Many people find that making changes to their diet can help with osteoarthritis symptoms, which include pain, stiffness, and swelling. But because people are all different and there are many different types of arthritis, what works for one person and one type of arthritis may not work for another.
But research has discovered several links between arthritis and diet, so it’s still worth thinking about what we eat.
The two most important things to think about are:
- Weight – if overweight, losing some weight will reduce the strain on joints, so less need for pain killers.
- Balanced Diet with vitamins and minerals – Eating enough antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, may help to prevent further damage to the.Research shows that getting the right amount of vitamin C aids in preventing inflammatory arthritis and maintaining healthy joints with osteoarthritis
Food can be very powerful in its ability to help, or hurt, our bodies. Few superfoods that are commonly available and are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, but talk to your doctor about whether or not these are right for you.
- Berries: If you’re looking for a way to add variety to your diet, berries like blueberries, cherries, blackberries, and strawberries are high in antioxidant compounds that may help ward off inflammation. Easily available, simply add them to your morning oatmeal, a smoothie, or enjoy them as a light dessert. Some berries are acidic and may not be right for some patients.
- Fatty Fish: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel can offer anti-inflammatory effects on the joints and may even help decrease morning stiffness and joint pain.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains, like oatmeal, quinoa and brown rice, might also help reduce the level of inflammation in the body. However, some refined grains, like white flour, can have the opposite effect. Top morning oatmeal with nuts and berries for an additional joint-healthy boost.
- Garlic: Adding garlic to diet is as easy as tossing in a few minced cloves while you’re cooking. Your joints will thank you because garlic’s anti-inflammatory effects can help ease joint soreness while also boosting your immune system.
- Nuts and Seeds: Not only are nuts and seeds delicious to snack on, they’re high in anti-inflammatory compounds like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B6. A handful of walnuts as a daily snack, for example, can help reduce joint inflammation. Just remember that nuts tend to be high in calories so you’ll want to follow recommended serving instructions.
- Dark Leafy Greens: Spinach and Broccoli: Leafy greens like spinach are full of nutrients, and some of their components may actually be able to help decrease inflammation caused by arthritis.. Spinach, in particular, contains plenty of antioxidants as well as plant compounds that can relieve inflammation and help fight disease Dark leafy greens are rich in Vitamin D and antioxidants. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and can also boost the immune system.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and may be associated with a lower risk of arthritis
- Bananas: Bananas are perhaps best known for packing potassium, but they’re also good sources of arthritis-fighting vitamin B6, folate and vitamin C. Also, this easily digested, dense fruit is a prime source of soluble fibre, an important part of your diet if you’re trying to lose weight because it helps you feel full without adding calories.
Foods to Avoid with Arthritis
- Processed foods. Avoid processed foods, such as baked goods and prepackaged meals and snacks.
- Omega-6 fatty acids.
- Sugar and certain sugar alternatives.
- Red meat and fried foods.
- Refined carbohydrates.
- Cheese and high-fat dairy.
- If you have chronic pain, talk to your doctor to see if there are any ways to improve your diet. Not only can a healthier diet boost your joint function and overall well-being, but it might help you manage your condition, too.
- No matter how much you’re exercising, your success in the gym will be limited if you’re not establishing healthy dietary choices.