How To Treat Arthritis With Diet

How To Treat Arthritis With Diet

How To Treat Arthritis With Diet - Food Supplements To Get Rid Of ArthritisMany people think that arthritis is an inescapable disease for old aged people. But this is not true. Arthritis is neither a genetic disease nor a disease that attacks older people alone. The cause behind joint diseases lies in our environment and our food. There are numerous food myths involving arthritis. Some people say that dairy products inflict arthritis, while others blame acidic fruits like lemon, grape fruit and oranges, and night shade vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes and peppers for aggravating the symptoms of arthritis. It cannot be denied completely that our diet does affect arthritis.

Many people suffering from arthritis notice that their pain flares up due to certain food items. Though there is hardly any evidence to support these types of claims, but many studies and research regarding the connection between food and arthritis support the fact that certain foods helps to reduce inflammation and pain significantly and therefore, give relief to the patient. Most of these foods are part of a healthy balanced diet which not only help with arthritis but also reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Evidences support that Mediterranean diet is greatly beneficial for treating arthritis. This diet comprises of lots of fruits, vegetables, pulses, grains, fish and very small amount of red meat. It is believed that foods that are rich in Omega-3 can have anti-inflammatory effect on the joints and hence, reduce joint pains. The rich sources of omega-3 are oily fish like mackerel, sardines ad salmon. So try to incorporate them in your diet at least twice a week. The other source of omega-3 are nuts and seeds, particularly flax seed and linseed, and can be used in your diet regularly to fortify your cereals, yogurt drink and other dishes.

Calcium

People suffering with arthritis should eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in calcium. Nuts, seeds, sardines, and whitebait fish also contain good amount of calcium. In order to absorb calcium, vitamin D is essential, of which sunlight is a great source. Those who are unable to receive enough sunlight can take vitamin D supplements, but it can also be found in oily fish and other fortified foods. For people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, there is always a risk of developing osteoporosis. So they must take adequate calcium in their diet. Some more calcium rich foods are bread, cabbage, kale, green leafy vegetables, sesame seed, and soy products.

Some foods that are beneficial for arthritis, particularly for rheumatoid arthritis include apple, cherries, nuts, berries, citrus fruits, low fat dairy products, nuts, green leafy vegetables, whole grains and oily fish. Eating healthy and balanced diet and ensuring that the body is getting all the essential nutrients, along with maintaining a healthy weight can help to reduce joint pain. Weight loss will reduce the stress on your joints as well.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Research and evidence shows that diet containing essential fatty acids can benefit some arthritis patients. Some plant seed oil and oily fish are best sources of these fatty acids. But it is suggested that these fatty acids should be consumed in combination with anti-oxidants and vitamin E, as omega-3 fatty acids can produce harmful free radicals. All brightly colored vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants, while vitamin E can be obtained from seeds, nuts, avocados, and sweet potatoes.

Iron

Iron deficiency can worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Getting enough iron in diet is also necessary for arthritis sufferers. Some iron rich foods include eggs, red meat, fortified breakfast cereals, leafy green vegetables, pulses etc. When iron is consumed along with vitamin C, it is absorbed by the body in a better way.

It has been observed that certain foods aid in managing inflammatory arthritis symptoms but their reaction may differ from individual to individual. These specific foods are:

Apples: They contain magnesium and their consumption can reduce pain.

Berries: Fruits from berry family like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries and raspberries are rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Berries also are rich in vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fiber.

Citrus fruits like grape fruit, orange, lime, lemon, and kiwi are rich sources of Vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, and folic acid that can provide protection against inflammatory arthritis. Cherries are also beneficial in reducing inflammation and pain, as they also contain fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Peanuts, walnuts, Brazil nut, and hazelnut are great source of omega-3 fatty acid and antioxidants that help to reduce pain and inflammation.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts contain fiber, vitamin A, C and K and folic acid. These vegetable, because of their fiber content, bring relief from constipation. Some arthritis medicines and pain killers cause constipation. Eating these vegetables will help arthritis patients feel less constipated.

But any of these foods can interfere with the medication you are taking for arthritis. So consult your diet with your doctor when you are taking medicines. There are lots of myths concerning the diet for arthritis. But there is very little or almost no evidence to support these myths. So rather than excluding any food directly, consult your physician or try it in moderation to experiment and find which foods aggravate pain and inflammation, and which foods support arthritis symptoms and works best for you. Otherwise you can miss out on some important nutrients which may help to reduce arthritis symptoms.

But still there are some foods that can trigger arthritis pain and inflammation and must be avoided complete. These are:

  • Red meat: Red meat can be substituted by chicken and oily fish.
  • Nightshade family vegetables: Some foods that belong to nightshade family should also be avoided. They include tomatoes, tobacco, white potatoes, eggplant and red peppers, among others. Use organic fruits instead of wax covered fruit.
  • Sweets: Avoid sweets, chocolates, honey, soft drinks etc.
  • Processed Foods: Processed food made with white flour should also be cut from the food list. Foods that contain cereal binder and cereal fillers and protein can be harmful.
  • Caffeine: Foods containing caffeine should also be restricted.
  • Saturated Fats: Restrict your intake of butter, margarine, salt, pepper, and vinegar.

You do not need to eliminate all these foods at one go. Keep on experimenting to find which foods work best for you. Restricting some food items may help you to get relief from pain and inflammation. The bottom line is that you need to maintain a healthy and well balanced diet to restrict pain and remain healthy. Also maintain your ideal body weight so that the affected joints do not get extra pressure to carry around. Also take proper rest, do exercise regularly, and remain free of stress.

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