As we shared earlier this week, the connection between arthritis flair-ups/joint inflammation and the fall season’s cooler weather is debatable. But what’s not debatable is the role that diet has on your joint health and arthritis, regardless of the type of arthritis with which you have been diagnosed. After all, the ingredients in your meals have the potential to support joint health and reduce inflammation, or trigger more inflammation and increase joint pain. As we don our sweaters and enjoy the fall season, these cozy fall meal recipes celebrate the season while also celebrating your joint health. The active ingredients in each meal don’t only taste amazing, but they are also in alignment with the advice of Dr. David Jockers DNM, DC, MS, whose research shows that an autoimmune variation of the keto diet can help reduce and prevent arthritis pain.
BREAKFAST: Berry Avocado Smoothie
Dr. Jockers’ modified autoimmune-focused keto diet emphasizes healthy fats like coconut oil and coconut milk, prebiotics like avocado, and minimal to no fruit with the exception of organic berries. He says that not only are berries low on the glycemic index, but they are “loaded with antioxidants called anthocyanins” (which supports a balanced, healthy immune system — essential for those with arthritis).
This rich and creamy breakfast shake hits all of his recommendations, nourishing your joints, body and brain with healthy fat, fiber, and antioxidants all in one go without triggering joint pain or a spike in your blood sugar!
1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries (Dr. Jockers’ recommendation for the healthiest type of berry)
1 medium avocado, diced
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup cream of coconut
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy. Enjoy!
LUNCH: Refreshing Japanese Noodle Salad
Known as shirataki noodles in Japan, you might recognize it by what it’s called in Western grocery stores: konjac noodles (sometimes branded as “miracle noodles”). These thin, white noodles are made from the processed root of the konjac plant, and Dr. Jockers specifically recommends shirataki noodles as a form of non-starchy, fiber-rich vegetables for those who have arthritis.
“Non-starchy vegetables are full of anti-inflammatory nutrients and provide the digestive tract with prebiotic fiber,” he says, and shirtaki noodles are high in prebiotic fiber. “This fiber nourishes the bacteria in the gut which helps promote healthy digestion. Poor digestion and an inflamed gut are both primary sources of inflammation that can be addressed on this diet.”
This easy-to-make recipe is refreshing and filling, and its ginger dressing has a warming touch that makes it perfect when you’re looking for healthy, quick fall meal recipes.
1 8-oz. package of shirataki noodles
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 radish, diced
1 cucumber, diced
2-3 stalks of green onions, minced
2 tbsp minced cilantro
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili oil (optional)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp gluten-free, organic tamari sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed/minced
1/2 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
Boil the noodles for a couple minutes, or according to the packaged instructions. Rinse under cool water, drain, and set aside to cool.
Once the noodles are cool, toss with the other salad ingredients.
In a Mason jar or a blender, add all the salad dressing ingredients and shake/blend until smooth. Drizzle on the salad and enjoy.
DINNER: Easy Bone Broth Fall Meal Recipes
When it comes to fall meal recipes for cold weather and arthritis, bone broth is a true superstar.
For “rebuilding your bones, tendons, and ligaments – calcium is not really what you need,” explains Dr. Jockers. “In fact, most people have plenty of calcium. The issue is that it is not going to the right place. This is because certain nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium all play a role in calcium deposition.”
“Ensuring you have adequate amounts of those nutrients will be key for a successful rheumatoid arthritis diet,” he adds. “Some of the best foods that provide these nutrients are listed in the graphic below. Bone broth, in particular, is excellent for nourishing the soft tissues that can become damaged in RA – such as the synovial fluid in joints.”
Start with this bone broth recipe that takes all the guesswork out of this intimidating meal idea, then add your favorite cooked keto ingredients such as cruciferous veggies to make it more hearty and sustaining.
2-3 lbs. of organic, grass-fed, raw beef bones
2 tbsp of organic, raw apple cider vinegar
3-4 bay leaves
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp parsley
10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
First, roast the bones. This helps bring out their flavor. Preheat your oven to 400°F, then place the bones on a baking sheet and roast them for 30-45 minutes until they’re browned.
Place the roasted bones or raw bones in a large stockpot or slow cooker. Add the chopped vegetables and any herbs or spices you want (you can start with the above list and tweak it to your preferences).
Pour in enough water to cover everything, then add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. The acid helps extract minerals from the bones.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface during the first hour.
Simmer for at least 6-8 hours, or up to 24 hours for beef bones. The longer you simmer, the richer the flavor.
Once the broth is done simmering, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove solids. You’ll be left with a clear liquid.
Let the broth cool to room temperature. You can then refrigerate it for up to 5 days or freeze it for longer storage.
Use your homemade bone broth as a base for soups, stews, sauces, or enjoy it on its own as a warm, nutritious drink.
Remember to season your bone broth with salt and other seasonings to taste before using it in recipes. Bone broth is highly versatile and can be incorporated into many dishes for added flavor and nutritional value.