Dec 15, 2010 | By August McLaughlin
Refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats may worsen symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Photo Credit Adam Gault/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is a chronic condition that causes cartilage deterioration in your joints. The most common form of arthritis, according to, osteoarthritis most often affects your hands, neck, hips, lower back and/or knees. While no cure exists, medical treatments, physical therapy and lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, may help reduce your symptoms. For best results, seek specified guidance from a qualified professional.


Refined carbohydrates, such as enriched flour and sugar, provide calories, but few nutrients to foods. As high-glycemic foods, refined carbohydrate sources can have a damaging impact on your blood sugar levels, appetite, energy and moods. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends avoiding enriched breads, pasta and snack foods as one useful dietary step toward reducing osteoarthritis symptoms. For best results, check food packaging on breads, cereals, pasta and snack foods, and avoid those that list enriched white or wheat flour or added sugars, such as cane sugar, corn syrup or brown rice syrup as main ingredients. Beverages rich in added sugars include regular soft drinks, sweetened coffee drinks, chocolate milk and fruit punch.


Meat and eggs contain saturated fat, which, when consumed in excess, increases your risk for heart disease, certain forms of cancer and obesity. Meat and eggs also contain omega-6 fatty acids. Consuming too many omega-6 fatty acids and too few omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish and flaxseed, may exacerbate arthritic pain and inflammation, according to Arthritis Today. For best results, choose fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, lean poultry, low-fat dairy products and legumes, over red meat and eggs most often. Since the egg yolks contain the saturated fat and omega-6 fatty acid content, consume the whites only.


Trans fats are created through a process in which hydrogen is added to vegetable oil. Trans fats can increase your “bad,” or LDL, cholesterol, and increase your “good,” or HDL, cholesterol. Trans fats can also lead to inflammation, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. To reduce your trans fat intake, choose whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, over processed snack foods such as crackers, potato chips and pastries. Trans fats are prevalent in shortening, margarine and all foods that list partially hydrogenated vegetable oil as an ingredient. Frozen meals, canned soup, certain brands of peanut butter and numerous fast foods also contain trans fats.

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Osteoarthritis, a crippling joint disease that affects more than 20.7 million people in the United States, occurs when inflammation damages joint lubrication and cartilage.

Although early symptoms may be mild or barely noticeable, the condition eventually progresses causing a great deal of pain. Osteoarthritis also leads to disability as the damaged joint is no longer able to move properly.

Fortunately, there are certain nutrients and foods that may help to halt the progression osteoarthritis before it becomes severe as well as helping to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with it.


Eat more

  • Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and halibut.
  • Organically grown fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Ginger

Avoid highly refined products such as white rice, white bread and white pasta, excessive saturated fats and foods which contain trans fats.


What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis, one of the most common forms of arthritis in the United States, is the 8th leading cause of disability in the world. Over 20.7 million Americans are afflicted with the condition, and approximately 100,000 are unable to walk as a result.

In 1989 alone, around 30,000 hip replacement and 70,000 knee replacement surgeries were done to treat osteoarthritis. The pain and disability caused by osteoarthritis has a major impact on the lives of those suffering with this disease.

Being unable to move certain joints properly can make tasks of normal living very difficult. Osteoarthritis patients may be unable to walk up stairs, button their clothes, or even brush their hair, things that most people take for granted. Slowing the progression of this condition through simple dietary changes may help prevent these long-term consequences.


Osteoarthritis symptoms are initially very mild. In fact, researchers have found that only about 50% of people with early signs of osteoarthritis on X-ray have noticeable symptoms.

