To Manage Osteoarthritis Sip Green Tea
Whether you already have osteoarthritis or are trying to keep your joints supple as long as possible, you may want to ditch your morning cup of coffee for a cup of green tea. According to a 2011 paper published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, epigallocatechin-3-gallate , a polyphenol found in green tea, has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent or better manage osteoarthritis.
The authors theorized that green tea could be used alongside drugs prescribed to manage arthritis, either increasing the drugs’ effectiveness or allowing patients to get the same results with a lower dosage. These conclusions, however, are based on studies involving mice, so more research on humans is needed. There may also be other polyphenols in green tea that work together with EGCG to help fight joint inflammation.
Green tea has a number of other scientifically backed health benefits, so drinking it for help with osteoarthritis could lead to other positive changes. The combination of caffeine and potent plant compounds in green tea has been linked to improved brain function, increased fat burning, as well as decreased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer .
Foods For Fighting Inflammation Arthritis And Joint Pain
For those with arthritis, one in four will experience severe joint pain. That joint pain and stiffness often affects quality of life by limiting your ability to do the things you love.
When you suffer from arthritis, your body is in what is known as an inflammatory state. In this state, the old adage you are what you eat is quite true: some foods may trigger more inflammation while others can help reduce it.
If youre suffering from aching joints due to inflammation, changes to your diet can help.
Ginger: Spice Up Your Dishes To Turn Down The Flame
Like onions, ginger contains compounds that function in much the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. This versatile root adds flavor too. Add fresh peeled ginger to stir-fries, eat pickled ginger along with salmon sushi, or puree some and add it to an acorn squash soup.
Ginger supplements can also help reduce inflammation, but check with your doctor before taking them, Sandon says. Too much ginger can lead to thinning of the blood, which can be dangerous if you are taking certain drugs, like Coumadin . It can also decrease blood sugar levels, raising the risk of hypoglycemia. In addition, ginger may lower blood pressure, which could affect those taking high blood pressure medication.
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Does Weight Affect Arthritis
The simple answer is yes. Extra body weight increases the stress on many joints, particularly the knees, hips and lower back. There is also a clear link between being overweight and an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. If you are overweight, losing weight will decrease the stress on your joints, reduce pain and make it easier for you to move around.
Sour Cherries And Pomegranates
Both fruits contain the flavonoid anthocyanin. According to a review published in March 2018 in the journal Nutrients, cherries contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which help combat chronic conditions such as RA. Zashin is a proponent of tart or sour cherries for symptom improvement. Sour cherries may also lower levels of nitric oxide, a compound linked to RA, he says. Like cherries, pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, which can protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
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Purified Carbohydrates And Sugar
AGEs, or advanced glycation end products, rise when people eat a lot of sugar every day. There is a lot of inflammation caused by AGEs, so this is what they do. Further, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that processed sugars cause the body to release inflammatory messages called cytokines when theyre eaten. There are a lot of ways to make sure you dont eat too much sugar, but one strategic approach is to search for words that end in ose, like fructose or sucrose.
There are a lot of empty carbs in items like candy, baked desserts, and soda. You need to cut them out of your diet to help with your arthritis pain. Avoid food made from refined white flour, such as bread and crackers. Also, try to cut back on food made from white rice and many cereals, like oatmeal. Fruit juice is also not on the list. Always buy the whole fruit.
High Salt Content Foods
Salt is an essential body nutrient, especially because it provides the body with iodine. However, consuming too much salt also has some adversities. Choosing to cut back on salt consumption may be a very good choice if you suffer from arthritis.
Some of the foods that contain salt in large quantities include canned soup, some seafoods like shrimp, certain cheeses, processed foods, and many more. A high salt content diet can lead to more severe symptoms. Research has also revealed that high sodium foods and their intake are risk factors for autoimmune diseases.
To add more flavor to your food, you can add herbs, spices, and other seasoning mixes that have no additional salt. You may use onion powder, ground pepper, cumin, oregano, and minced garlic. High salt intake is associated with increased inflammatory response. Eat produce of the allium family. These include onions and garlic. Those who consume such products have shown fewer signs of joint pain and osteoarthritis.
