All posts related to "nutrition"

Battling rheumatoid arthritis – American Ninja Warrior style. #WeAreAllAbel

Battling rheumatoid arthritis – American Ninja Warrior style. #WeAreAllAbel

The TV series American Ninja Warrior (ANW) is a show where contestants compete to win the grand prize by finishing an obstacle course requiring strong, agile and determined athleticism. Contestants must have faith that they can conquer any obstacle put in front of them – the same type of faith some have when battling rheumatoid arthritis. In ANW contestant Abel Gonzalez’s case, this was true in the literal sense.

Abel grew up in Chicago with a rough childhood. His parents married young and had little financial means. In an interview with EverydayHealth, he said: “My dad was abusive. He sold tires at a flea market to try to help us get by. When I was 10, my mom and dad’s fighting escalated.” His parents eventually split up and Abel and his brothers were forced to split up. Abel and his brother were sent to live with family members in Texas, while his two younger brothers stayed behind to live with his mother in Chicago.

“I can remember my younger brothers sitting on the steps as Matthew and I drove away for good. It devastated me to be apart from my younger brothers. I was only 10. I thought that maybe I had caused my parents to get divorced,” Abel added.

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Fibre rich diet may prevent arthritis knee pain in older adults

According to a recent study, diets rich in fibre from plant-based foods can lower the risk of developing knee pain and stiffness due to osteoarthritis (OA) in older adults. Fibre-rich diet can also lower cholesterol, contribute to a better-controlled blood sugar, and a healthier diet.

Sources of dietary fibreOsteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that affects more than 3,200,000 Canadians – about 1 in 10. Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown in cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is a protein substance that acts as a cushion between bones in joints, allowing joints to function smoothly. The disease can affect any joint, but hands and weight-bearing joints—including the spine, hips and knees—are most often affected. Other joints, like shoulders, elbows, and ankles, are less likely to be affected unless the joint has been damaged by injury.

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Be arthritis smart this Thanksgiving

    image of a roasted turkeyImage courtesy of tiverylucky at

Thanksgiving is a time to thank the ones you love and of course, enjoy a big feast in the company of family and friends. Sadly, for people living with arthritis, the average Fall favourite food may come with a side of inflammation. Everyday Health provides a summary of good alternatives for healthier food options:

  1. Make your pecan pie an apple pie. Pecan pie and its filling is high in fat and sugar. A fruit-based dessert has nutritional benefits and contains fewer calories. Apple pie can have fewer than half the calories of pecan pie! Continue reading

Healthy anti-inflammatory diet for arthritis

Dr. Andrew Weil, a physician, best-selling author, speaker and thought-leader in integrative medicine, has developed the “Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid” to help guide those interested in trying an anti-inflammatory diet. This type of diet can help counteract the chronic inflammation that is a root cause of diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, some cancers, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The diet can also help with healthy aging.

Dr. Weil Anti-inflammatory food pyramid

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Life hacks for rheumatoid arthritis

Multi talk bubblesAccording to the results from the JointHealth™ Program Satisfaction and Interest survey, people living with arthritis want to learn about natural ways to help treat or ease the pain from arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Below are some life hacks for rheumatoid arthritis that you can consider. Please note that this article is for information purposes only and not intended to be medical advice. Talk to your healthcare provider before changing or starting a new treatment plan.

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A salty effect on your immune system

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA new trial in the United States is looking at the effect of salt on the immune system. Previous research shows that a high intake of salt has an adverse effect on medical conditions like high blood pressure and diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis, and stomach cancer.

A study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that animals fed a high-salt diet for three weeks had a dramatic increase in a type of cell in the immune system called type 17 helper T cell (Th17) when compared to those fed a normal diet. The Th17 cell triggers inflammation and is associated with diseases like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis (which cause inflammation in the gut).

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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.


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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Fruity treats for your arthritis?

Fruity treats for your arthritis? Summer is the perfect season for fruit picking and visiting U-Pick farms around the city. Before you start researching on where to go to pick your favourite fruits, why not investigate what fruits may benefit your health first?

According to the 2011 Fast Stats produced by the Ministry of Agriculture, 19,456 hectares of farm land out of total farm land of 2,611,382 hectares in British Columbia are devoted to fruits. Needless to say, there is no shortages of u-pick orchards. For a comprehensive list of orchards and farms in BC, please visit

cherries on a treeOne of the many popular fruits in B.C. is Bing cherries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that Bing cherries may help prevent and lesson some chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, blood pressure and cancer. The study analyzed data collected from a 2006 study of 18 healthy adults who ate 45 California-grown Bing cherries each day for 28 days.

Throughout the study period, the participants showed a decreased level of some inflammatory markers. Furthermore, there was an increased level of anti-inflammatory marker in the blood of the participants. The natural compound anthocyanin contributes to cherries’ anti-inflammatory effect. To read more, see original article here.

A bunch of orangesOranges are a rich source of Vitamin C and contains Vitamin A, thiamine, folates, calcium, and potassium. An orange also contains 170 different phytonutrients and over 60 flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and blood clot-inhibiting capabilities. All these combine to make strong antioxidants. According to, a daily glass of freshly squeezed orange juice can lower the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Strawberry on a leafAnother summer favourite is the strawberry. Though it may be a pain to pick from those prickly bushes, strawberries contain phenols that have heart protective, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory properties. By lessening the activity of the enzyme COX, phenols reduces the chance of developing inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Sliced watermelonFinally, watermelon contains antioxidants that help to neutralise free radicals. As a result, the consumption of watermelon reduces damage caused in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Please click here for more information on fruits and their health benefits.

AS it Goes – No starch, no pain?

"Kicking AS"

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I am always on the look out for interesting and informative websites associated with ankylosing spondylitis and I want to share one of my recent finds with you.

The KICKAS.ORG (great e-dress!) purports to be the largest AS support site on the web. It boasts more than 9,000 members with 28 different discussion forums. These discussion forums are a treasure trove of information because fellow AS patients share their knowledge and information about the disease. One of the forums is devoted to the latest in spondylitis research as AS patients continue to advocate for one another in the search for relief from pain. (Who knew that the eggs of a pig’s parasite could be used to treat autoimmune diseases?) Continue reading

Diabetes: heart disease risk not lowered with diet and exercise

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Weight loss can help you control your blood sugar, which can then prevent diabetes. But, can it protect against heart disease if you already have diabetes? Surprisingly, no. According to an 11-year study, an intensive diet and exercise program leading to weight loss does not reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese.

Read more: Gina Kolata, The New York Times, October 2012