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.
Leafy And Cruciferous Greens
When it comes to vegetables, leafy and cruciferous greens have more specific antioxidants that can reduce inflammation. Leafy vegetables include spinach, kale, and chard. Instead of making salads with romaine, swap out with one of these types of greens to increase your intake. You can even add them to smoothies to add texture without adding too much flavor.
Cruciferous vegetables include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. These types of vegetables are meatier and can even be used as a meat substitute. Try making cauliflower nuggets instead of chicken and experiment with spices and flavor.
Who Is Most At Risk For Developing Osteoarthritis
Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder with an unknown etiology, osteoarthritis is far better understood. According to most physicians, scientists, and researchers, the following factors can significantly increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis:
Age According to a study published by the CDC , doctor-diagnosed arthritis, which includes osteoarthritis, is highest among individuals who are age 65 and over.
Gender While there is no scientific data that clearly explains why there is a disparity, multiple studies have found that women are more likely than men to develop osteoarthritis.
Obesity Not surprisingly, being overweight or obese can place a tremendous amount of strain on weight-bearing joints, causing them to become worn that much faster. That said, the more you weigh, the more likely you are to develop osteoarthritis that affects the knees, hips, and feet.
Genetics For 35 to 65 percent of the U.S. population, osteoarthritis is caused by 1 of 9 genes that are associated with the disease, according to a study published by ScienceDaily, an online resource that provides information related to science, health, the environment, and technology.
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Foods That Can Help Relieve Joint Pain
Inflammation aggravates arthritis pain. Your diet contributes a lot to inflammation — eat lots of refined sugars, alcohol, and saturated fat and you may make your arthritis pain more severe.
Instead, include foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and specific vitamins — such as vitamins C and A — to fight inflammation and encourage your bodys immune system to function optimally.
Here are 10 foods to include in your diet every week to help relieve joint pain, including some you may choose to have every day.
Best Fish For Arthritis
Adding more marine life to your meals could help calm inflammation
Arthritis is for the most part a disease of inflammation. When your joints swell, turn red and feel warm to the touch, what youre witnessing and feeling are inflammatory processes in motion.
One way to calm inflammation is with medicine your doctor prescribes. Another way is to add a few key anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Among the most potent edible inflammation fighters are essential fatty acids called omega-3s particularly the kinds of fatty acids found in fish.
Omega-3s and Inflammation
Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid are called marine fatty acids because they come from fish. What makes these omega-3 sources worthwhile menu additions for people with arthritis is their ability to inhibit inflammation. Omega-3s interfere with immune cells called leukocytes and enzymes known as cytokines, which are both key players in the bodys inflammatory response.
The marine omega-3 fatty acids nip inflammation in the bud before it ignites. They really help to tamp down inflammation in the body on a cellular level, says Kim Larson, a Seattle-based nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson.
Research finds that people who regularly eat fish high in omega-3s are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis . And in those who already have the disease, marine omega-3s may help reduce joint swelling and pain.
Which Fish are Best?
Farm-Raised, or Wild-Caught?
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How Can I Keep To A Healthy Weight
Keeping to a healthy weight is important for your general health, but it can also have benefits for people with different types of arthritis.
Being overweight can put more strain on your joints particularly those in the legs. The force put through your knees when walking can be two or three times your body weight, so losing even a small amount of weight can make a difference. Being overweight can also increase inflammation in the body, which could cause you more pain.
Ra Diet: What Foods To Eat If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis patients require a stable, healthy diet for a number of reasons. Patients may become overwhelmed by their chronic pain and inflammation, remain undernourished, or develop medical complications.
Maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of protecting your overall health, managing weight, improving energy levels, boosting your mental health and boosting your immune system. While diet alone cant treat your symptoms, the right diet for RA can certainly go a long way in helping you feel better overall.
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Best Spices For Arthritis
Season your food with anti-inflammatory spices
Often when prepping a meal, food is the primary focus and spices are, at best, an afterthought. But when following an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce the pain and joint inflammation of arthritis, researchers say dont forget about the potential benefits of the spices you use to season your meals.
The more anti-inflammatory foods and spices you eat, the more you are tamping down chronic inflammation, explains board certified sports dietitian Kim Larson, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. I think people are often surprised at what a great anti-inflammatory source spices can be.
