Thursday, July 18, 2024

Is Dark Chocolate Bad For Arthritis

In The Kitchen With Arthritis: Foods To Avoid

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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:

Deadly Inflammation Causing Foods Fatal For Inflammatory Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful condition that involves inflammation, swelling and joint pain. Although there is not strict diet for arthritis, excluding certain foods from the diet can help in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and calming the excruciating pain.

Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates

It is difficult to resist the temptation of desserts, chocolate bars, pastries, soda and other sweet treats but sugar and refined carbohydrates must be eliminated from a rheumatoid arthritis patients diet because processed sugars trigger inflammation in the body by increasing the release of cytokines the inflammatory messengers.

Fruit juices, canned fruits and other sweets are loaded with fructose and sucrose which are poisons by themselves. Refined carbs such as white flour, white rice and sugar) are also called pro-inflammatory carbs. Such carbs are not used as energy rather they are stored as inflammatory saturated fats in the body which triggers inflammation and cause heart disease.

Salt and Preservatives

Excessive salt in food and added table salt in food is one of the main causes of inflammation. Processed foods and ready to eat meals contain high levels of sodium and preservatives to increase their shelf life. Regular consumption of these foods results in the inflammation of joints.

Dairy Products

Fried and Processed Foods



Corn Oil



Best Anti-inflammatory Foods for the Arthritis Diet

Arthritis And The Inflammatory Process

Inflammation occurs in the joints due to the damage associated with cartilage breakdown or from the immune system attacking the thin membrane that lines the joints, causing a buildup of fluid and inflammation. Symptoms vary from person to person but may include swelling, pain or a decreased range of motion in the affected joints. Depending on the type of arthritis, inflammation may not be limited to the joint itself. It can affect the body as a whole, which can lead to systemic side effects like fatigue and a decreased appetite.

Read Also: Ra Pain Relief

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Foods That Fight Inflammation

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Fight inflammation by adding these items to your next grocery list.

We live in a world where we document most everything in pictures or on social media. So, its natural that most people would want to avoid any unnecessary inflammation for their next photo op.

Not only can inflammation affect us aesthetically, but inflammation can mean a myriad of harmful and adverse dispositions on the body, including stress, arthritis, and some cancers.

In fact, inflammation is one of the leadingand initialsigns that toxins or other harmful substances are inside the body. The body begins to swell and inflame as the first sign of healing triggered by the immune system.

But, what if there was something that we could do to help the body fight inflammation and reverse damage? We can, by feeding our body and cells healthy, anti-inflammatory foods as well as get in great workouts with Aaptiv.

We spoke with Registered Nurse Rebecca Lee, founder of Remedies for Me, on the nutrients and sustenance to add to our pantries to help fight inflammation. Read on as we break down our ten favorite finds.

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Caffeine Can Help Asthma Too

Caffeine is metabolized in the liver to produce small amounts of theophylline and theobromine. So, another way to get the benefits of theobromine is to consume products that contain caffeine, which include coffee, tea, cola drinks, and cocoa.4,5 So, this gives you an excuse to consume those chocolate-flavored coffee drinks that you love. It gives you an excuse to finally eat the chocolate Easter bunny that you are hiding, waiting for that perfect moment to consume.

Interestingly, the University of Michigan even list dark chocolate as one of the essential foods as a part of their Healing Foods Pyramid. Along with increasing mental acuity and the other benefits of xanthines, dark chocolate also contains antioxidants and flavonoids6, which, as I explain in my post, Can Your Diet Improve Asthma, may help you obtain ideal asthma control.

In fact, they recommend 7 ounces of dark chocolate every week, or an average of 1 ounce per day.

Nutritional Composition Of Chocolate

Cocoa powder, which is used to make chocolate, is an abundant source of phytochemicals, which are plant chemicals that enhance health in a variety of ways. Dark chocolate contains a higher amount of phytochemicals than milk or white chocolate do. Phytochemical content also depends upon the type and percentage of cocoa powder used when making chocolate.

Also Check: What To Do For Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

Best Oils For Arthritis

The oil you put on your salad can add to your anti-inflammatory arsenal.

Among the myriad bottles of oils lining grocery store shelves are some that offer a dose of anti-inflammatory action and other health perks for people with arthritis. When part of a diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins, certain oils can help stave off heart disease, stroke and diabetes, for which many people with arthritis have an increased risk.

Some may also help prevent inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, as well as certain cancers, says Sara Haas, a Chicago-based dietitian, chef and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Oils Explained

All oils are a mixture of fatty acids monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated and its the ratio of these acids that determine whether an oil or fat is healthful or harmful.

Healthy oils and fats have a higher amount of unsaturated fatty acids and a lower amount of saturated fatty acids than their less-healthy counterparts, says Haas. Unsaturated fats mono and poly have unique health benefits. Monounsaturated fats can help lower your blood LDL level and raise HDL cholesterol, which in turn can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Polyunsaturated fats may lower total blood cholesterol, which also helps prevent heart disease.

Here are Haass top picks for healthy oils.

Olive Oil

Grapeseed Oil

Walnut Oil

Avocado Oil

Canola Oil

Overdoing It On Added Sugar Can Contribute To Inflammation Heres How To Eat Less Sugar Without Quitting Cold Turkey

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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.