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If You Have Gout Avoid Certain Kinds Of Seafood
According to the Mayo Clinic, gout is a type of arthritis marked by sudden and severe pain in a particular joint, often the big toe. Gout is caused by “needlelike” urate crystals that form in joints or the surrounding tissue. Urate crystals are made of uric acid, a byproduct of breaking down substances called purines, found in varying amounts within a number of foods. Uric acid can build up and create urate crystals in people who produce too much uric acid or whose kidneys have a hard time getting rid of the uric acid.
Certain foods, including some types of seafood, are particularly high in purines. According to Elevated Health, a family medicine clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, sardines in oil contain enough purines to produce 480 milligrams of uric acid per 100-gram serving. Smoked sprat is an even bigger offender, producing 804 milligrams of uric acid per 100-gram serving.
Many other fish are considered moderately high in purines, producing between 100 too 400 milligrams of uric acid per 100-gram serving. These include redfish, anchovies, and trout. Lobster, shrimp, mussels, and scallops are also moderately high in purines.
Foods To Avoid With Arthritis
Some foods have been found to increase inflammation and should be avoided as much as possible if you have arthritis. These include:
- Mono-Sodium Glutamate This chemical ingredient is added to many foods as a flavor enhancer, most commonly in Asian foods like soy sauce, and has been shown to trigger inflammation. Look for it on food labels.
What about Gluten?
While some people believe gluten can worsen RA, there is no evidence to support this. However, those who are sensitive to gluten should avoid eating it in order to avoid bowel inflammation.
Alcohol and Tobacco
Cigarette smoking is bad for everyone, but in people with RA it has been shown to increase the severity of the disease. Smoking can also make it harder to manage RA. Studies show that people with RA who smoke are less likely to achieve remission and tend to have a worse prognosis.
Smoking can also increase painful rheumatoid nodules, which form in the joints, and can lead to heart disease, the leading cause of death in people with RA. People with RA are at greater risk for heart disease compared to the general population.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation
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Mayo Clinic Minute: Fighting Arthritis With Food
Millions of Americans suffer from symptoms of arthritis that are often debilitating. The most common form is degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, followed by inflammatory or rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. John Davis III, a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist, says what you eat may help with some of the inflammation associated with arthritis.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network. Read the script.
Can avoiding foods like potato chips and pizza help ease your arthritis pain? Maybe.
Some foods can increase inflammation levels and contribute to symptoms of arthritis, especially really fatty foods simple sugars or carbohydrates, lots of salt, or salty food, says Dr. Davis.
Symptoms may include swollen and achy joints, discomfort and pain.
Arthritis relates to a diverse set of disorders where there is inflammation that occurs in joints, says Dr. Davis.
He says that while medication may help joint pain, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and paying attention to the food you eat play important roles.
Small amounts of weight loss can lead to reductions of just overall inflammation in the body, which can have overall benefits, says Dr. Davis.
Add more fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, whole grains and fish. These foods are thought to reduce inflammation and help with pain.
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.
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Healthy Weight And Arthritis
If youre overweight or obese, the extra load on your joints may be making your arthritis symptoms worse, especially if the affected joints include your hips, knees, feet or spine. Theres also a clear link between being overweight and an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.
To lose excess weight you need to be active, but this can be challenging for people with arthritis due to pain or stiffness. See your doctor, dietitian or health professional for information and advice.
The Scoop On Supplements
Supplements abound when it comes to arthritis. But only glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have some evidence to support their use. Glucosamine with chondroitin may decrease pain in people with moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
Note that osteoarthritis is the only type of arthritis that may benefit from these supplements. They do not help people with rheumatoid arthritis.
In general, glucosamine and chondroitin have minimal side effects. Steer clear of glucosamine if you are allergic to shellfish, or consider only glucosamine derived from a vegetable source. Glucosamine may raise blood sugar. Chondroitin can interact with anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs such as warfarin and aspirin that can increase the risk of bleeding.
