It's the first ever Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week here in the UK, organised by the lovely people at NRAS. Do go on their site and find out more about it and get involved. We're very lucky in the UK to have such proactive and motivated arthritis charities who do so much to help people understand arthritis. On a day-to-day basis raising awareness avoids having to answer stupid questions like 'oh aren't you a bit young for that?' or 'sorry, how do you spell that?' and in the longer term it helps improve funding, research and care for all types of arthritis.
Tub-thumping over, I've got a very easy health and anti-inflammatory lolly (popsicle) recipe for you today. I've been waiting for summer to arrive to start posting all my seasonal arthritis-friendly recipes but frankly I'm bored of waiting. If these lollies don't bring the sun out then nothing will!If you can use fresh pineapple, either pre-prepared or hacked-up yourself, then please do as it is much richer in the anti-inflammatory enzymes and anti-oxidants then the canned type. However, don't beat yourself up if you want to use canned, just pick the kind in juice not syrup.
150ml apple juice (I prefer the cloudy kind)
2 inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour into lolly moulds and freeze for at least 6 hours.
Arthritis diet notes:
Ginger contains chemicals called gingerols which some studies suggest have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Some studies have suggested it can reduce pain in osteoarthritis patients and lab studies have suggested it may help RA but more research is needed. However, it certainly won't do you any harm and give it's potential benefits it's an easy and delicious spice to add to your diet.
Pineapple is rich in the enzyme bromelain. Again, this compound has shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect in the lab and in some subjects with OA but evidence on the required amount and mechanism of action is sketchy. Pineapple is rich in vitamin C which several studies have suggested people with arthritis consume less of than health subjects so eating it may help you boost your levels.