In The Kitchen With Arthritis: Foods To Avoid
The goal of an anti-inflammatory diet for arthritis is to reduce inflammation and the joint degeneration and pain it causes.What Are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?
You can influence inflammation by eating anti-inflammatory foods, such as leafy greens and colorful vegetables, and avoiding these 7 inflammatory foods:
Coffee: Health Benefits And Risks
Coffee contains a variety of nutrients and acts as a stimulant. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system to increase alertness, memory, concentration, and physical performance.
Coffee is a low-calorie beverage when drank by itself, with fewer than 5 calories per 8-ounce cup. In addition to caffeine, coffee also provides:
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the bodys own immune system. Normally, the immune system can protect itself against bacteria and viruses, but when youre living with RA, the bodys immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. This then creates inflammation around the tissue, which in turn thickens inside the joints and causes extreme pain and swelling. And RA is a chronic condition with no known cure, meaning sufferers often live with these aches and pains for a lifetime.
Fortunately, there are treatment options available to stop inflammation, relieve symptoms and prevent joint and organ damage. Most RA sufferers turn to treatments like over-the-counter pain medication, prescription medications, and injection treatments to find relief.
But medication isnt the only way you can achieve RA relief. Maintaining a healthy diet also plays an important role in keeping symptoms at bay. And part of that healthy diet can and perhaps should include chocolate. Studies have suggested that chocolate is beneficial for RA sufferers.
Not so sure? Here are some reasons thatll change your mind.
Recommended Reading: Arthritis Flare Up In Hands
Best Healthy Snacks That Help Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis to affect women. It can occur in all stages of life, especially in the later years. Scientists are still trying to understand the reasons behind the ailment, along with ways to cure it.
Trying to prevent rheumatoid arthritis isnt always easy. In fact, there is very little that you can do to stop it from happening completely. You can, however, take steps to slow down the progression and avoid it from taking over your life.
The diet is one of the most common ways to help prevent rheumatoid arthritis from becoming a major issue in life. Its food, after all, that can lead to inflammation within the body. This causes inflammation in the joints, leading to pain and stiffness within them.
So, heres a look at 12 of the best snacks to eat. They will help to prevent arthritis from occurring and getting worse over time.
Milk Substitutes Recommended For Someone With Arthritis
There are calcium-enriched foods other than milk. These items include chickpeas, almonds, collard greens, kale, and non-dairy milk such as soy, almond, hemp, rice, and cashew milk just to name a few. It is importantto consume a balanced diet with the essential vitamins and nutrients that will help your overall health.
Recommended Reading: What Helps Lower Back Arthritis
Don’t Miss: How To Deal With Arthritis
Cocoa Helps In Weight Loss
The catechins present in cocoa have another important use. They lead to a significant reduction in body weight. They basically decrease fat from the body.
Cocoa prevents obesity by lowering the number of lipid or fat molecules.
It does so by regulating and increasing the lipid metabolism .
Along with this, it does not allow the body to synthesize the lipid molecules after a certain amount and it also prevents the transfer and storage of fats in the body.
Cocoa burns a high amount of fat which is stored in the tissues. All these mechanisms are controlled through the expression of genes and lead to a reduction in body weight.
What does this Mean? Cocoa causes a decrease in the body weight. Lower body weight decreases the stress on the joints, reducing the inflammation and pain.
Risks And Side Effects
Caffeine intake over 400 milligrams per day could lead to an elevated heart rate, mild dehydration, jittery feeling, increased risk for some diseases, and caffeine withdrawal. Caffeine itself isn’t addictive, your body may become accustomed to the stimulant.
If you decrease your caffeine intake it could lead to withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, increased fatigue, and difficulty focusing.
It’s also important to be mindful of what you drink with your coffee. Do you add a lot of creamer or dairy to your coffee? How much sugar or sweeteners are you adding to your coffee?
