calories.

 

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Arthritis Society calls for more research into medical cannabis

Cannabis Sativa Plant LeafMedical cannabis refers to the use of plant material (either whole or in extract form) that contains various cannabinoid molecules such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC has psychoactive (mind altering), and pain relieving properties. CBD may also reduce pain and inflammation while having no known psychoactive side-effects.

The hemp plant Cannabis saliva (cannabis), known as marijuana, can be used as a therapy to alleviate symptoms such as pain and fatigue caused by chronic disease. Cannabis has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years across many cultures.

The Arthritis Society recently released a position paper on medical cannabis. Here is what they have to say about medical cannabis and arthritis:

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AS it Goes – Life’s Bumps and Bruises

Illustration of two bandages taped across cut

Photo courtesy of kjnnt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The other day I noticed a large blue bruise on my shin. You would think that if your shin sports a two-inch round contusion, you would be able to recall what you had done to end up with that discoloration. But for the life of me, I could not remember hitting my shin so hard that it looked like someone had whacked my leg with a baseball bat.

Small bruises are not an uncommon occurrence for me. I often find small bruises on my arms and legs (last week I found one on my stomach) in varying shades of blue, green and yellow. My favourite is the rainbow-streaked bruise created on the inside of my lower arm after I have had a blood test. Continue reading

Baby boomers over 65 are reinventing old age

Senior couple sitting at the parkJust in time for National Seniors Day in Canada on Wednesday, October 1, Paul Luke of The Province wrote a feature article titled “Over 65 and going strong: Baby Boomers are reinventing old age”. In the article, he talks about the following themes:

  • Baby boomers’ perception of physical appearance;
  • Baby boomers are the richest and healthiest generation;
  • Seniors in the workforce;
  • Good health in seniors;
  • Statistics on the numbers of seniors in Canada; and,
  • The road ahead.

Please find below a summary of each section.

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Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes

Today, the Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes is shining on an organization called Lupus Canada.

October Lupus Awareness MonthLupus Canada is a website that offers resources and information about lupus to people living with lupus, their family and friends, health care professionals and the general public.

Lupus is the name given to a group of chronic immune diseases. It affects about 15,000 Canadians-approximately one in 2000. Lupus Canada wants to ensure that people living with lupus are living well. Like many other forms of arthritis, lupus occurs more commonly in women than in men-women develop lupus approximately ten times more often than men do. While it can strike at any age, it tends to occur most often between the ages of 15 and 45.
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AS it Goes – Bike Seat Blues

Fran posing beside her bikeTo help her keep fit, Fran rides her bike, but she is finding it a bit of a pain in the . . .

I’ve written ABN posts about cycling and how my bike-savvy son has outfitted me to maximize my comfort and protect my various body parts (hands, arms, back) affected by osteoarthritis and/or ankylosing spondylitis. But what I failed to take into account as I became more proficient on the bike and my excursions extended beyond a few kilometers, was the effect that biking would have on other ‘lower’ body parts, such as the end of the tailbone and other adjacent posterior bits.

True, I have a high-tech, ergonomic and nicely padded bike seat, but it turns out that my sit-upon region appears to need additional cushioning against uneven road surfaces and the jarring effect of the constant bouncing up and down as you ride along. I know that professional cyclists suffer from numbness and discomfort in the buttocks, but as a recreational (and occasional) rider I never expected to have similar issues. But sure enough, after an hour or so in the saddle, the pain in my hands or arms is secondary to the pain in my butt. Continue reading