The symptoms may worsen over time as the condition progresses and the joint damage continues. Osteoarthritis tends to occur mainly in the hands, knees, elbows, hips, and spine.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Grinding sensation during joint movement
  • Pain with joint movement
  • Joint stiffness
  • Joint swelling
  • Deformity of the joint (usually occurs later in the condition)
  • Reduced mobility of the joint
  • A feeling of joint instability

Many osteoarthritis patients take pain-killers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. While these may be helpful for temporarily reducing pain, they have not been shown to prevent the progression of osteoarthritis, and may even cause the damage to progress more quickly. In addition, some of these medications can be rough on the digestive tract, leading to symptoms that range from mild stomach upset to ulceration and bleeding.

If you’re taking pain-killers and start to experience severe stomach pain, vomiting, vomiting of blood, generalized weakness, a change in the color of your stools to very dark or black, or if you see blood in your stools, you should contact your doctor immediately as these may be signs of bleeding of the digestive tract, which can be a serious medical condition.

The Disease Process

What causes a normal, healthy joint to become swollen, painful and debilitated? The process may be a slow and gradual one that takes many years to have an impact.

A healthy joint, the part of the body that connects two bones, contains several main components. The first component includes the ends of the bones themselves. These bone endings are lined with a rubbery, cushiony material called cartilage, which prevents bones from grinding or smashing together. Since cartilage is flexible, it can withstand the pressure of joint movement and bounce right back into its original form without any damage.

The outside of the joint is wrapped in connective tissue. The connective tissue is strong enough to hold the joint together, but thin and light enough to allow the joint to move properly. Lining the inside of the joint is the synovial membrane, a thin layer of cells that produce fluid to keep the joint moist and lubricated, so it can glide and move easily.

The synovial fluid also provides the cartilage cells with oxygen and nutrients since the joint itself contains no blood vessels. (In all other parts of the body, nutrients and oxygen are delivered via the bloodstream.)

In a joint stricken with osteoarthritis, however, an inflammatory process is taking place. When inflammation occurs, the cells of the joint, including the synovial and cartilage cells, produce chemicals that lead to an increase in free radicals. These free radicals are dangerous substances that can attack and damage the cartilage and synovial membrane of the joint.

As time goes by, the cartilage starts to wear away, the synovial membrane dries out, and the synovial fluid disappears. With the cartilage gone, the ends of the bones start to grind together. This causes the ends of the bone to become thicker and harder.

Eventually, the ends of the bones start to grow cysts and sharp, bony spikes, called osteophytes, that may stick out into the joint space and severely hamper the movement of the joint. In the end, the joint is painful, unable to move properly, and deformed from the inflammation and bony osteophytes.


The exact cause of osteoarthritis is still considered to be unknown, though several theories exist as to what may happen to start the condition. Generalized osteoarthritis of the hands, knees, and spine seems to have a genetic component as it tends to run in families. However, genetics doesn’t seem to play a role in other forms of osteoarthritis and certainly isn’t the whole picture.

Osteoarthritis of the knees and hands seems to occur more commonly in people who are obese, though it is not clear why this is the case. Researchers think there may be certain hormones produced by fat cells that may lead to joint problems. It has been shown that obese people who lose weight, even as little as 10 pounds, can greatly reduce their risk of developing osteoarthritis and even reduce the pain of osteoarthritis.

Another possible cause of osteoarthritis is joint trauma. People who do a lot of high-intensity exercise or who do activities that frequently injure their joints, like professional or competitive athletes, tend to wind up with this condition after a while.

Researchers believe that repetitive stress and injury to the joint eventually leads to inflammation that causes damage. Moderate exercise is beneficial, especially for those trying to lose weight, and is therefore recommended. Exercise that damages or causes pain in the joints, however, is excessive and should be toned down.

Dietary Causes

A diet that is generally low in essential nutrients has been shown to contribute to the development or progression of osteoarthritis. Basically, this translates to a diet high in refined products like white rice, white bread, white pasta, and saturated and trans-fats, and low in nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, fish, whole grains, and lean meats.

