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Eat (and Drink) to Your Heath
By Kate Safin, East End Food Co-op

There are a number of delicious foods you can enjoy to help maintain healthy bones and joints. Calcium and vitamin D rich foods are essential. These may include milk, yogurt, cheese, greens (like collards and kale), broccoli, and fish like sardine and salmon. If you are already suffering from painful inflammation, consider incorporating flax seeds and green tea into your diet. Flax seeds are a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and green tea contains anti-inflammatory polyphenols.

One particularly tasty (and trendy) anti-inflammatory food is turmeric, a bright golden spice related to ginger that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Turmeric contains a powerful active ingredient called curcumin. Research has shown curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory that has helped reduce pain and swelling caused by osteoarthritis. Turmeric is available as a powder or pill, and you can find it in the produce section in its whole form. (Consult with your physician before incorporating alternative treatments or supplements into your routine to ensure they are compatible with your current course of care.)

Turmeric is a staple of Indian cuisine. Try a tasty yellow curry for a small helping of this delicious spice. Another way to enjoy a dose of turmeric is gold milk, a warming beverage that includes turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and clove, combined with milk and natural sweetener. Try this recipe below for a calcium-rich, anti-inflammatory treat. Because it is caffeine-free, you may enjoy this any time of day. You can experiment with the spices and adjust to your specific taste.

Golden Milk
2 cups milk of choice (dairy, unsweetened coconut or almond all work)
1 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon fresh, grated)
1 tsp ground turmeric (or 1 tablespoon fresh, grated)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 to 5 peppercorns, cloves, or combination of both
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1 dash of vanilla (optional)

1. Wisk milk and spices together and add to a small pot.
2. Simmer together for 10 minutes over low heat.
3. Remove from heat and add sweetener and vanilla.
4. Enjoy immediately, or allow to cool and serve over ice.

Yields two 8-ounce servings


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