Tag: Diet

Can an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Help Osteoarthritis?

anti-inflammatory fruits

Inflammation is one of the key symptoms of osteoarthritis accompanying pain and joint degeneration. It would make sense, then, that an anti-inflammatory diet would help to relieve some of the pain and discomfort, and possibly slow some deterioration.

The problem is that there is no clear evidence that an anti-inflammatory diet will relieve the symptoms of any particular disease.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Reduces Cytokines

There is pretty clear evidence that a diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids and low in refined grains can reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and helps with the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines – proteins that help transmit signals within the body. There is general agreement that an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce low levels of inflammation in most people.

Because of this most doctors and nutritionists will suggest that a diet low in inflammatory foods, such as the Mediterranean diet, certainly can’t hurt.

Reducing Inflammation May Not Be Enough

Even with inflammation reduced, certain diseases such as osteoarthritis will continue to progress. There is no clinical evidence that diet alone will slow the eventual progress of the disease or eliminate associated pain. For that reason most health care providers suggest a moderate diet in combination with other remedies such as exercise and losing weight.

There are plenty of testimonials online that suggest near-miraculous results from maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet. While the people who give these testimonials may indeed have experienced relief over pain and discomfort, it can’t be determined how much relief is coming from their diet and how much from exercise, weight loss or other therapies.

So while we don’t know whether or not an anti-inflammatory diet will help with osteoarthritis symptoms, it certainly can’t hurt.

Forget Quinoa and Kale – 2015’s Superfood Should Be the Pickle

You’ve heard (ad nauseam no doubt) about the health-giving benefits of garlic. Hot tip: it’s all about the allicin.

For the record, garlic is said to:

  • Fight harmful bacteria
  • Ward off viruses
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Improve cholesterol
  • Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • Boost athletic performance
  • Remove heavy metal from the body (sadly not from the neighbor’s stereo)
  • Fight off osteoporosis

You may also be vaguely aware that apple cider vinegar is supposed to have near-magical healing properties including:

  • Weight loss
  • The ability to moderate blood sugar (especially in pre-diabetic persons)
  • Improving digestion
  • Clearing up sinus problems
  • Curing dadruff
  • Eliminating acne
  • Whitening teeth (or possibly eliminating teeth altogether)

But you may be less aware of the proven bacteria-fighting effects of the lowly cucumber. Among other things, cucumbers are said to:

  • Heal sunburn
  • Remove toxins
  • Repair skin, hair and nail damage
  • Reduce muscle and joint pain
  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Ward off diabetes

All that said, what’s all the fuss about kale and quinoa? Pickles have to be packing at least three times the punch of these supposed superfoods. In fact I don’t know why you’d have to eat anything else at all – except maybe bacon now and then. So why don’t we kinda all get together and agree that the pickle is the superfood for 2015?

How to Do Crack

I don’t eat eggs all that often and I find that I make a mess of cracking them when I do. Apparently it is better to crack on the counter than on the side of the bowl, as the video linked below clearly demonstrates.

HANDY HINT: If you do mis-crack your egg, a piece of eggshell makes a dandy scoop to retrieve errant flecks of shell from the egg white. It seems to work by some magic force of attraction.

Cooks Illustrated Video: The Right Way to Crack an Egg via Lifehacker

I’m Just a Soul Whose Intentions Are Good

I woke up this morning to a big steaming bowl of DO NOT WANT. But I can’t zip up my Adventure Pants, which means it’s time for decisive action. I must exercise this morning.

230 lbs. is kind of a metaphor for my life. It’s better than things were. Two years ago I tipped the scales at 249.6 lbs. 230 is not a horrible place for a 6 foot 4 inch fellow to be. But for me it’s a “stuck place,” and it’s weighing me down. At the climbing gym I’m about as agile as a sack of potatoes.

I follow a diet of sorts. And for a while it worked very well. The first 20 lbs. just “melted away,” as they like to say. But then I hit this stuck place. In so many ways I’m just spinning in circles, like a Roomba with a dirty cliff sensor.

So it’s time to pull on my Vibram Five Fingers and hit the ol’ dusty. My intention is to do short interval workouts three times a week (one minute intense run, three minutes walk, eight reps, two miles – it works for rodents, why shouldn’t it work for me?) followed by a longer easy run on the weekend and two or three trips to the rock gym.

This morning’s struggle? (See the new section header: “Capt Strugglebug”) It was too dark this morning to read my watch. I had to guestimate how long a minute was or stand under a streetlight and squint to see the second hand. I kept this up through four reps until it dawned on me that the GPS receiver I was holding (to measure the distance of the trail) had an elapsed time counter…and a backlight. D’oh!