Refined foods such as white rice and baked goods made from white flour have been stripped of the vast majority of their nutrients. Although small amounts of some nutrients, like certain B-vitamins, are added back in to prevent wide-spread deficiencies, this so-called “enrichment” is comparable to taking away a dollar and giving back two cents. Fatty foods like potato chips or french fries are not only high in calories, but low in essential nutrients.

Unfortunately, these refined and high-fat foods make up much of the ‘Standard American Diet’ (appropriately abbreviated as SAD). Replacing these refined, nutrient-poor foods with whole, healthy foods can help reduce risk of osteoarthritis.

In addition, research studies have shown that certain nutrients, such as vitamin Dvitamin C, beta-carotene, andniacin, may be able to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis. Consumption of foods rich in these nutrients may help delay or even prevent the disability that can occur from this condition.

Certain other nutrients, such as vitamin E, boron, niacinamide, and omega-3 fatty acids, may actually help reduce the pain and swelling that comes with osteoarthritis. As a result, patients may be able to decrease their use of pain-killers, which can have nasty side-effects, by consuming healthy foods rich in these nutrients.

Nutrient Needs

Foods That May Help Include:

Whole Foods

To nourish your joints, try a big bowl of steaming oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon, add some raisins, diced apple, toasted pumpkin seeds, and chunks of banana. Wash it down with a tall glass of cold orange juice. This nutrient-dense fiber-rich breakfast can give you all the energy you need until lunchtime.

Instead of deli meat on white bread for lunch, treat your joints to a salad of mixed greens, diced carrot and tomato, a handful or two of nutty chickpeas, and some white meat chicken strips, topped off with an olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette dressing and a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese. Add a peach or some melon or a cup of yogurt for a snack or two during the day.

Greasy fast food burgers and fries doused in sugar-laden ketchup for dinner? Not for your joints! They’ll be pampered with fragrant brown rice, flaky baked salmon seasoned with a fresh garlic, rosemary sauce, and steamed sweet potato, or butternut squash, and snow peas. To start, a crisp spinach salad topped with walnuts and fresh romano cheese.

Contrary to popular belief, healthy food is not about bran muffins and celery sticks. There are many different whole foods, from vegetables to meats and dairy products, available these days that can help you pack in the nutrients that feed your joints.

Whole foods contain the nutrients necessary for joint health: vitamins such as vitamin Cvitamin Dvitamin A, theB vitaminsvitamin K, and folic acid; minerals like calcium,magnesiumseleniumzinc, and iron; and other beneficial nutrients such as bioflavonoids and beta-carotene.

The best way to protect your joints is to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. You have a much better chance of getting all the vitamins and minerals you need if your diet includes an assortment of different foods, than if you eat the same thing every day. If you’re trying to lose weight, nothing works better than replacing the high fat, high sugar, high starch American diet with meals centered around fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, and lean meats.


Remember that piece of succulent baked salmon? Evidence suggests that fish may be helpful in osteoarthritis. Fish, especially cold water fish like salmon, mackerel,halibut, herring, tuna, sardines, and cod, have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3 fats are used by the body to make substances that reduce inflammation.

Fish is also a wonderful and delicious source of essential protein, which is needed for the repair of damaged joints. Some fish also contain vitamin D, a critical nutrient for strong, healthy bones that can help prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Eat fish often, as it may help ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis as well as improve your overall health.


Add some zest to your salad dressing with fresh ginger. Some people with osteoarthritis report that using ginger regularly helps reduce the pain and swelling in their joints. Ginger contains active components that stop the body from producing inflammatory substances that add to inflammation in the joints.

A versatile spice that adds an exotic bite to any meal, ginger can transform practically any dish from mundane to exceptional. Try mincing a sliver of fresh ginger for a topping on steamed vegetables, meats, fish, baked fruit, and fresh salads. While fresh ginger is the most flavorful, dried ginger may also be beneficial.

