The 10 Best Foods To Eat If You Have Arthritis
If you have arthritis, you know just how devastating this condition can be.
Arthritis is a term for a class of diseases that cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can affect people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds.
There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one type, which develops in joints with overuse. Another type is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your joints (
Fortunately, there are many foods that can ease inflammation and may help relieve some of the joint pain associated with arthritis.
In fact, one survey found that 24% of those with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet had an impact on the severity of their symptoms (
This article will look at 10 of the best foods to eat if you have arthritis.
Best And Worst Foods For Arthritis
If you have arthritis, you may wonder if there are natural ways to reduce joint pain and inflammation. Incorporating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber into your diet is one way to do this. If you have questions about making changes to your diet, please talk with your doctor.
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People with rheumatoid arthritis know all too well the inflammation and pain that come with the disease. Although there’s no “RA diet” that treats the condition, some foods can lower inflammation in your body. And because they’re good for you, these foods — including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish — may help you feel better overall.
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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:
Draw Down The Nightshades
Some people with arthritis find that eating tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers trigger arthritic swelling and stiffness. “Eating nightshade plants can irritate the joints I see that quite a lot in my practice,” says Turner.
The inflammatory reaction may be due to a buildup of a bitter-tasting chemical found in nightshade plants called solanine, according to the Cleveland Clinic. However, giving up nightshades come with a downside: you’d miss out on some highly nutritious foods, the Cleveland Clinic notes.
The form of arthritis known as gout occurs when there is too much uric acid in the body and crystals of uric acid accumulate in the joints, causing swelling and pain. Uric acid is the result of the breakdown of chemical compounds in certain foods called purines. “Gout is its own little beast,” says Turner. The worst foods to eat if you have gout are “foods high in purines like organ meats, alcohol , sardines, and sweet beverages like soda and juices with high fructose corn syrup,” she says. Even certain vegetables, like cauliflower and asparagus, are higher in purines than others and may cause inflammation in a joint.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
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Importance Of Weight Loss When Treating Osteoarthritis
Regardless of the form of the disease, adherence to a therapeutic diet for osteoarthritis is a prerequisite for delaying deformity. If you continue eating unhealthy food, then complete destruction of the joint can occur, and the limb will no longer move.
Only rational nutrition along with exercises will help you reduce your body weight. A decrease in body weight for 1.5 kg leads to an improvement in well-being in 2025% of people with knee joint damage. Weight reduction for 5 kg contributes to slowing the progression of the disease by 50%. At the same time, pain decreases and the physical activity of patients increases.
To lose excess weight, you can take the following measures:
- Try to cook at home more often, using fresh natural products
- Stop using semi-finished products that contain a lot of salt, sugar, and transgenic fats
- Eat in small portions
- Lead a more active lifestyle walk more often, exercise, and do gymnastics
So What Should You Do About It
Sadly, there is no magic bullet for curing or completely preventing your arthritis pain.
All of the foods above can contribute in varying degrees to osteoarthritis, so by limiting or eliminating their consumption, you are on your way to managing your arthritis pain in the best way possible — naturally and from the inside out.
And the truth is, if you’re not strategic about what you eat you’re not doing everything you can to help relieve your pain.
Disclaimer here: we recommend talking to a doctor, nutritionist, or another professional before making any sudden lifestyle changes like a diet change. That said, ask your doc for support in making a change safely. Then, try changing what you eat for 30 days and see how you feel.
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The Connection Between Diet And Arthritis
More and more evidence connecting diet and arthritis continues to suggest that theyre
Researchers are still figuring out the role diet plays in creating chronic inflammation in the body resulting in chronic diseases, including arthritis, says Jerlyn Jones, MS, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. However, studies have shown that high saturated fat foods such as meat and foods with added sugars such as soda may increase inflammation negatively impacting the immune system resulting in inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
And what you choose to include or exclude in your diet can directly impact your body weight and your health.
Excess body weight can play a role in worsening arthritis because it can lead to increased stress on the joints, says Amber Pankonin, MS, RD, LMNT, registered dietitian and founder of the food blog The Stirlist. Weight loss, when combined with moderate activity, has been shown to help improve arthritis symptoms in older adults.
Unfortunately, pro-inflammatory foods are those that are rich in saturated fat, trans fat, fried foods, foods high in sugar and salt, refined grains and alcohol.
