Arthritis affects almost one in every five people in the United States. Arthritis is the broad term for hundreds of disorders that involve the joints. The two main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. They each damage the joints in different ways. The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis could be pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, and decreases range of motion depending on the type you have. Most people are not aware that choosing healthy foods can tremendously improve the way they feel.
Many people enjoy food so much that they may not realize that what they are putting into their systems can cause inflammation in their bodies. Arthritis is a disease of inflammation so those with arthritis should focus on finding the anti-inflammatory foods they like. Daily exercise and loosing weight (if overweight) will help alleviate the stress on the joints. It will also help in lowering the level of inflammation in the body. Nutrition is key! It is always a good idea to discuss a new diet with a professional.
You can fight arthritis with foods that help reduce some aspect of inflammation; Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, rainbow trout, Pacific oysters, flaxseed and walnuts), Extra-virgin olive oil (use when cooking), Antioxidants (sweet peppers, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, pineapple, lemons, broccoli, cantaloupe, mangos, tuna, crab, tilapia, whole-wheat pasta, lean beef, cod, shrimp, turkey, sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin, apricots, spinach, onions, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, elderberries and apples), and Spices (ginger and turmeric) are among some that are known to help.
Inflammation irritates arthritic joints, causing the tissues to swell and become inflamed. Eating anti-inflammatory foods may reduce swelling, but it’s also important to know about the foods that can trigger painful inflammation. Stay away from; fried foods, sodas, refined carbs, lard, processed meats, refined oils, salts, sugars, dairy products, simple carbs, processed foods, saturated fat, trans fat, alcohol, tobacco, white rice, white flour, white bread, pasta, pastries etc.
Maintaining a healthy diet can be done by eliminating or reducing inflammatory foods. Start by reading the ingredient labels and look for indicated levels of saturated and trans fats. Compare different product brands to see which ones have lower levels of unhealthy fats and sugars. Switch to natural cooking oils like olive or avocado oil. Avoid deep fried foods or ones that have been cooked at high temperatures. Choose more low fat and trans fat-free options when buying packaged foods. Add more omega-3 fatty acids and reduce omega-6 fatty acids. Finally eat as close to natural as possible by consuming less prepackaged and processed foods.
If you have arthritis, it is important to find the foods that make you feel better. These food suggestions are guideline and not a one size fits all. Foods that cause joint pain for one person may not cause the same joint pain for the next person. Paying attention to what you are consuming can change the way you feel drastically. Stay away from the foods that cause inflammation for you and find the anti-inflammatory foods that you like! And don’t forget to exercise!