Nutrients in Food That May Help Include:

To Reduce the Risk or Progression of Osteoarthritis

Vitamin D

When osteoarthritis patients get plenty of vitamin D in their diets, their joint damage progresses more slowly. In contrast, people who don’t get enough vitamin D, have more rapidly occurring joint damage, leading rapidly to disability. Vitamin D not only helps prevent the breakdown of cartilage, it’s necessary for rebuilding healthy cartilage and maintaining strong bones. Shrimp and fortified milk are two very good sources of vitamin D.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant in the body. By neutralizing free radicals, vitamin C helps reduce inflammation and damage that occurs in osteoarthritis.Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of healthy connective tissue and cartilage, and may even be able to help undo some of the damage that has already been done. The osteoarthritis of patients who get plenty of vitamin C in their diets seems to progress more slowly compared to people who have diets low in vitamin C.

Excellent food sources of vitamin C include broccoli,parsleybell peppers, strawberries, cauliflower, lemons, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, papaya, kale, cabbage, spinach, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, chard, collard greens, raspberriespeppermint leaves, asparagus, celery, fennel bulb, pineapple, andwatermelon.


Beta-carotene is another powerful antioxidant. Like vitamin C, beta-carotene helps destroy free radicals before they can cause excessive damage to joints. A diet rich in beta-carotene also helps slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

Fortunately, beta-carotene is easy to spot because it gives fruits and vegetables, such as apricots,and carrots, their bright orange color.

Excellent food sources of beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, winter squash, collard greens, chard, cantaloupe, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, parsley, cayenne pepper, peppermint leaves, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, and apricots.


Niacin, also known as vitamin B-3, plays many roles in the body and is needed for healthy cells. Although researchers aren’t quite sure why, a diet high in niacin may help protect people from ever developing osteoarthritis in the first place. Some studies show that niacin may cut osteoarthritis risk in half.

Excellent food sources of niacin include crimini mushroomsand tuna. Very good sources include salmon, chicken breast, asparagus, and halibut.

To Reduce the Pain of Osteoarthritis

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, like vitamin C and beta-carotene, is yet another antioxidant that helps eliminate damaging free radicals. Vitamin E is also very good at reducing inflammation, which contributes to the problems in osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that osteoarthritis sufferers with high intakes of vitamin E report a significant reduction in their pain. Many are even able to reduce the amount of pain-killers they need to take. Mustard greenschard, turnip greens, andsunflower seeds are a few excellent sources of vitamin E.


In Australia, boron has been a very popular remedy for osteoarthritis for many years. It’s especially useful in areas where the diet tends to be low in boron, which can occur if the soil contains low levels of boron, or if people are eating diets that are low in boron-rich foods.

Boron is needed in the body for the production of many substances, including hormones and vitamin D, both of which are very important for healthy bones and joints.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in some studies to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis. When the diet contains plenty of these essential fats, the cells make less of the pro-inflammatory substances and more of the anti-inflammatory substances.By reducing inflammation, omega-3 fats help prevent the damage to the cartilage and connective tissue that usually occurs in osteoarthritis.

Excellent food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds, walnuts and salmon.


Some studies show that niacinamide can improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and may be able to reduce the amount of pain-killers needed. To date, researchers are not sure exactly how niacinamide, which has many different functions in the body, is able to help with osteoarthritis.

Nutrient Excesses

Substances to Avoid

Vitamin A and Retinoids

People who take very high doses of vitamin A for a very long time tend to wind up with joint pain and damage that looks a lot like osteoarthritis. These high doses could not be obtained from diet alone and are also much higher than doses that appear even in multivitamins.

This means that only people who are taking extra vitamin A as a supplement are at risk. Also, certain medications typically used for skin conditions are made from vitamin A-like chemicals called retinoids. Retinoids may also cause joint damage. If you are taking medications like these, you may want to talk to your doctor about the possibility of joint problems with long-term use.


Genetic hemochromatosis is a hereditary condition that occurs mostly in people of Caucasian descent. People with this condition absorb more iron than they need and then store it in their bodies. As much as 80% of people with this condition, also called iron-overload, develop osteoarthritic joint changes if they consume too much iron. If they continue to get too much iron, it can build up in their organs and cause severe organ damage.

