Chef with Rheumatoid Arthritis Touts "Hero Foods"


Chef Seamus Mullen has found relief from rheumatoid arthritis through medication-and a diet that emphasizes fresh ingredients from Spanish cuisine.

One day in 2007, Seamus Mullen woke up with such tremendous pain in his hip that he couldn’t get out of bed for six hours. The highly promising New York City chef had had unexplained bursts of pain before, which he tells the New York Times were like “having a hot knife stuck inside your joint,” but they were nothing like this.

After a few days of tests, doctors at Beth Israel Medical Center determined that Mullen was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Mullen worried that the condition would end his career as a chef, which requires standing for upwards of 14 hours per day, but he responded to medical treatment.

In addition to medication, Mullen discovered that altering his diet helped improve his sense of wellbeing. He has radically reduced his consumption of processed foods and upped his intake of ingredients featured in the Spanish cuisine that has long been his specialty: "olive oil, almonds, leafy greens, stone fruits, and small, oil-rich fish like anchovies and sardines.”

Now Mullen, who terms these “hero foods,” has incorporated them into a cookbook scheduled to come out next year called Seamus Mullen’s Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better.


A Chef Finds Healing in Food [The New York Times]

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