To live an arthritic and joint pain free lifestyle, you’ve got to eliminate what (we all know) is bad for your health, period! Processed foods with trans fats, sugars, preservatives and colorings must be eliminated now and forever. Even your so called “healthy” snacks like protein bars with ingredients on labels you can’t pronounce should be eliminated.
In severe circumstances, what’s recommend in Extinguish the fire in your joints part 1 may not be enough. What truly is needed to get your conditions under control is an elimination diet. Let’s delve into elimination diets, what they are and why they may be crucial to eliminating your systems of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
What’s an elimination diet?
An elimination diet is a short-term eating plan that eliminates certain foods that may be causing allergies, joint inflammation and other negative bodily reactions. After a certain period of time, usually 6-8 weeks, foods are reintroduced one at a time in order to determine which ones are causing issues and which ones aren’t.
So which foods should you eliminate?
For a minimum of 6 weeks, eliminate all common allergens listed below:
- dairy (butter and ghee are the exceptions)
- All gluten containing breads, pastas and snacks.
I’m not anti-gluten or anti-dairy by any means, it’s just that sometimes we’re living a life in which we’ve eaten too many of the wrong things, as well as been exposed to envionmental toxins, that have weakened our digestive systems to the point that even some healthy foods could cause some issues.
There’s also some evidence that the nightshade group of vegetables should be eliminated, as they cause inflammation and arthritic complaints. These foods include:
Why 6 weeks?
It’s believed that the inflammatory compounds, released by your immune system when its encountering the “trigger foods”, take around 6 weeks to flush out of your system.
How to re-introduce the eliminated foods
You won’t have to eliminate these foods forever. After the 6 weeks, re-introduce 1 of the eliminated foods each week. By eating one food at a time you’ll be able to see wether the food is causing flares up or not. Sound complicated? Maybe, but it’s worth your commitment and patience. Remember, theres’s plenty of foods that you can eat, especially the ones I’ve listed in part 1 of this blog.
What if you’ve got Gout?
High purine foods can be the culprit for those with gout. Purines are compounds found naturally in many foods as well as in our bodies. They form a by-product in the body called uric acid which for many of us can be eliminated without harm. However, for those of you with gout, there may sometimes be an interference in the breakdown and elimination process of uric acid creating micro-crystals. These crystals can sometimes deposit in our joints and cause a “micro-wound” causing pain and inflammation.
High purine foods include:
- organ and red meats
- anchovies, herring, sardines
- kidney beans, lentils and peas
- whole wheat grains
So if I have gout, what can I eat ?
I’ve listed many of these in Part 1 ,but here they are again:
- Abundance of veggies and fruits with the exception of cauliflower the cabbage family is wide open. Arugula, kale, cabbage, broccoli, broccolini, bok choy, brussels sprouts, collards greens, daikon and radish. Consider sauerkraut and kimchi for probiotics and repopulating your good gut bacteria.
- Breakfast may be challenging without eggs and gluten so try these gluten free breakfasts made gluten free steel cut oats, quinoa, amaranth and my pumpkin and sweet potato porridge recipes.
- If it ends with berries eat it. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, wolf-berries, elderberry, gogi berries, etc
- Omega 3’s and protein from sustainable, high-quality sources, avoiding high purine foods listed above
- You can eat roots like sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips and parsnips
- Lots of good fats from avocados, olives, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts and almonds
- Cook with healthy oils like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, grass fed butter and grass fed ghee.
- Cook with lots of herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, fennel, mustard seeds, cumin and coriander are all powerful anti-inflammatories so a couple of Indian spice nights would be great.
For anyone with inflammatory issues, I recommend you eat 3 times a day only with a minimum of 4 hours in between meals to allow proper digestion. Don’t overeat or eat your meals too close together as both those things can trigger inflammation and joint pain. Yes, that means no snacking – just water herbal teas and maybe even a little green tea in between.
Elimination diets are truly a powerful way to get to the bottom of your arthritic condition. It takes some planning and commitment, but they’re definitely worthwhile. Your joints will thank you.