10 Foods that Help Ease Arthritis Pain

If you’re struggling with arthritis pain, eating certain foods that are high in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties may help. Adding these 10 simple foods to your diet can make a big difference.

Fuel up on Fish: Certain types of fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are inflammation-fighting and can thus reduce the likelihood of arthritis pain. Doctors recommend 3 to 4 ounces of fish, twice a week, including salmon, tuna, and herring.

Say Yes to Soy: Not a fan of fish but want that same results? Try heart-healthy soybeans. Soybeans are low in fat, high in protein and fiber.

Opt for Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, avocado, and safflower oils have shown to have a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 acids.

Check out Cherries: Cherries help reduce the frequency of gout attacks. Cherries have been found to have highly effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, cherries can relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.

Don’t Ditch the Dairy: Low-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are packed with calcium and vitamin D, both found to increase bone strength. If dairy doesn’t agree with you, try other calcium and vitamin D-rich foods like leafy green vegetables.

Go Green (Tea): Green tea is packed with nutrients and antioxidants that have the ability to reduce inflammation and the arthritis pain that can result.

Buy those Berries: Berries are rich in antioxidants. The Arthritis Foundation notes that blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, and boysenberries all provide arthritis-fighting power.

Grab the Garlic: Because garlic contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines, garlic helps fight inflammation.

Nibble on Nuts: Nuts are rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and immune-boosting alpha-linolenic acid. Nuts are also heart-healthy and beneficial for weight loss. Try walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, and pistachios.

Try that Turmeric: Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, that also prevents heart disease, keeps your blood vessels healthy, and helps maintain joint health. Add a teaspoon to your favorite dish daily to help boost your immunity and help those joints stay strong. Tumeric capsules are also an easy way to get a daily dose.

A healthy diet and incorporating foods like those above can make a big difference in your ability to live a healthy and active life. Call your doctor or Shenandoah Community Health Clinic for more tips on keeping arthritis pain under control.


Best Spices for Arthritis | Arthritis Foundation

The Health Benefits of Berries – Living With Arthritis

Health Benefits of Walnuts – Living With Arthritis

Problem Foods for Healthy Teeth

Most people know that some foods, like sweets, can be a problem for maintaining healthy teeth. What you eat can play a big role in your overall health. However some types of food and drink can cause more problems for your oral health than others.

Be aware of these eight foods that can cause problems for your teeth when consumed often.

Sticky candies: Sticky candies, like taffy or gummies, can be particularly harmful to your mouth. Tiny pieces of these sweets can get stuck in between your teeth enhancing the chances of getting cavities there.

Soda and sports drinks: Bacteria thrive and feed on sugars of all kinds, especially those found in soda and sports drinks; even “sugar free” beverages that have chemical sweeteners.

Ice: When we enjoy our ice-cold beverages, many of us like to crunch on the ice left in the bottom of the glass, especially on a hot summer day. However, ice tends to be tough on tooth enamel. After a prolonged period of time, it will eventually wear on the surface of your healthy teeth and weaken the teeth’s protective layer.

Popcorn: While popcorn can be a go-to healthy snack, popcorn can cause problems because it tends to leave pieces stuck in-between your gums or teeth. Be sure to brush and floss afterwards!

Citrus fruits: Highly acidic fruits, like grapefruits or lemons, while good for your overall health can erode the enamel on your teeth away and put you at risk for cavities and even tooth loss. While some citrus is good in your diet, keep it in moderation.

Alcohol: Too much alcohol is also bad for your teeth. Alcohol can affect your body’s ability to create saliva which can cause chronic dry mouth and gum disease; especially if you consume it on a regular basis.

Excessive coffee and tea: These popular beverages are part of most adults’ routines, but coffee and tea can also be bad for your teeth. Both highly acidic, coffee and tea can stain when consumed on a regular basis. However the real culprit is the sugar many of us add to our daily intake. This extra sugar is especially harmful for those individuals who sip their favorite beverages slowly throughout the day.

Food and drink with stain potential: Many of our favorite foods can potentially change the color of otherwise healthy teeth. Red sauces, bright color juices or foods with heavy dyes can stain your teeth.

Keep your pearly whites healthy and strong by brushing and flossing and getting in to see your dentist for regular check ups and cleanings.

Staying aware of how your food affects your oral health is important for maintaining healthy teeth. For more information, ask your dentist or call the Clinic today to schedule an appointment.

Food for Your Mood: How Your Diet Can Affect Depression

Most people are aware of the link between physical health and nutrition, but your diet can affect depression and your mental health as well. Habits like skipping meals and over consuming sweets can worsen depression and brain function. Conversely, eating healthy foods can improve your mood and sharpen your thinking.

For instance, serotonin, the hormone that stabilizes mood and cognition, can be triggered by eating carbohydrates. At least 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the digestive system. Therefore, a low carbohydrate diet can affect depression. For better moods and thinking, choose healthy carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. These carbohydrates provide an enduring and stable effect on the brain — versus sugary foods or highly processed carbohydrates like many white breads and pastas.

Some fats are good! Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for brain function and preventing depression as the brain contains large amounts of lipids (fats), made of fatty acids. You can consume omega-3 fatty acids through fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, or through oral supplements. Consuming a diet with sufficient B vitamins may also improve your mood. They are found in salmon, eggs and beef, among others.

Another consideration for people with depression is that you may have a low level of folic acid and zinc. Supplementing both folic acid and zinc may increase the effectiveness of antidepressants. Zinc is in many foods such as shellfish, meat, dairy, eggs, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. Sources of folic acid include broccoli, kidney beans, brussel sprouts, and folate fortified cereals.

