Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Arthritis Friendly recipe - Savory Butternut Squash Soup

I was born with both of my hips dislocated, and developed scoliosis as a teenager. As a result, I have struggled with arthritis most of my life - with over 30 orthopedic related surgeries, it was bound to happen, and most days I handle it well with medication.

But there are days when nothing touches the pain.  Sigh ... and these hot summer days have not been good days at all. (the heat hurts nearly as badly as the cold does!)

So I have begun to do some research into the possibility that the food I eat may have a direct effect on how I feel. (I know, duh! right?)  And I have run across some great information along the way that I'd like to share.

Here are some foods to avoid which most people report lead to more pain when ingested:

· Nightshade vegetables: Tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, belladonna, and eggplant

· Citrus fruits

· Dairy Products

· Phosphorous rich food: Red meat, red flesh fish, organ meat like kidney, liver, processed meat, and soft drinks.

· Corns, wheat, oats, rye, and barley

· Eggs

· Fried food, vegetable oil, margarine: Omega 6, present in vegetable oil, worsens inflammation.

· Alcohol

· Coffee

· Foods that are rich in oxalic acid or oxalates: Star fruit, black pepper, parsley, poppy seed, rhubarb stalks, amaranth, spinach, chard, beets, cocoa, chocolate, most nuts, most berries, and beans.

· Foods that easily get mold which can cause allergy: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, nuts, berries, cantaloupe and honeydew melon.

Here are some foods that are found to be friendly to arthritic conditions:

Not everyone reacts the same to the food groups above so it’s recommended that arthritis suffers monitor the type of foods that can aggravate the pain.

· Green, yellow, and orange vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, chard, collards, lettuce, spinach, string beans, summer or winter squash, sweet potatoes, tapioca, and taro.

· Anti-inflammatory foods: Ginger, garlic, turmeric and apples.

· Brown rice: This is recommended instead of corns, wheat, oats, rye, and barley

· Cooked or dried fruits: Cherries, cranberries, pears, prunes.

· Fish: Salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, as they are rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acid

· Nuts & Seeds: Walnuts, almonds, linseeds, pumpkin seeds which are unsalted

· Water: Drinking plenty of water is known to help

With all this in mind, I searched the internet looking for arthritis-friendly recipes and stumbled across this soup recipe at ArthritisConnect.com - sounds yummy for fall!

Savory Butternut Squash Soup

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1½ pounds pre-cut cubes butternut squash
fresh or frozen (about 4 cups)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons of plain low-fat yogurt for garnish (optional)

Cooking Instructions

Heat the oil over medium heat in a 6-quart stockpot. Add the onions and cook until soft but not brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, allspice and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute more. Add the butternut squash, broth, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until squash is tender and the broth is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes for fresh squash and 5 minutes for frozen. Remove from heat, stir in maple syrup. Allow to cool slightly, about 15 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender, about 1 cup at a time, until smooth.
Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with yogurt, if using.

If you also suffer with arthritis, do you have any favorite recipes that seem to help? I'd love to hear about them!

Enjoy the weekend, my friends, and as always ...Happy Reading!!!

Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme sponsored by Beth Fish Reads http://www.bethfishreads.com/.   Check out the other yummy recipes that fellow bloggers have posted!


TheBookGirl said...

Sorry to hear that you have days when the pain is not well-controlled.

I know that there are certain foods that have a direct affect (usually negative) on the way I feel.

This soup recipe looks delicious. I will save it for that first cool autumn day :)

Raine said...

I was following from a link and found myself here. :D I hope the day will be looking up for you and the pains have subsided. This is an interesting list you've made. My mom suffer from arthritis due to diabetes (with some kidney condition to look out for)and it's a continuous deliberation of food. One might be good for the joints but bad for the kidneys that it becomes a tricky balance to find foods that are okay on all fronts.

Beth F said...

I think I read somewhere that licorice is supposed to be avoided if you have arthritis.

That soup sounds heavenly -- I love butternut squash and maple. Oh and I also want a set of those bowls/cups the soup was photographed in. :)

Col (Col Reads) said...

Andrew Weil suggests fresh ginger for inflammation. You can buy it candied, for snacking.

This recipe sounds delicious -- hope you're feeling better soon!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

A friend suffering from gout would eat fresh cherries (on your list, but in dried form). I hope the guide of foods to avoid/enjoy helps you ... the soup will surely please your palate!

Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

Thank you so much for the info..I am going to pass it on to my mom. I hope you are feeling better!

Rose City Reader said...

This is all news to me. I am going to share this info with my dad, who suffers from arthritis.

Hope you feel better.

Rose City Reader

curtissannmatlock said...

Darling, my heart goes out to you, but what an inspiration you are! I did not know garlic was anti-inflamatory. Whoot! I eat tons of it. It is also antibacterial. I relate in small part to the joint-body ache. Yes, all autoimmune suffers have it to one extent or another. For me, no potato starch, thus I must mix my own gf flours. No milk or soy, also. Thank you for the yummy butternut squash recipe!

Joy Weese Moll said...

I haven't taken this too seriously, since my arthritis isn't too serious. But I did start eating pumpkin seeds (I usually toast them and toss them on salads). I also roast garlic, which makes it milder and throw a lot of it into any dish that can handle that flavor.

That soup sounds luscious!

Hope your dietary changes work for you!

Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews said...

Thank you all for stopping by! Hope some of this information helped!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I love squash - all year around and this soup sounds delicious for fall...

Margot said...

I had no idea that these foods could hurt or help. I'm copying them down for future use. I also didn't know that heat as well as cold could affect arthritis. Very educational post. Thank you.