The added sugars and fat that is added to coffee increases your total calorie intake for the day, which could make weight maintenance more difficult, and the added sugar could put you at risk for developing conditions like diabetes.
Recommended Reading: Managing Arthritis Pain In Hands
Cocoa Helps In Bone Regeneration
Antioxidants have been studied to show a positive effect on the bone tissues.
It improves the metabolism of the bone cells which increases the production of the tissue, further repairing the bone loss.
This property of flavonoids is useful in people suffering from osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis which involves inflammation of the bones of various joints of the body.
This causes the bones to degenerate due to friction caused by continuous wearing down of those bones.
What does this Mean? In diseases such as osteoarthritis, bone degeneration from the joints is a common symptom. Cocoa is rich in minerals and antioxidants which prevent this and restore the bone density.
Cocoa Is Rich In Antioxidants
The polyphenols of cocoa are a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecular substances which prevent the formation of reactive oxygen species.
These act as free radicals and damage various organs of the body, including the bones and immune system.
This has a direct effect on those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis by inducing inflammation of the joints.
Cocoa can be included in the daily diet to inhibit free radical formation and oxidative stress.
What does this Mean? Excessive free radical formation can lead to oxidative stress. This enhances the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis such as inflammation of the joints. Polyphenols of cocoa can treat the reactive oxygen species due to its antioxidants.
Recommended Reading: What Relieves Arthritis Pain In Hands
Food Ingredients That Can Cause Inflammation
Avoid these 8 food ingredients that may trigger more inflammation in your body.
1. 8 Food Ingredients That Can Cause Inflammation
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
3. Saturated Fats
4. Trans Fats
5. Omega 6 Fatty Acids
6. Refined Carbohydrates
8. Gluten and Casein
11. Beating Inflammation
Get Expert Advice
Keep Diet In Perspective
“You read so much about diet for RA,” says Auer. “Just don’t let diet become another hardship in your life. Focus on fresh, healthier foods and less sugar, and don’t feel pressured to follow a diet to the letter.”
In time, ongoing research may provide more specific information about what to eat and avoid in general to ease arthritis symptoms, but each person with arthritis may have to find out for themselves what helps and what hurts.
If you think certain foods might be triggering arthritis flares or exacerbating symptoms, you might want to eliminate some foods thought to trigger arthritis symptoms, like dairy, citrus fruits, and nightshade vegetables. During an elimination diet, youll need to carefully read food labels, keep a food diary, and make sure youre still getting enough calories and nutrients to keep you energized and nourished throughout the day. Youll probably have to stick to the diet for a few weeks before you see results. And, as always, before you try an elimination diet, be sure to talk to your doctor, who can provide more guidance on dos and don’ts.
Recommended Reading: Skin Rashes And Arthritis
Does Cheese Affect Your Joints
You rely on your joints to lift things and put them away, walk to your mailbox or bend down to pick something up. Since all of these actions are vital to your health, you want to do everything you can to keep your joints healthy, including eating well. One food source that has positives and negatives for joint health is cheese. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about how cheese could affect your joints.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Cakes Cookies And Other Sweets
Given that both sugar and saturated fats are inflammatory foods, traditional treats are something those with arthritis should steer clear of. Fortunately, there are many ways to satisfy your sweet tooth, whether that be swapping out sugar for a natural alternative and/or swapping out butter and cream for low-fat yogurt or avocado. Here are some great low-sugar desserts to try.
You May Like: What Does Arthritis Do To The Body
Reducing Inflammation And Preventing Damage
A balanced, nutritious diet will give the body the tools it needs to prevent further damage to the joints, which is essential for people with osteoarthritis.
Some foods are known to reduce inflammation in the body, and following an anti-inflammatory diet can improve symptoms. Eating enough antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, may help to prevent further damage to the joints.
Can A Vegetarian Diet Reduce Inflammation
A vegetarian diet may be one option for people looking to reduce inflammation. The authors of a 2019 review analyzed data from 40 studies. They concluded that people who follow a vegetarian-based diet are likely to have lower levels of various inflammatory markers.
A 2017 looked at the data of 268 people who followed either a strict vegetarian diet, a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, or a nonvegetarian diet. The findings suggested that eating animal products could increase the risk of systemic inflammation and insulin resistance.
You May Like: Is Bee Pollen Good For Arthritis
Don’t Miss: Best Way To Relieve Arthritis Pain
What Exactly Is Arthritis
Arthritis, or joint inflammation, describes swelling and tenderness of one or more of the joints. Its main symptoms include joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Arthritis is a general term for a group of over 100 diseases causing inflammation and swelling in and around the joints.
Joint inflammation is a natural response of the body to a disease or injury, but becomes arthritis when the inflammation persists in the absence of joint injury or infection. Arthritis usually worsens with age and may even lead to a loss of joint movement.
There are different types of arthritis such as:
- Warm skin over the joints
- Redness of the skin over the joints
- Reduced range of movement.
Eat More Fruit And Vegetables
The World Health Organisation recommends that you eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. This is to make sure your body receives the important nutrients that it needs to maintain good health and to protect it during the stress of disease. It has been suggested that antioxidants may help to protect the joints by mopping up some of the chemicals that cause inflammation. Choose more vegetables or salad to help fill your plate but lower your calorie intake. Fruit and vegetables are good sources of fibre and choosing fruit and vegetables of different colours will give you a variety of vitamins and minerals. Brightly coloured vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants, as are leafy green vegetables.
Don’t Miss: How To Help Someone With Arthritis
Role Of Vitamin D In Osteoarthritis
Vitamin D has played prime roles in managing underlying symptoms of various diseases, including the disease of Osteoarthritis. Most of the cell types present in OA joints experience negative effects and even an increase in sensitivity towards Vitamin D. The deficiency of Vitamin D is considered a strong reason to cause the problem of osteoarthritis and related symptoms in individuals.
Avoiding Dairy Helps With Osteoarthritis
There are also claims that avoiding dairy can help with osteoarthritis. Although milk, cheese, and other dairy products for some people, these foods can have anti-inflammatory effects in others.
An elimination diet can help people to determine whether or not their symptoms improve or worsen with dairy intake.
You May Like: How To Deal With Arthritis
Cocoa Improves The Immune System
Cocoa plays a role in influencing the immune system.
The immune system is responsible for protecting the body from foreign particles which may harm the body.
It affects the immunoglobulin, which are antibodies responsible for killing antigens which enter the body.
Imbalance in the number of T cells of the immune system may lead to rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Cocoa regulates and inhibits these T cells, which helps to control the disease.
Cocoa contains flavonoids. These decrease the number of TNF alpha molecules. Tumour necrosis factor-alpha is a type of cytokine which causes the death of cells.
Autoimmune diseases are those in which the immune system starts to attack the bodyâs own cells.
TNF alpha molecules are responsible for this and so decreasing their number would help to control the disease.
A study found that a cocoa-enriched diet was helpful in reducing the symptoms of arthritis.
Cocoa modulates the immune cells which are responsible for causing collagen-induced arthritis.
This property of cocoa is due to its flavonols which also reduce the number of reactive oxygen species and act as antioxidants.
Another study on an animal model of arthritis came to the conclusion that cocoa shows anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in the treatment of arthritis.
It regulates the autoimmune responses and acts on the lymphocytes to prevent the symptoms of this disorder.
Overdoing It On Added Sugar Can Contribute To Inflammation Heres How To Eat Less Sugar Without Quitting Cold Turkey
Heres the thing: Sugar itself isnt inherently bad. It gives you energy and occurs naturally in many healthy foods, like fruits, veggies, and dairy, says Jen Bruning, MS, RD, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
The problem is when you overdo it on *added* sugar the kind found in processed foods and drinks. Consistently consuming too much can contribute to obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes mess with your mood and even give you more wrinkles. Plus, eating too much added sugar may exacerbate inflammation which is particularly important when you have rheumatoid arthritis or other forms of inflammatory arthritis.
