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Arthritis diet: The simple lunch food swap to lower your risk of painful symptoms

Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms

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Arthritis can be an uncomfortable condition to live with, and the foods you eat might be making matters worse. Too much salt in the diet is bad for anyone, but when consumed in excess it has been proven to cause joint irritation.

This is why people who have arthritis are advised to avoid adding additional salt to their food and look for low-salt options.

That doesn’t mean your food has to be bland and tasteless, though.

Experts from the Arthritis Foundation have a flavourful option though which can be made from scratch at home with heart-healthy ingredients, and far less salt than if you bought it off the shelf.

They recommend making your own low-sodium pea soup, which is “great for reducing salt”.

This “creamy” take on a classic pea soup takes just 45 minutes to prepare and is packed with additional health benefits.

Though the recipe includes garlic, onions and shallots for flavour, these ingredients are also rich in a type of antioxidant called quercetin.

The Arthritis Foundation states: “Quercetin is being studied for its potential ability to relieve inflammation in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.”

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How to make low-salt pea soup at home

Ingredients

When selecting ingredients, be sure to check the nutrition label and opt for those with no sodium.

  • One shallot, diced
  • Five cloves of garlic, diced
  • One small white onion, diced
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • One bag of frozen peas, no sodium
  • One bag of frozen corn, no sodium
  • No sodium chicken broth
  • White pepper, to taste
  • Crème fraiche, no sodium

Directions

Start by heating oil in a large pot over medium heat

Next, make sure your shallot, garlic and white onion are diced.

When the oil is hot, add the shallot, onion and garlic to a pot and stir until the shallot and onion are soft and translucent.

To the pot, add a bag of peas and half a bag of corn. Stir and heat for five minutes.

Next, mix two packets of your chicken broth (no sodium) with two cups of water. Add this to the pot of soup and bring to a boil. After this has boiled for five minutes, remove the pot from the heat.

Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth.

To maximise thickness, reheat the soup low until it has reduced by a third.

Add white pepper to taste and transfer into bowls. Once cooled, top with a small spoon of crème fraiche.

Why does salt inflame joints?

In 2019, a study of mice found that arthritis was more severe in mice fed a high salt diet than in those on a diet containing normal salt levels

According to the Arthritis Foundation, excess salt can be particularly “risky” for those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The experts state: “People with RA may feel the effects of salt even more.

“Corticosteroids, commonly used to treat RA, cause the body to hold more sodium.”

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