Typically, the amount of iron found in a healthy, balanced diet is not enough to cause problems. However, iron supplements should be avoided by persons at risk for osteoarthritis, even iron-containing multivitamins, unless a doctor has specifically recommended iron supplementation.

Recommended Diet

What should you eat if you have osteoarthritis or are trying to avoid getting it? The best advice is to eat a varied diet high in necessary nutrients.

A diet filled with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean meats, and especially cold-water, wild-caught fish is sure to provide you with all the nutrients that are important in maintaining overall health and flexible, healthy joints.

This way of eating may help halt the progressive damage of osteoarthritis, as well as help you cut back on the amount of pain-killers you need by reducing pain and swelling.

Throwing a little bit of ginger into your cooking for some added zip may further reduce symptoms.

Stop giving your joints SAD (Standard American Diet) foods. Leave the refined white flour, fat-laden products on the shelf, and switch to foods rich in the nutrients your joints need. Flexibility in your diet will translate to flexibility in your joints.


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Essential Fatty Acids

Essential Fatty Acids


Essential Fatty Acid Basics

The body can synthesize most of the fats it needs from the diet. However, two essential fatty acids, linolenic and linoleic acid, cannot be synthesized in the body and must be obtained from food. These basic fats, found in plant foods, are used to build specialized fats called omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.1 Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important in the normal functioning of all tissues of the body.

Deficiencies in these fatty acids lead to a host of symptoms and disorders including abnormalities in the liver and the kidneys, reduced growth rates, decreased immune function, depression, and dryness of the skin. Adequate intake of the essential fatty acids results in numerous health benefits. Documented benefits include prevention of atherosclerosis, reduced incidence of heart disease and stroke, and relief from the symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis, menstrual pain, and joint pain.2-4 Omega-3 fatty acid levels have also been associated with decreased breast cancer risk.5,6

It is not only important to incorporate good sources of omega-3 and omega-6s in your diet, but also consume these fatty acids in the proper ratio. Omega-6 fatty acids compete with omega-3 fatty acids for use in the body,7 and therefore excessive intake of omega-6 fatty acids can inhibit omega-3s. Ideally, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids should be between 1:1 and 4:1.8 Instead, most Americans consume these fatty acids at a ratio of omega-6:omega-3 between 10:1 and 25:1, and are consequently unable to reap the benefits of omega-3s.9 This imbalance is due to a reliance on processed foods and oils, which are now common in the Western diet. To combat this issue it is necessary to eat a low-fat diet with minimal processed foods and with naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids. A lower omega-6:omega-3 ratio is desirable for reducing the risk of many chronic diseases.9

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Omega-6 fats are derived from linoleic acid and are found in leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, grains, and vegetable oils (corn, safflower, soybean, cottonseed, sesame, sunflower).3 Most diets provide adequate amounts of this fatty acid, and therefore planning is rarely required to ensure proper amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.

A less common omega-6 fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects along with other disease-fighting powers.10 GLA can be found in rare oils such as black currant, borage, and hemp oils.3

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

It is vital for everyone to eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis. Unlike omega-6 fatty acids, it may take more planning in the diet to ensure adequate intake of these fatty acids. Omega-3s are used in the formation of cell walls and assist in improving circulation and oxygen uptake. The recommended amount for adequate omega-3 intake is 1.1 and 1.6 grams per day for women and men over the age of 14, respectively.11

Omega-3 fatty acids are derived from linolenic acid. The principal omega-3 is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is then converted into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenonic acid (DHA) by the body. This makes ALA the only essential omega-3 fatty acid. ALA can be found in many vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fruits.

