Brooke Schoonenberg, Registered Dietician Nutritionist
Good food and good company are a way of life in south Louisiana, but the right foods can also have a significant impact on how you feel. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “certain foods have been shown to fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost the immune system.” These foods have an anti-inflammatory effect that may reduce pain and stiffness.
Here’s a few ways to incorporate these foods into your diet and fight inflammation with your fork!
Ginger has anti-inflammatory compounds that may reduce swelling and stiffness.
Asian Slaw with Ginger Vinaigrette
Makes 10 servings
- 4 cups prepared shredded coleslaw
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ cup frozen shelled edamame
- ½ cup chopped green onion
- ⅓ cup lightly salted peanuts, chopped
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- In a large bowl combine coleslaw, carrots, and bell pepper.
- Steam edamame in microwave according to package directions.
- Add steamed edamame, green onion, and peanuts to coleslaw mixture; toss to combine.
- Whisk together honey, olive oil, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; pour over salad, tossing to combine.
- Serve chilled.
Grapes have anti-inflammatory properties and contain compounds that may help reduce inflammation.
Grape “Ice Cream”
Makes 2 servings
- 1½ cup seedless frozen green grapes
- ½ cup seedless frozen red grapes
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, toasted
- In a food processor or high-powered blender, puree frozen grapes and yogurt to desired consistency.
- Scoop into dessert bowls and top with almonds. Drizzle with maple syrup or honey, if desired.
Extra virgin olive oil provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, and may even reduce joint damage.
- 1 15-oz. can lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup sesame tahini
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 cup water
- Optional: chopped fresh vegetables, whole-wheat pita bread
- Mix all ingredients except water in a food processor on high speed until very finely chopped.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula, add water and process again until smooth.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to one week.
If you have arthritis, Woman’s also has several other resources that can improve your quality of life:
- Walk with Ease: This FREE six-week program teaches you how to safely make physical activity part of your everyday life. The next group kicks off June 7. Call 225-924-8709 or register online.
- Warm Water Pool Classes: Alleviate pain and increase movement to treat a variety of diagnoses.
- Medical Exercise: Developed by Woman’s Center for Wellness, these specialized exercise programs are individualized for medical needs and fitness levels. Call 225-924-8709.
- Massage: Relief from the side effects of arthritis. Physician referral of an arthritis diagnosis is required for medical clearance. Call 225-924-8388.