As with most disorders, nutrition plays a key role in case of arthritis. It is important to know what foods to avoid and what are the best foods to eat in order to prevent and battle the symptoms of arthritis.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis, in its several forms, affects about 3% of the adult population.
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints which may cause redness, tenderness, pain and sometimes even joint mobility loss.
There exist different types of arthritis, which may be caused by joint wear and tear (arthrosis) and by joint pathologies such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
The main symptoms of arthritis are:
- tenderness and joint pain;
- stiffness, especially early in the morning;
- reduced joint movement;
- hot and red joints;
- loss of appetite and improper weight loss;
- high body temperature;
Treating arthritis is about knowing what exactly triggered it, whether it is an infection, an injury or an autoimmune disorder.
Besides taking the prescribed medications, quality rest, moderate physical exercise and proper nutrition are also essential.
8 foods to avoid if you suffer from arthritis:
#1 – Fried and precooked foods
In 2009 the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study according to which fried foods and most of the precooked foods are loaded with toxins, the so-called AGE (advanced glycation end-product), which promote cell oxidation and make inflammation worse.
#2 – Simple carbs and sugar-rich foods
You should avoid baked foods as they are packed with refined white flour, and should limit white rice and potatoes, which have a high glycemic index and may thus make inflammation worse.
Refined sugar, instead, triggers the production of cytokines, protein molecules of our immune system accountable for inflammation.
#3 – Gluten-rich foods
If you suffer from arthritis you must be extremely careful about gluten-rich foods, especially if you suffer from food sensitivity, as in this case toxins enter the bloodstream through bowel, triggering inflammation.
#4 – Dairy products
Most dairy products contain casein, a milk protein that may irritate tissues around joints, thus triggering inflammation.
#5 – Seed oils
Seed oils are loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids, which may make inflammation worse, this is the reason why it is better to avoid sunflower, peanut and corn oil.
#6 – Salt
Consuming too much salt may cause water retention, which may result in edema and high blood pressure.
#7 – Nightshade (Solanaceae) vegetables and fruits
Tomatoes, peppers and chili peppers, egg plants, potatoes, Goji berries and other berries etc. – they all contain toxic alkaloids, known for their pro-inflammatory activity.
#8 – Alcohol
It has been shown that consuming alcohol (together with smoking) negatively affects the liver, which can’t work at its best and filter pro-inflammatory toxins out of the body.
8 best foods to eat if you suffer from arthritis:
#1 – Cruciferae vegetables
You should eat more broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts. These vegetables are rich in sulforaphane – a substance blocking inflammation and preventing cartilage damage.
#2 – Pineapple
Pineapples contains an enzyme, called bromelain and famous for its anti-inflammatory properties.
#3 – Walnuts
Walnuts, like all shell fruits, are loaded with antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce and prevent the damage triggered by inflammation.
#4 – Olive oil
Olives, and consequently extra-virgin olive oil, are packed with a substance called oleocanthal, which boasts valuable anti-inflammatory properties.
#5 – Whole cereals and beans
These foods, together with whole grain pasta are a valuable source of fiber and, what is more, they are known for their marked anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, if you want to have healthy joints, try eating more oats, brown rice, barley, spelt, lentils, beans, etc.
#6 – Fish
Thanks to the presence of Omega-3 fatty acids, fish like salmon, sardine, anchovy, trout, codfish, mackerel, herring should be included in the everyday diet of people suffering from arthritis. A study carried out by the Arthritis Foundation showed that people who often eat fish, are less likely to suffer from rheumatic diseases.
#7 – Spices: ginger and turmeric
These two spices are now famous all over the world, not only because they are largely used in cuisine, but also because they boast countless health benefits. One of these benefits is the ability to reduce inflammation.
Turmeric is often used in traditional Chinese medicine and in Ayurvedic Indian medicine, to treat arthritis. It is helpful in reducing pain, inflammation and joint stiffness.
#8 – Green tea
Green tea is the ultimate anti-inflammatory. It has been shown that drinking green tea consistently may block the protein accountable for inflammation and joint damage, without interfering with other cell functions.
Clearly these are just a few of the foods to avoid and foods to eat if you suffer from arthritis. A well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, rich in physical exercise and poor in stress are very important in order to prevent and cure such a disorder as arthritis.
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