Foods That Help With Arthritis (And Some That Hurt)
Inflammation of the joints, better known as “Arthritis” is the breakdown of cartilage in joints and can occur in almost any joint in the body. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It affects the joints when there is excessive stress, wear and tear to the cartilage.
Osteoarthritis commonly occurs in the hips, knees, and spine. It also affects the fingers, thumb, neck, and large toe. Although there is no known cure for arthritis, a healthy eating plan can greatly reduce the painful symptoms. Foods with high omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fish (salmon, sardines) and also, walnuts, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds, and tofu. Fatty fish also contains vitamin D, which helps prevent swelling and soreness.
Eating vegetables that have high vitamin C content can help to build collagen. Collagen is a key component in cartilage. Foods that are high in vitamin C include sweet peppers, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, mustard greens, red cabbage. Green tea contain antioxidants that help reduce the pain caused by inflammation. Extra virgin olive oil which is a “good” monounsaturated fat and can decrease the body’s production of enzymes that cause inflammation. Turmeric is a spice that may help the body decrease inflammatory chemicals. Decreasing the production of these chemicals also helps manage the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
There are also some foods you should avoid that could trigger joint pain and inflammation flare-ups. These foods include:
*Fried and processed foods such as fried meats and frozen meals/prepared foods can cause inflammatory flare-ups in joints. Cutting back on fried and processed foods can help restore the body’s natural defense.
*Dairy products contain a protein that may irritate the tissue around the joint. Cutting out dairy may greatly reduce the painful symptoms of arthritis.
*Red meats (if you have gout) and saturated fat, sugar and refined carbs can also cause an inflammatory flare-up.
There are other methods to help relieve some of the pain associated with arthritis: strengthening exercises, physical therapy, walking and swimming. Hot and cold compress to the painful joint may also be helpful by reducing the swelling and pain caused by inflammation and increasing circulation.
And of course, good old fashion massage. Massage helps soothe aching joints and maintain range of motion by loosening stiff joints and reduce swelling caused by arthritis.
Ref: Osteoarthritis Health Center: