squares of dark chocolate, improve your health with chocolate

Q. I was eating a piece of chocolate when a friend said, “That’s not good for your arthritis.” Since then, another friend told me to avoid tomatoes.

All this advice is confusing me. Are there really foods I should avoid and are there any foods that might help arthritis?

A. Researchers at Tufts University reported that small changes in diet may make a difference in arthritis control. Omega-3 fatty acids found primarily in fish, but also in flax seed, pecans, walnuts, tofu and green leafy vegetables, help fight inflammation. Common oils such as corn, sunflower and safflower oil are full of omega-6 fatty acids and may actually promote inflammation and joint pain.

The researchers suggest at least six servings a day of produce (3 vegetables and 3 fruits) to get adequate vitamin C and beta carotene. They also recommend substituting fish, beans (soy) and nuts for meat. Vitamin D and fish oil supplements (for those who cannot stomach fish) may also be helpful.

Chocolate and tomatoes may trigger pain for some sensitive individuals. Most folks, however, don’t have to avoid these treats. You’ll have to be your own judge on whether specific foods trigger your discomfort.

To learn much more about anti-inflammatory foods and how to incorporate them into your diet we humbly suggest our book, Recipes & Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy.

This 174-page book is crammed with healthy and delicious recipes to help you make fabulous meals that are good for you! We are offering a special opportunity for loyal People’s Pharmacy fans.

You will find:

• Beet Juice Smoothie (page 34) to help lower your blood pressure. Better tasting and healthier than any medicine.

• Joe’s Brain Boosting Smoothie (page 105). We can’t guarantee that it will make you smarter, but with its fish oil, berries, pomegranate juice, pasteurized egg whites, whey powder and flaxseed, we promise it is a great way to start the day. It is good for the brain and the prostate gland and it tastes great!

• Curcumin milk for colds and coughs (page 60). If you think you may be catching something, try curcumin milk. Ask anyone from India about this turmeric remedy/recipe and you are likely to get a smile. It is a match for Jewish penicillin (chicken soup). By the way, we have a great chicken soup recipe (from Joe’s mom Helen Graedon) on page 27 that you won’t want to miss.

• Persimmon punch for heartburn (page 53). The story behind persimmon punch is quite amazing. A woman was served this exotic beverage during a meal at a Korean restaurant. It stopped her indigestion almost like magic. She started making it at home and discovered that not only did it help her chronic heartburn problem, it also helped lower her cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

• Horseradish Crusted Salmon with Cranberry Catsup (page 127). This recipe is a delicious and unusual way to enjoy the omega-3 rich fish that is so good for the heart, brain and joints. This recipe was provided by Dr. Mark Liponis, author of UltraLongevity. You will be amazed with the cranberry “catsup” which is easy and quick and does not involve tomatoes.

These are just a few of the mouthwatering and super healthy suggestions in Recipes and Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy. Get your holiday shopping out of the way now by giving the gift of good health.

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  1. julianswilson

    I have been reading in an article there are few components in chocolate that help in relieving arthritis. They contain the phytochemicals that are helpful for reducing the inflammation caused in the joints and hence keep the joints healthy.

  2. Genevieve

    It shouldn’t hurt to try honey. It has apparently worked for me. I take a teaspoon twice a day. I started craving honey, so started eating it. I had walked like a penguin, who had hurt himself no less, for a year and a half. The doctor said it was bursitis, and prescribed anti-inflammatories. I can’t take them as they really tear up my stomach. The honey started working in just a few days. I’ve been good over a month now. In looking up honey, I learned it was used by the ancient Egyptians to reduce inflammation.

  3. rgh

    This is the first time I ever heard of Rhus toxicodendron for arthritis.

  4. John

    My arthritis was quite severe in my hips. After x-rays were taken the Dr. said I had arthritis. Not wanting to be on pain medicine I eliminated aspertain in diet pop and started to drink 1 or 2 glasses of red wine at night. Two years latter I am essentially pain free. On the plus side the wine helps me sleep.
    John O.

  5. nathan

    I love tomato, when I eat a lot of tomato I get joint pain.

  6. Karen

    If tomatoes bother you, test potatoes and green peppers, too. They’re all in the same botanical family. (So is tobaccos, but I’m assuming readers of this column don’t use tobacco.)

  7. Robin H

    Is it also called Rhus Tox – made from the poison ivy leaves?

  8. O.G.

    Are we Talking Rhus toxicodendron, a.k.a. Poison Ivy? What about side effects? What if one is, as I am, violently reactive to the “poisons:” ivy, oak, and sumac?

  9. GJS

    Since corn, soy and canola are, in all forms, almost certainly GMO unless they are certified organic, it is probably best to NOT use them.

  10. Ken

    I have seen eggplant cause significant increases in arthritis pain. Irish potatoes that have ripend to the point that they are developing a green tinge also seem to increase the pain.

  11. Larry Jay

    Thanks for Your insight on dealing with the pain of Arthritis. After a strict elemination diet I determined that neither Tomatoes, which I crave, nor Chocolate had any affect on my Arthritic pain. Surely, each of us has their own specific body chemistry which makes treatment really a matter of continuing the use of various therapies until you find your solution. And trust me, You will find your solution. After about five years of experimenting with various therapies and products, finally I was able to find the “Cure”! For me, Rhus Todx is a true life saver. I take this Homeopathic product and it knocks my pain out.

  12. Dr. Sayeed A.

    I appreciate very much this informative article.
    With best regards
    Sincerely yours
    Dr. Sayeed A.

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