Some of the best sources of ALA include flaxseeds and walnuts, along with different oils such as flaxseed, canola, soybean, walnut, and wheat germ. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in smaller quantities in nuts, seeds, and soy products, as well as in beans, vegetables, and whole grains. Corn, safflower, sunflower, and cottonseed oils also contain omega-3s, though in lower levels than the previously mentioned oils.

Fish for Omega-3s?

While fish are frequently referenced as good sources of essential fatty acids, the high amounts of other fats and cholesterol and the lack of fiber make fish poor dietary choices. Fish are also often high in mercury and other environmental toxins that pose dangers to the consumer.

Fish oils have been popularized as an omega-3 supplemental option. However, the omega-3s found in fish oils (EPA and DHA) are actually highly unstable molecules that tend to decompose and unleash dangerous free radicals, making these supplements an unfavorable option. In addition, current research demonstrates that taking fish oil supplements does not actually produce significant protection on cardiovascular health.12

Obtaining omega-3s from plant sources is more beneficial for one’s health. Research has shown that omega-3s are found in a more stable form, ALA, in vegetables, fruits, and beans.13 For healthy individuals, natural conversion of ALA to the longer chain omega-3s, DHA and EPA, should be sufficient to maintain tissue function.14 In fact, according to a European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, women on vegan diets actually have more long-chain omega-3s in their blood compared with fish-eaters, meat-eaters, and lacto-ovo vegetarians.15

Flaxseeds for Omega-3s

Flaxseed oil and ground flaxseeds are particularly good choices to meet your needs for omega-3 fatty acids. One teaspoon of flaxseed oil or one tablespoon of ground flaxseed will supply the daily requirement of ALA. Flaxseeds must be ground in order for you to absorb the proper nutrients, and flaxseed oil or ground flaxseeds must be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer to protect them from oxygen damage. Also, keep in mind that heat will damage the omega-3s in flaxseed oil, so it is important not to heat this oil. A spoonful of ground flaxseeds can be added to a smoothie or sprinkled on breakfast cereal, a salad, or other dish for easy and efficient incorporation of omega-3s into the diet.

Plant Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Ground flaxseed (flax meal)
  • Walnuts
  • Soybeans
  • Mungo beans: Mungo beans are particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids.
    They are sold in many Indian groceries and may be found
    under the name “urid.”

Omega-3 Content of Natural Oils16,17

  • Flaxseed 53-62%
  • Linseed 53%
  • Canola 11%
  • Walnut 10%
  • Wheat germ 7%
  • Soybean 7%

Pregnancy and Lactation

It is especially important to obtain adequate essential fatty acids from the diet during pregnancy and lactation. Recent research suggests that these fatty acids are needed for fetal growth and fetal brain development. Essential fatty acids are also important for infants in order to ensure proper growth and development, and normal functioning of all tissues of the body. Increased omega-3 fatty acid intake in the immediate post-natal period is associated with improved cognitive outcomes.18

It is important that the mother’s diet contain a good supply of omega-3s because infants receive essential fatty acids through breast milk.19 Pregnant women and lactating mothers may also opt to take a DHA supplement. A DHA supplement based on cultured microalgae is available in many natural food stores.


Whether you are interested in promoting heart health, ensuring the proper growth and development of your child, or relieving pain, adequate intake of the essential fatty acids can help you achieve your goal. A well-planned plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes will allow you to obtain plenty of these omega-6s and omega-3s for optimal health benefits.