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Salmon Tuna Sardines And Mackerel

These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have found can decrease inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, eating a 3 to 4 ounce serving of these fish two or more times a week is recommended for protecting the heart and reducing inflammation.

While fresh fish can get pricey quickly, one tip to make it more affordable is by looking in the freezer section or buying canned sardines, salmon or tuna. Be sure to choose lower sodium options when purchasing canned items if you need to keep your sodium in check.

How Sugar May Affect Ra

A 2017 survey of people with RA found that the foods most often linked to worse symptoms were sugary ones, specifically desserts and sodas. One reason may simply be that people who cut out added sugar end up losing weight, which can improve RA symptoms, explains survey co-author Sara Tedeschi, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. âItâs hard to separate the effect of dietary change from the effect of weight loss.â

The tie between sugar and RA is nothing new. Many people assume that the autoimmune disorder started happening only recently. But it was first seen by Western doctors in the late 19th century, when sugar became more widely available to the public. âAt the same time as we started seeing tooth decay and gum disease, we started seeing RA,â explains Avram Goldberg, MD, clinical director of NYU Langone Rheumatology Associates in Lake Success, NY. âWe think that the sugar caused a change in bacteria in the mouth, which in turn made some people more susceptible to the condition.â

Also, many people with RA have proteins in their body called anti-citrullinated protein antibodies , Hsiao explains. These cause the inflammation that triggers the disease. Experts think sugar triggers your body to make more ACPA, she says, which can make your symptoms worse.

Also Check: What Does Arthritis Do To You

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.

Does Cheese Affect Your Joints

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms: Add more antioxidants to cut joint pain ...

Fact Checked

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.

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Why I Quit Chocolate

by Andrea | Nutrition

I used to be a serious chocolate addict. Just like I once couldnt fathom my life without bread, for many years I thought I could never live without chocolate. Now I know there are many things I can live without, including chocolate.

Sometime last fall, I started feeling a sharp pain in my left shoulder. I thought Id torn a muscle doing pull ups. I got some acupuncture and a couple of days later, the pain was gone. I quickly forgot the incident.

About a month later, I experienced a similar pain, this time in my right shoulder. I had taken several yoga classes in the same week so I figured I had overdone the yoga and that perhaps I was getting old and needed to be more careful about how much exercise I got. This time I had to bend my shoulder awkwardly just so I could move my arm. It hurt badly! I got acupuncture three days in a row and took Epsom Salt baths every night.

On the fourth day I woke up to a fading pain in the shoulder, but now my left wrist was on fire. Thats when I understood this had nothing to do with exercise.

I tried taking Advil, but that didnt help much, so I moved onto Aleve in order to function for a few hours. I welcomed the New Year unable to unscrew bottles or open windows, looking for elevators wherever I went, as I was limping about 50% of the time and taking the stairs was hard. I was scared.

I decided to take matters into my own hands. Whatever this migratory joint pain was, I had no doubt it was of an autoimmune nature.

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Sugar And Certain Sugar Alternatives

Chocolate Health Benefits -11 Health Benefits Of Chocolate That You Won’t Believe

Foods that contain refined sugarincluding pastries, chocolate, candy, soda, and even fruit juicestrigger the release of proteins in the body called cytokines, which cause inflammation. Sugar is labeled many ways in food items in addition to sugar, watch out for corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, or maltose in ingredient lists.

Cutting back on regular sugar may lead people to seek out foods made with sugar alternatives, such as aspartame and sucralose, when a sweet tooth hits. However, some people are sensitive to these substances, which can cause an inflammatory response from the body. Sugar alternatives are often found in diet sodas, gum, sugar-free candy, and low-fat yogurt and pudding.

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If A Food Affects Your Symptoms Avoid It

Many people with arthritis have found that certain foods trigger symptoms. While Manno says this phenomenon is real, researchers arent yet able to reliably identify specific food triggers for people. But her patients with RA often tell her that a specific food or foods make their RA symptoms worse.

Manno tells them its not in their heads. She often hears patients say they feel better if they avoid artificial sweeteners and preservatives, for instance. Some people report that they feel better if they avoid gluten, opt for a vegan diet, or use certain spices for arthritis relief. A bit of trial and error can help you find what works for you.

What To Eat If You Have Psoriatic Arthritis

If you have psoriatic arthritis, there are a lot of reasons to eat healthy. The autoimmune disease, which strikes up to 30% of people who have psoriasis, can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. And because extra pounds put added pressure on jointspotentially worsening psoriatic arthritis symptoms and leading to deterioration of the joints over timepatients should make it a goal to maintain a healthy weight, says Marie Jhin, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in the Bay Area who cares for patients with disease.

When psoriatic arthritis patients are thinking about their diets, they should also consider that psoriasis might slightly increase a persons likelihood of developing other health problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes, according to the American College of Rheumatology. This makes it especially important for psoriatic arthritis patients who also have psoriasis to eat foods that protect their heart and help them maintain healthy cholesterol levels. At the same time, they should avoid foods that promote inflammation, contain empty calories that can lead to weight gain, and are high in cholesterol. Read on to learn which foods psoriatic arthritis patients should avoid, plus healthier choices to add to your plate.

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