You May Like: Arthritis In Knuckles Relief
Does What You Eat Have An Effect On Ra
Question: Does what I eat have an effect on my rheumatoid arthritis? I heard about an anti-inflammatory diet that includes eating salmon and dark chocolate and drinking green tea. I currently take medication for my RA, but it can’t hurt to try this anti-inflammatory diet, right? Santa Barbara, CA
Answer: You’re right: What you eat may have a mild effect on your rheumatoid arthritis . Some foodsas part of the anti-inflammatory dietmay have an anti-inflammatory effect, which means that they may reduce inflammation levels in your body.The goal of an anti-inflammatory diet is to reduce the overall inflammation in your body. Photo Source: 123RF.com.Inflammation in your body can cause swollen, stiff, and/or tender jointsclassic RA symptoms.
The difference between this so-called “diet” and other diets is that the goal isn’t necessarily weight lossalthough anti-inflammatory foods do encourage weight loss. Rather, the goal of an anti-inflammatory diet is to reduce the overall inflammation in your body.
Eating to avoid constant inflammation is good for your overall health, but the question is: Is it enough to eat anti-inflammatory foods to combat inflammation?
Most people eat too many foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids, essential fatty acids that can be found in highly processed foods, red meat, full-fat dairy foods, saturated fats, trans fats, and baked goods. These foods can promote inflammation.
Below are some other foods that may ease the inflammation associated with RA.
Nightshade Vegetables Cause Inflammation
Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers all contain the chemical solanine, which some blame for arthritis pain. However, the Arthritis Foundation say that there is no scientific evidence for this. Adding these nutritious vegetables to the diet can have many benefits for chronic health conditions.
There is evidence that certain foods and nutrients can improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. They do this by fighting inflammation, providing nutrition, and boosting bone, muscle, and immune system function.
People may also benefit from avoiding or restricting foods that contribute to inflammation.
Being overweight or obese places extra pressure on the joints, which can make the symptoms of osteoarthritis worse.
Eating a balanced diet rich in plants, fiber, and anti-inflammatory fats, such as those that the Mediterranean diet includes, can help people living with osteoarthritis to maintain a healthy weight.
This will help to ease symptoms, such as pain and swelling.
Also Check: Rash From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Cocoa Protects The Heart
Inflammation in arthritis can trigger heart risks. People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis are at a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
This can be prevented by regular intake of cocoa.
The antioxidants of cocoa show a protective effect on heart health.
A flavonol rich diet can be very healthy and may prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cocoa is rich in flavan-3-ols which have been found to be particularly beneficial in preventing the risk of any heart disease.
Cocoa can be consumed in the form of high-flavonol chocolates for best results.
What does this Mean? Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the heart and cause cardiovascular diseases. Cocoa consumption can prevent the adverse effects of arthritis on the heart.
Other Types Of Arthritis
There are other types of arthritis that impact both adults and children. Fibromyalgia causes pain and stiffness all over the body. Other symptoms include fatigue, migraines, and tingling or numbness in the hands and feet. Dairy can help individuals with fibromyalgia because of the vitamin D component. If there is lactose intolerance, consuming other milk products fortified with vitamin D is an option. These products include almond, coconut, and cashew milk.
A type of arthritis that impacts children is juvenile idiopathic arthritis. This occurs in children ages 16 or younger and affects one or more joints. Although this type of arthritis can be outgrown in children, it causes joint stiffness, inflammation, and can affect bone development in growing children. Researchers surveyed parents of patients who have juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Improved pain or joint swelling was found in patients who had a gluten-free, anti-inflammatory, and lactose-free diet.
Also Check: How To Deal With Arthritis