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12. Kwak SM, Myung SK, Lee YJ. Efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplements (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172:986-994.
13. Odeleye OE, Watson RR. Health implications of the n-3 fatty acids. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991;53:177-178.
14. Williams CM, Burdge G. Long-chain n-3 PUFA: plant v. marine sources. P Nutr Soc. 2006;65:42-50.
15. Welch AA, Shakya-Shrestha S, Lentjes MAH, Wareham NJ, Khaw KT. Dietary intake and status of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in a population of fish-eating and non-fish-eating meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans and the precursor-product ratio of a-linolenic acid to long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: results from the EPIC-Norfolk cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92:1040-1051.
16. Hunter JE. n-3 Fatty acids from vegetable oils. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990;51:809-814.
17. Mantzioris E, James MJ, Gibson RA, Cleland LG. Dietary substitution with an alphalinolenic acid-rich vegetable oil increases eicosapentaenoic acid concentrations in tissues. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994;59:1304-1309.
18. Makrides M, Gibson RA, McPhee AJ, et al. Neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm infants fed high-dose docosahexaenoic acid: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2009;301:175–182.
19. Makrides M, Gibson RA. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid requirements during pregnancy and lactation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(1 Suppl):307S-311S. 

Western Diets Bring Alzheimer’s to Developing Countries

September 18, 2013 

KFC in China. Increased animal fat consumption in developing countries is associated with more Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.Increased animal fat consumption in developing countries is associated with more Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study published in the Journal ofAlzheimer’s Disease. Researchers analyzed dietary data from populations 65 years and older in Japan and in eight developing countries including India, China, and Brazil. As animal fat and calorie consumption increased, so did obesity rates and prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the author, mechanisms for dementia risk include increased obesity and increased intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, and iron.

Grant WB. Trends in diet and Alzheimer’s disease during the nutrition transition in Japan and developing countries. J Alzheimers Dis. Published ahead of print September 13, 2013.

The Top Ten Vegetables

Videos > Health and Fitness > Health > Top 10 Vegetables

Top 10 Vegetables
in: LISTS NUTRITION TOP 10 hosted by Rebecca Brayton
Top 10 Vegetables You are what you eat, and if you eat these vegetables you are healthy! They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but that’s not the only food that can keep you in tip-top shape: veggies also play a hugely important role in overall nutrition. From sweet potatoes, asparagus, eggplant, and beets, to bell peppers, dark green veggies, tomatoes and carrots; there are tons of veggies that have the nutrients you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 vegetables, based on their health attributes, price, flavor and convenience. (This video is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. Always seek the advice of your health care provider.)
Which of the following is part of the allium food family?
Which of the following is a cruciferous vegetable?
Alfalfa sprouts
Smokers and diabetics can benefit from eating sweet potatoes because their vitamin A protects against emphysema, while their low glycemic index rating keeps insulin levels normal.
Green bell peppers have more health benefits than red bell peppers.

South Indian-Style Vegetable Curry

South Indian-Style Vegetable Curry

by Ellie Krieger
from Fine Cooking
Issue 107

This easy one-pot meatless main gets its complex flavor from a combination of spices including coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and cinnamon. The spices marry in a rich, flavorful sauce that has a comforting, belly-warming appeal.

Read Ellie Krieger’s blog post to learn more about the healing power of spices and how this recipe came together.

more about:

garlic coriander seeds ginger onions canola oil cumin seeds turmeric cayenne tomato paste vegetable stock coconut milk cinnamon sea salt black peppercorns cauliflower sweet potatoes tomatoes carrots chickpeas spinach limes cilantro
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (1 Tbs.)
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbs. tomato paste
2 cups lower-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup light coconut milk
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small cauliflower, broken into 1-1/2-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (about 1 cup)
One 15-1/2-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 oz. baby spinach (about 4 lightly packed cups)
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium (or medium low if necessary) and cook until the onion is richly browned, 5 to 7 minutes more. Add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute to blend the flavors. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne; stir for 30 seconds to toast the spices. Add the tomato paste and stir until well blended with the aromatics, about 1 minute.

Add the broth, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low or low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots. Raise the heat to medium high and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.

Stir in the chickpeas, spinach, lime juice, and zest; cook until the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt. Serve garnished with the cilantro.

Serving Suggestions
This curry only needs a basic brown rice or white basmati rice to be a complete meal.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 300; Fat (g): 10; Fat Calories (kcal): 90; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 12; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Carbohydrates (g): 45; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 680; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 12;