Arthritis Alternatives
Food and Diet
Eating to be Healthy
  Suggested First Steps  
  The Mind
Why Mind-Body?
Relaxation Quickies
Expressing Feelings
Power of Thoughts

  Food and Diet
  Healthy Foods
Foods to Avoid
Testing for Allergies
Mind-Body Eating
  Bodywork and Exercise
Alexander Technique
Nordic Walking
  About the Author  

Foods to eat that support overall good health:
If you have food allergies or food sensitivities, it is important to eliminate problem foods from your diet. It is also important to eat foods that support good digestion.

Foods With High Nutrient Density
The Right Fats
Macrobiotic Diet
How Effective is a Macrobiotic Diet?
Juicing and Raw Foods

Foods with high nutrient density.
Look for foods with high nutrient density. This means eating whole, unprocessed foods. A healthy diet will consist of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables (lightly steamed is best), whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fish. Cut back on dairy, eggs, and red meat. Avoid foods made with hydrogenated oils. The best oils are cold-pressed. Avoid sugar and refined flour.

Organic food is best because:

  • Your body's detoxification systems do not have the additional stress of eliminating pesticides.
  • Organic food is grown in richer soil that gives food higher levels of vitamins and minerals.
  • You are supporting a healthy environment. Traditional farming methods can result in pesticides getting into our ground water.

Eating the right fats:

Getting the proper sources of oil is very important to arthritis patients. The body needs essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids (EFA) are found in omega-3 oils and omega-6 oils. The balance between the two oils is important and the ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 varies from person to person.

In modern countries, most people eat enough of the omega-6 oils and not enough omega-3 oils. Many arthritis patients benefit from supplementing their daily intake of omega-3 oils. Good sources are salmon and flaxseed oil. A small percentage of the population is unable to absorb adequate amounts of omega-6 and needs to take supplements from sources like evening primrose, borage and black current seed oil. If you have dry skin, dry nails, and or dry hair that does not improve with omega-3 oils, try adding some omega-6 oils.

Oils must be fresh. Oils that are going rancid can damage your body. Dr. Leo Galland recommends throwing out any oil that has been open for six weeks. Partially hydrogenated oils damage the body and should be eliminated from your diet. Dr. Galland calls partially hydrogenated oils "antinutrients", that distort cell function and damage health.


Power Healing
, book by Leo Galland, MD

The Macrobiotic Diet:
Many people have cured themselves of serious illness by following this diet. It is so different from the standard American diet that if you want to try it, it will be helpful to take some cooking classes.

The basic diet:

  • 50% of each meal consists of whole grains. Usually the grain is brown rice, but any grain is acceptable.
  • 20-30% vegetables. At each meal, there will be a balance of root vegetables, vegetables that grow above the ground, and dark leafy green vegetables.
    • Root vegetables include carrots, onions, daikon radish, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, and burdock.
    • Above-ground vegetables include winter and summer squash, broccoli, green cabbage, celery cabbage, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts.
    • Leafy dark green vegetables include kale, collards, parsley, and watercress.
  • 5-10% beans and sea vegetables. Beans include azuki beans, chick peas, lentils, and soybean products such as tofu and tempeh.

    Small amounts of sea vegetables with each meal supply valuable minerals. They have a fishy taste, and people who don't like fish may have trouble eating them. The most mild-tasting of the sea vegetables are arame and wakeme. If you do all right with arame and wakeme, try some of the recipes with kombu. Kombu is only a little stronger-tasting and in addition to all the good minerals, kombu is excellent for the digestion. Put a small piece of kombu in the cooking water when you make beans and you won't have a problem with intestinal gas.
  • 5-10% soups made from any of the above ingredients.
  • Typical condiments include soy sauce, sea salt, sea salt with ground sesame seeds, brown rice vinegar, ginger, and miso.

Chewing is stressed with this diet. It is recommended to chew each mouthful 50 times. The extra saliva created by all this chewing is beneficial in the digestive process. Dr. Galland says, "Saliva contains a substance called epidermal growth factor (EGF), which stimulates growth and repair of tissue."

How effective is the Macrobiotic Diet?
Sherry Rogers, MD, in her book Wellness Against All Odds, says she has seen a majority of her patients improve eating a vegetarian macrobiotic-type diet. However she also found a smaller percentage of patients who need meat to thrive. Some of this puzzle is addressed by Peter D'Adamo, MD, in his book Eat Right for Your Type. Dr. D'Adamo found that your blood type is an excellent indicator of what foods you should be eating. For example, blood type O is the blood type associated with our ancestors who were hunter-gatherers and this blood type does best on low-fat meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, but they shouldn't be eating much grain or dairy. Blood type A is associated with ancestors who lived in settled communities, cultivated grains and had lower levels of hydrochloric acid in their stomachs. Hydrochloric acid wasn't needed for our ancestors with blood type A because there wasn't much meat available to eat and digest. Therefore type A's do better on a vegetarian diet.

Sherry Rogers feels that the optimal percentage of protein from animals is not constant. She has noticed that sometimes a patient will need a lot of meat in their diet when they are sick, but as they get better that amount may change.

What about juicing and raw foods?
The macrobiotic diet consists mainly of cooked foods. Some people do better on a diet with significant amounts of raw vegetables and with juiced fruits and vegetables.

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