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How Does Osteoarthritis Lead To Joint Pain And Stiffness
Today well detail some of the foods that can help ease pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. First, lets take a moment to familiarize ourselves with how the disease impacts the joints.
Osteoarthritis is the result of overuse. Thus, joints that people use frequently are the ones most likely to feel the impact of the condition. The most common occurrences arise in the following joints:
Osteoarthritis destroys the cartilage that normally cushions the bones in the joints in the body. This damage leads to bone-on-bone contact. The longer these bones rub against one another, the more damage they do to the muscles and connective tissues in the joints. Moreover, this series of events leads to severe stiffness, inflammation, and pain commonly associated with osteoarthritis.
Healthy Eating And Arthritis
Your body works best when you eat a wide range of healthy foods. Most people find that they feel better if they eat a balanced and varied diet to get all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients their body needs.
Try to eat a Mediterranean-style diet which includes fish, pulses, nuts, olive oil and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Eating a balanced diet and having an adequate fluid intake can also help provide you with better energy levels, help to maintain your weight, and give you a greater sense of wellbeing, which may improve your symptoms.
Always seek the advice of your doctor or dietitian before changing your diet. You may be restricting your food intake unnecessarily or taking too much of certain products that may have no impact on your condition at all. Some supplements may also interact with your medication.
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To Prevent Osteoarthritis Add More Olive Oil To Your Diet
When it comes to arthritis-proofing your diet, extra-virgin olive oil is an excellent choice. It’s full of monounsaturated fatty acids, which, according to a study published in 2018 in Arthritis Care & Research, help reduce the loss of joint space over time in arthritic knees. Olive oil is also high in anti-inflammatory plant compounds that may reduce inflammation and slow or prevent osteoarthritis.
In a 2013 study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers explained that lubricin is a substance produced in joints that helps lubricate and protect cartilage. When a joint is injured or repeatedly stressed, the body releases immune molecules called cytokines. Cytokines are inflammatory and suppress the production of lubricin. The researchers found that olive oil, in combination with physical activity, helped reduce cytokine levels and increase lubricin levels in rats with injured knees. They concluded that eating a diet rich in olive oil could prevent osteoarthritis in humans by safeguarding cartilage from inflammation.
In addition to fighting osteoarthritis, olive oil may reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer .
Vegetarian And Vegan Diets
Many people choose to take up vegetarian or vegan diets for personal, religious, ethical, health or environmental reasons. Generally speaking, vegetarians dont eat any meat or fish, and vegans dont eat meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and other animal products.
Theres no evidence that avoiding foods such as red meat can help with rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating a plant-based diet has lots of health benefits, but its important to make sure youre still getting enough nutrients and making sure that any substitutes for animal products are still healthy choices.
Some people find that a vegetarian diet does help with their symptoms but before you change your diet, you should speak to your doctor or a dietitian to make sure youre still getting all the nutrients you need.
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Additions To Your Diet
Add these high-quality foods to your diet. They can help to fill nutritional gaps and reduce joint pain:
How Can My Diet Affect My Condition
Eating a balanced diet and having a healthy lifestyle such as regular physical activity, not smoking, not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can have a huge impact on arthritis and our health in general.
Although there are no diets or supplements that will cure your arthritis, some people do find that their condition is affected by what they eat, how much they weigh and their physical activity levels.
There are many types of arthritis, and there are differences between people, so what works for one person may not work for another.
When it comes to what we eat, the two things that can have the biggest impact on arthritis are:
- Your weight being overweight can increase the strain on your joints, so keeping to a healthy weight can help. Being overweight can also increase your risk of developing certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
- Eating a balanced diet eating a diet with all the vitamins and minerals you need is important for everyone, but for people with arthritis it could help reduce the side effects of some drugs and protect you from conditions affecting the heart and blood, which can be a complication of some forms of arthritis.
Changing your diet probably wont have as great an impact on your arthritis as medical treatments, and its not recommended that you stop any of your treatments.
You should always speak to a healthcare professional before you make any major changes to your diet and lifestyle.
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