More common in women, especially in girls/women of child bearing age, depressive symptoms could be caused by insufficient iron. Increasing iron in the diet can affect depression. Red meat, leafy greens, dried fruits, and iron-fortified cereals are some of the ways you can increase your iron.

Eating a nutritious and diverse diet is key to improving your health. If you struggle with depression, seek out a diet rich in these healthy foods in addition to visiting with your doctor. As always, check with your doctor before taking new supplements. Make an appointment with our office if you would like to learn more about how your diet can affect depression.


Sources: Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses (nih.gov)

Helping Kids to Eat Healthy

Helping kids to eat healthy foods can be tough. Between picky eaters and busy schedules, there may not always be time for well-rounded meals. Take it slow, read through our tips, and make healthy eating a fun family goal.

Children’s nutrition is not much different from adults. We all need protein, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables to eat a healthy diet. It’s important to make healthy swaps when you can, like swapping full fat dairy for low- or non-fat dairy. Eliminate soda and drink water and small amounts of juice instead.

Try to limit added sugar, sodium, and trans fats. Artificial trans fats are made from “partially hydrogenated oil”, which increases cholesterol, risk of heart disease, and risk of type 2 diabetes. These ingredients are often found in processed foods and snacks, like chips and cookies. Check the nutritional labels on your food to ensure you’re not overdoing it on artificial fats. These offer lots of calories, but little nutritional value.

Treats are good in moderation, but the bulk of your child’s food should be nutritious. Trade the chips for veggies and dip, and the cookies for pieces of fruit or yogurt and granola. Including your child when you buy, cook, and prepare foods can help them learn to eat healthy and have fun working with you too. Explain to your children why you choose certain foods and the good things they do for your body.

MyPlate, the national source for nutritional guidelines, provides online games, e-books, and activities to help your children better understand nutrition. Kids | MyPlate

Here’s a printable worksheet called Grocery Store Bingo, to help your child identify healthy foods while at the store. MyPlate Bingo (azureedge.net)

Here is a list provided by the USDA of several kid focused nutrition lessons with games, quizzes, and many more resources. Kids’ Corner | Nutrition.gov

There’s also kid friendly recipes online, to help incorporate healthier choices. This is a tater tot recipe that uses sweet potatoes and chickpeas to boost vegetable intake in a tasty and recognizable way. TastyTotsCACFPhomerecipe_0.pdf (azureedge.net)

These “porcupine sliders” use lean protein and whole grains, while still looking appetizing. PorcupineSlidersCACFPhomerecipe.pdf (azureedge.net) More of these recipes can be found here: Recipe Search | Nutrition.gov and here: Recipes for Healthy Kids: Cookbook for Homes | USDA-FNS.

You can also visit our healthy eating guide on our website, to make budget friendly choices that support a nutritious diet. Every attempt to eat healthier and include more fruits and vegetables is a good one.

A well-rounded diet helps kids in many ways – by enhancing sleep, increasing their ability to do well in school and improving their mood and energy levels. Learning healthy habits now increases children’s chances of becoming healthy adults. Contact our Clinic at (540) 459-1700 if you’d like to make a medical appointment to get more information about helping kids to eat healthy and live a wellness lifestyle.

Eat Healthy On a Budget

If you have a weight problem or a chronic disease like diabetes, you may feel overwhelmed with trying to eat healthy while managing your time and money. Many convenience foods are high in sugar, sodium, or fat. However new shopping habits can pave the way toward a healthier life.

Plan ahead. Make a shopping list. Decide what meals you will make through the week with an eye toward your health needs – low sodium or sugar, low calorie. Check your pantry and refrigerator to maximize what you already have. Eating protein or other healthy food before you shop helps to avoid temptation.

Shop in season. Shopping in season and in combination with store sales will help you eat healthily. Fresh fruits in the summer are delicious but some are expensive in the winter. Also, be willing to swap for similar ingredients that are on sale. If you go in with chicken on your list but the ground turkey is on sale, it may be a worthy switch.

Buy frozen and canned produce.  Frozen and canned produce can be purchased year-round and is a convenient way to eat healthily. When eating canned fruit and vegetables it’s advisable to rinse them first, to avoid added sugar and sodium.

Buy and cook in bulk.  Buy non-perishable and commonly used items in bulk. When possible, cook more than you need immediately to save time and energy. For instance, you can wash and chop vegetables to cover multiple meals. If you’re making a side of brown rice, you can make extra servings for the next few days. This way you have quick options to eat healthy when time is short.

Avoid store marketing. Grocery stores often put higher-priced items in high traffic areas, when there are lower-cost options deeper in the store. When shopping in the aisles, look up and down. Stores often put the higher-priced options at eye level.  Avoid temptation from cleverly placed displays that offer desserts and indulgences, not on your list.

Minimize waste. Ensure that you’re storing perishables to maximize their shelf life. For example, spinach and other fresh greens do best in a dry environment. Putting a paper towel in the container can extend the freshness. Lots of produce can be re-grown using scraps and seeds. Freeze food before it goes bad, to be incorporated into recipes later on. Serve smaller portions to help with calorie control, then enjoy the leftover food at another meal.

With just a little forethought, you can eat healthily and keep your food budget healthy too.



Ross, T. A., & Geil, P. (2010). Healthy eating on a lean budget: diabetes meals for less. Diabetes Spectrum, 23(2), 120+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A238749053/ITOF?u=wilm99594&sid=ITOF&xid=02aeb21c