These foods are also low in overall nutrients and may exacerbate a persons symptoms, says Ehasani.
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Are Bananas Good For Joint Pain
Stock up on these superfoods your next trip to the supermarket! Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce joint pain and shorten the duration of morning stiffness. Bananas and Plantains are high in magnesium and potassium that can increase bone density. Magnesium may also alleviate arthritis symptoms.
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Blueberries And Other Berries
A 2018 study published in Food & Function examined current evidence, including research from clinical studies, regarding the effectiveness of berries in reducing arthritis pain and inflammation. The authors concluded that blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries offered some of the best protection for arthritis, largely attributed to anti-inflammatory fruit polyphenols like quercetin, anthocyanins, and citrus flavonoids. Another 2018 study published in Arthritis Care & Research evaluated survey responses from 217 participants regarding their diet and arthritis symptoms. The authors found that blueberries were one of the foods most often reported to improve symptoms.
Sugar And Certain Sugar Alternatives
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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Foods You Should Avoid With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Roughly 54 million adults have been doctor-diagnosed with arthritis and according to the Arthritis Foundation, the number of people battling this disease by 2040 is projected to soar to over 78 million.
Arthritis is a general term that encompasses conditions of joint pain and functional limitations. Symptoms of joint swelling, pain, stiffness, and a decreased range of motion mark the illness.
There are many different types of arthritis, divided into two main categories: inflammatory and non-inflammatory. The most common form of non-inflammatory arthritis is osteoarthritis, while the most common inflammatory arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory illness that occurs when joints and other tissues are mistakenly attacked by the immune system. Halyna Kuzyshyn, M.D., board certified in rheumatology and internal medicine, explains that if the tissue remains inflamed it can lead to the loosening of tendons and ligaments while also destructing joints with cartilage damage, bone erosion, and loss of function.
Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs is critical to reducing inflammation and pain, improving physical functions, and preventing further joint damage. However, Dr. Kuzyshyn advises that a persons diet can be complimentary to medication and can help to control inflammation. After all, we are what we eat, she says.
The Best Diet For Arthritis
Although following a healthy diet isnt the only factor in helping reduce arthritis-induced symptoms, it definitely can help.
Each person is different, but in general the same healthy eating strategies apply. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, reduce saturated fat intake, and focus on heart-healthy protein and fat sources, as this might help reduce inflammation and maintain healthy body weight, says Pankonin.
This means those with arthritis should be following an anti-inflammatory diet.
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An anti-inflammatory diet consists of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and oils, low-fat proteins, fatty fish, beans, nuts and seeds, says Ehsani. Spices should also be included because they are a rich source of antioxidants. Many spices including turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, have anti-inflammatory effects.
You can also choose anti-inflammatory drinks. Coffee, black tea and ginger tea are also high in antioxidants , and can be regularly enjoyed while following an anti-inflammatory diet, says Ehsani.
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Barbecued Or Blackened Foods Can Be Good Food Turned Dangerous
Who doesn’t love a good barbecue? There’s nothing quite like the flavor that is imparted when something is cooked over an open flame. There is also nothing quite like the arthritis flare-ups that you might experience when you consume these foods.
When you eat meats that are cooked at very high temperatures, a strange thing happens — Advanced Glycation End byproducts are produced. These harmful byproducts are unrecognized by your body as anything it wants to deal with, so it throws up an inflammatory response to combat this “invader.” Unfortunately, when this happens it can manifest in your joints as arthritis .
Talk To A Nutrition Expert
A recognized nutrition expert will be very useful in establishing and maintaining good eating habits. Actually, different factors could be taken into account in the development of a nutritional plan adapted to your needs this is why it is important to have the support of a specialist who is a registered member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario.
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Processed Fast Food The Usual Suspect
Fast food is no stranger to topping the “worst-of” list. Your body simply isn’t designed to eat foods that have been processed and contain trans-fatty acids . Obviously, French fries are jockeying for the unflattering title of “most offensive fast food” but other fried foods — such as chicken nuggets, hamburgers and “fusion foods” — can take their toll. Many of these foods, even if they don’t contain trans fats, are cooked in oils such as peanut or soybean oil. These oils are high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which have been linked to inflammation. You may find yourself with a midnight craving for a shake and fries but keep in mind that you may be setting yourself up for a world of hurt — literally.