When you have arthritis, your joints and sometimes other parts of your body become inflamed, and many spices inhibit certain inflammatory pathways in the body. And although a dash of cinnamon on your oatmeal is somewhat infinitesimal, spices can pack a significant punch when you consume a number of them throughout the day.
If you do a sprinkle of cinnamon in oatmeal or a smoothie, then have some ginger tea mid-morning and something with pepper and garlic for lunch and dinner it can certainly have an additive effect, explains Beth McDonald, a nutritionist at The Center for Health and Healing in the Department of Integrative Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. So with spices experiment with new recipes and try to incorporate a spice with an anti -inflammatory benefit with every meal.
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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Broccoli & Other Cruciferous Vegetables
These vegetables are all in the cruciferous family, and they share a compound called sulforaphane. This compound has been shown to be just as effective at preventing joint pain as a COX-2 arthritis drug, without the side effects.
Broccoli, in particular, also has anti-inflammatory effects. In a study of more than 1,000 women, researchers found that those who ate the most cruciferous vegetables had substantially less inflammation than those who ate the least.
These veggies may go beyond pain relief, however, to help preserve joint function. Researchers stated in one study that the sulforaphane in broccoli slows down the destruction of cartilage in joints associated with painful and often debilitating osteoarthritis.
Researchers are so interested in sulforaphane that in 2015, they released the results of a study on an artificial version of the compound that showed the ability to significantly improve bone architecture, gait balance and movement in those with osteoarthritis. The results were so promising, researchers stated that sulforaphane is a promising agent for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Other good options in this category include bok choy, cabbage and kale.
A Variety Of Healthful Pantry Staples Fit Within An Arthritis
Verywell / Nusha Ashjaee
If you are what you eat, then it goes without saying that diet can affect your healthfor worse or for better. For decades, researchers have looked at diet in relation to health and well being. In particular, they have studied whether foods can impact arthritis treatment. Scientists have thought that dietary factors might trigger certain types of arthritis. Because of this, changing the foods you eat could have a strong impact on arthritis symptom relief.
A diet rich in plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans, as well as fish, is not only great for overall health but can also help manage arthritis symptoms. Things as simple as cherries and almonds or tuna and broccoli can be helpful.
Foods can have powerful impacts on health. Potential benefits of healthful eating include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic effects, strengthening bones, and boosting the immune system.
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Garlic And Root Vegetables
Garlic, onions, ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties. Various studies have shown that these pungent root vegetables can be useful in treating symptoms of arthritis and other joint pain. Incorporate these vegetables into meals for added flavor. Plus, theyre all available in a supplement.
Malnutrition In Ra Patients
Patients with RA are often at a higher risk of malnutrition for multiple reasons. First of all, weight loss is a common symptom in RA patients. Its thought to be due to the autoimmune condition itself producing inflammatory responses which cause an increase in metabolic rate. This means that the body burns through more calories than normal, which can lead to weight loss. This is not considered healthy weight loss. This type of weight loss can potentially leave the patient undernourished or malnourished.
Secondly, many patients taking the common disease-modifying antirheumatic drug called methotrexate, have been known to have a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. Many RA medications produce side effects such as stomach ulcers and other digestive concerns which can make it difficult to eat. These conditions combined with weight loss further compound the problems of malnourishment in patients. Some of the most common nutrient deficiencies in RA include a lack of the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B6
A proper diet for RA that is rich in these vitamins and minerals is important for keeping patients healthy.
Finally, many RA patients are at risk of developing osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones caused by a calcium or vitamin D deficiency. RA patients should be aware of this potential risk and ensure their diet accounts for this potential deficiency.
Top 5 Diet Tips To Help Ease Arthritis
Versus Arthritis has shared some top tips on how your diet can play an important part in helping to keep your joints healthy.
Arthritis is a debilitating condition that causes pain and disability for one in six people in the UK. It causes pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles, stopping you from doing simple things many take for granted walking, moving, lifting and standing. Many struggle to do even the simplest of tasks, like opening a jam jar or walking downstairs. Arthritis can affect anyone at any time, including young people and children.
Although there are no diets or dietary supplements that will cure arthritis, some people do find that a change in diet can improve symptoms and help to manage pain, and the difficulties of everyday living.
