Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Fresh Salmon, Less Arthritis Pain?

Did you know that eating fresh salmon not only helps your heart but can help with the pain of arthritis?
If you’ve ever experienced the swelling and pain that comes with rheumatoid arthritis, you’ll be glad to know there are various “super foods” that have been linked to improvement in those with RA. And at the top of that list is none other than fresh salmon!
Alas, arthritis can strike almost anyone. About 1 percent of the U.S. population suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. Women are two to three times more likely to have it, but men are often are more severely affected. While more common in middle age, younger and older persons can also suffer from this ailment which involves joint pain and swelling and stiffness (especially in the morning or after long periods of sitting).
Of course you should seek a proper diagnosis and treatment from a qualified medical practitioner if you have or think you have rheumatoid arthritis. At the same time, it makes sense to keep up with the news on the nutritional front at how your diet can help you. 
I was surprised and delighted to discover that one of the best things we can do for arthritis is to eat more fresh salmon. Here are some of the reasons as covered in the Readers Digest:
·         Salmon is among the riches sources of healthy Omega 3 fats.
·         Salmon is less likely than other cold-water fish to contain high levels of mercury, which is toxic.
·         Salmon contains calcium, Vitamin D, and folate.
The article also notes that “eating salmon may protect the cardiovascular system by
“by preventing blood clots, repairing artery damage, raising levels of good cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure.”

To get the most benefit from the salmon in your diet, you should buy fish that is fresh. Buy fresh salmon. If whole, eyes should be clear and bright, flesh not slimy. Steaks and fillets should be firm and moist. Follow these cooking tips to add the most value to your meal:
  • Cook the salmon within a day or so. Use the refrigerated leftovers during the next couple days in salads or with cucumbers and dill
  • Use low-fat cooking methods. Even the good fat has calories, so don’t load up your dish with more. Cook your fresh salmon by baking, poaching, broiling, or steaming. Aromatic herbs or fresh fruit salsas will add flavor without adding fat.
  • Cook until opaque. Beware overcooking the salmon. It should lose its translucency and be opaque, with clear juices and easily flaked flesh.
While the article especially advocates the eating of more fresh salmon, it also notes nine other “super foods” that can help the arthritis sufferer, including bananas, sweet peppers, shrimp, soy products, sweet potatoes, cheese, lentils and green tea.
Now that gives me an idea! How about combining as many of those into a single meal or day? Imagine a succulent fresh King Salmon steak simmered with sweet peppers and shrimp with a soy sauce, with a side of sweet potatoes and a tall glass of iced green tea? Even without arthritis, that would be a really tempting meal!