Stay Away Away From Snack Crackers And Pretzels When You Have Arthritis
As MIND Diet author Maggie Moon, MS, RD warns, “There are many studies linking a sub-optimal microbiome to inflammatory arthritis. Refined grain foods such as pretzels are exactly what a healthy microbiome doesn’t crave,” . The Arthritis Health blog concurs, explaining that refined carbohydrates cause blood glucose to spike, which in turn increases inflammation in the body.
What’s more, these packaged snacks are likely to contain partially hydrogenated oils as preservatives, and these trans fats are also known inflammation triggers. Lisa DeFazio, MS, RD also notes that the high sodium levels of such snacks could be a problem: “Salt may result in inflammation of joints… limit your sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams per day.”
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Start Cutting Out Processed Foods
While an elimination diet will help you find the worst foods for your arthritis, Turner says processed and high-sugar foods are generally the worst foods for sufferers of any type of arthritis for the same reasons they are harmful to your overall health. “Foods that contain a lot of chemicals and preservatives, high-starch foods, sugars, highly-processed grains, things like that will encourage inflammation and are what you want to get out of your diet first and replace with whole foods,” she says.
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Maintaining A Healthy Weight
Being overweight can put extra pressure on the joints, and excess fat stores in the body can cause further inflammation. Maintaining a healthy weight can lessen the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Keeping to a healthy weight can be difficult for some people, especially those who have a medical condition that reduces their mobility, such as osteoarthritis. A doctor or dietitian will be able to provide advice.
Including specific foods in the diet can strengthen the bones, muscles, and joints and help the body to fight inflammation and disease.
People with osteoarthritis can try adding the following eight foods to their diet to ease their symptoms:
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Red Meat And Fried Foods
Meatespecially red meatis high in saturated fats, which may cause high cholesterol and inflammation. In addition, meat contains high levels of advanced glycation end products that stimulate inflammation, particularly when it is broiled, grilled, roasted, or fried.1
Its not just fried chicken that you should avoid, though. Other fried foods, such as donuts and french fries, contain trans fats in addition to AGEs.
Foods And Beverages To Avoid With Arthritis
Arthritis is a common health condition involving chronic inflammation in your joints. It causes pain and damage to joints, bones, and other body parts depending on the type .
Osteoarthritis, which is noninflammatory, is the most common though over 100 types exist. In fact, up to 40% of men and 47% of women may be diagnosed with osteoarthritis during their lifetime .
Meanwhile, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are inflammatory conditions that are considered autoimmune diseases. Gout is another common type of inflammatory arthritis .
Research shows that dietary interventions, such as eliminating certain foods and beverages, may reduce symptom severity in people with inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis, as well as improve their overall quality of life.
Here are 8 foods and beverages to avoid if you have arthritis.
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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.
What About The Mediterranean Diet
As well as helping to reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis, eating a Mediterranean-style diet offers many other health benefits, including weight loss.
Following a Mediterranean diet may also reduce the risk of:
When someone is living with osteoarthritis, their body is in an inflammatory state.
While foods with anti-inflammatory properties may reduce symptoms, some foods contain substances that actively contribute to this inflammation. It is best to avoid or restrict these dietary choices.
The types of food to avoid are those that include the following:
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Build Your Own Salad Bowl
Maximize your nutrition and anti-inflammatory ingredients in one sitting! This bowl has all the elements to fight inflammation with its colorful variety of plantsvitamin K-rich leafy greens, fiber-rich avocado, prebiotic-rich onion, anthocyanin-rich berries, and zinc-rich pumpkin seeds. Use organic produce, shop local, and grow your own produce to maximize nutrition even further!
Sugar Why Do You Hurt Me So Good
Sugar. You crave it for no reason. Or so you think. It may come as no surprise that sugar is a culprit in creating addictive behaviors as the body releases the feel-good chemicals known as endorphins . Refined sugar, in particular, is highly stimulating. Aside from insatiable cravings, it can also lead to many different health issues, including its active role in increasing inflammation. This inflammation occurs through a fairly complex process — when you eat sugar it increases your blood glucose level. Then, in turn, this increase in blood sugar raises insulin. When this happens, inflammatory “messengers” known as cytokines are released, telling the body to launch an immune response that attacks cells and causes the pain and discomfort associated with inflammation. Kicking your sugar habit can greatly reduce the pain you experience with your arthritis.
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