The most important link between your diet and arthritis is your weight. Being overweight puts an extra burden on the joints, especially weight-bearing joints the back, knees, hips, feet and ankles. Having too much body fat may also increase inflammation in the body, making your joints more painful.
A good diet can also help to protect you against some potential side effects of arthritis medication, and a healthy diet may also help to protect against heart disease .
Citrus Fruits Cause Inflammation
Some people believe that they should avoid citrus fruits because the acidity is inflammatory. However, this is not the case. In fact, citrus fruits have anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as being rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.
Grapefruit juice can, however, interact with some medicines that doctors use to treat arthritis. People who are undergoing treatment should check with a doctor before incorporating it into their diet.
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Food Choices To Help Ease Arthritis Pain
For many years, people have claimed that certain foods in their diet reduced pain and joint inflammation from arthritis. Researchers continue to investigate whether foods and spices actually may play a role in relieving joint pain and, if so, how they work.
Mostly its just healthy eating, with a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, says registered dietitian Ruth Frechman, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Fruits, veggies and whole grains are natural inflammation fighters that can also help control your weight. Its important to stay at a healthy weight to ease up some of the stress on the joints, Frechman adds. For every 1 pound of weight you lose, you reduce the load on your knee joint by 4 pounds.
Are There Any Foods That Help With Arthritis
Theres no specific food that will help with arthritis. But some people feel that certain foods help reduce their symptoms.
Making changes to your diet might help you, but this shouldnt be done instead of treatments youve been given, and its a good idea to speak to the person treating you before making any big changes.
Many foods have been said to help with arthritis or have anti-inflammatory effects. However, theres no evidence that things like apple cider vinegar and manuka honey can improve symptoms, and they can be expensive. Some people say they have helped, so theres no harm in trying them, but you should keep an open mind about whether theyre helping you or not.
Its important to have a healthy, balanced diet when you have arthritis, but there are some foods, vitamins and nutrients you may need to make sure you get enough of, to reduce the chances of other health problems, which are covered in the following section.
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Best Vegetables For Arthritis
Going green and yellow and orange could be one of the best things you do for your joints.
When you have arthritis, the produce section is one of the most important stops you can make in the grocery store. Vegetables are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that protect against cell damage and lower inflammation throughout the body, including in your joints.
Which vegetables are best? The more color the better. Eat the rainbow on your plate, advises Kim Larson, a Seattle-based nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson. Variety is the key.
Heres a guide to some of the vegetables that should color your plate every day.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Energy production and other metabolic processes in the body produce harmful byproducts called free radicals, which damage cells. Free radicals have been implicated in the development of rheumatoid arthritis , and in the inflammation that attacks joints. Green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, Swiss chard and bok choy are packed with antioxidants like vitamins A, C and K, which protect cells from free-radical damage. These foods are also high in bone-preserving calcium.
Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Red Peppers and Squash
Red and Green Peppers
Onions, Garlic, Leeks and Shallots
Should You Avoid Nightshade Vegetables?
Cooking Your Vegetables
- Antioxidant-Loaded Veggies Help Fight Inflammation
- Add Color to Your Arthritis Diet
Preventing And Reducing Inflammation And Joint Pain
Specifically, what foods help with joint pain? Research indicates the following foods can reduce pain.
- Cold-water fish are high in omega3-fatty acids that prevent or reduce inflammation mackerel, salmon, tuna, herring, oysters, sardines.
- Leafy green vegetables for joint pain can block an enzyme that is known to cause joint swelling and contain calcium and a variety of vitamins and other compounds that strengthen bones kale, mustard greens, purple cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, arugula.
- Richly colored fruits have nutrients, like anthocyanins and lycopene, that limit the inflammatory response, and citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C that prevents inflammation blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes , strawberries, cherries, raspberries, oranges, limes, and grapefruits.
- Oil is another omega-3 source and a source of healthy fat extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, avocado oil, walnut oil.
- Beans have anthocyanins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties soybeans, chickpeas, black beans, lentils, pinto beans, kidney beans.
- Whole grains are high-fiber and contribute to the production of fatty acids, which work to limit inflammation whole wheat, barley, rye, whole oats, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa.
- Dairy has calcium and vitamin D to increase bone building low fat milk, cheese, yogurt.
- Nuts contain vitamin E, linolenic acid for immune strengthening, and other nutrients almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts.
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