Osteoarthritis: 5 Foods To Eat And 5 To Avoid To Help Control Your Symptoms
Osteoarthritis affects 30 million Americans every year. While there are many ways to get relief from osteoarthritis, diet can also help ease some of the inflammation. Lets explore diet plans that both worsen and improve patient symptoms.
webonDecember 21, 2020
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the United States. It develops when the cartilage between bones breaks down over time, causing moderate to severe joint pain.
While a balanced diet will not cure OA, it can equip the body with essential tools that help prevent further joint damage. Lets take a look at five foods to eat and five to avoid to help control OA symptoms.
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.
Green Tea: A Nice Cuppa May Sooth Your Joints
Green tea has an abundance of catechins that interrupt the expression of inflammation. Its effect on rheumatoid arthritis has been long studied one such study, published in August 2017 in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, reported that the consumption of green tea offers an overall anti-inflammatory effect. However, most studies have been on small samples. A newer study, published in the March 20, 2020, issue of Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism looked at a real-world, large scale study. Result: A higher intake of green tea was associated with lesser disease activity.
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Foods To Eat And 7 To Avoid For Arthritis
If you think arthritis is something you won’t have to worry about until you’re much older, think again. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 54 million Americans are affected by arthritis, and 60 percent of them are between the ages of 18 to 64. In fact, arthritis is a leading cause of disability, with 8 million adults unable to work because of their arthritis.
While many often think of arthritis as a single condition, it’s actually an umbrella term for a number of conditions affecting the joints. The most common forms include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. According to the CDC, “symptoms of arthritis are pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints.” While symptoms can vary from person to person and day to day, one in four Americans with arthritis experiences severe joint pain. Arthritis often goes hand in hand with other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes and can make these conditions harder to manage.
Arthritis has many different causes and just as many options for managing symptoms. Diet can play a major role in either minimizing or exacerbating symptoms, so if you have some form of arthritis, it’s important to choose the foods and beverages you consume wisely.
Advanced Glycation End Products
AGEs are inflammatory compounds that can accumulate in tissues, particularly as someone ages. An article in Patient Education explains that people with diseases such as diabetes and RA often have increased AGE levels. So, reducing AGE levels may help reduce inflammation.
Fat and sugar both increase AGE levels in the body. Some food processing methods and high temperature cooking also increase the AGE levels in food.
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Choosing The Right Fats
Research suggests that eating foods with healthy fats rather than foods with unhealthy fats may help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. While these effects are modest compared to medicines, healthier fats do not have any serious side effects. They also have other health benefits, such as reduced risk of heart disease.
Healthier dietary fat
- Monounsaturated fat: Researchers have found a link between these types of fats and reduced disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis. Foods that are high in monounsaturated fats include vegetable oils , avocados and many nuts and seeds.
- Omega-3 fats: Studies show that eating foods rich in omega-3 fats can help reduce inflammation, particularly in rheumatoid arthritis. Foods rich in omega-3 fats include:
- fish: oily fish, such as sardines and salmon, have greater amounts of omega-3 fats
- fish oil supplements: see Fish oils for more information
- ground linseeds and linseed oil
- canola oil
Harmful dietary fat
- Saturated fat: This is a type of fat that comes mainly from red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels, particularly unhealthy LDL-cholesterol. This type of cholesterol has been linked with increased cartilage damage in people with osteoarthritis. These fats can also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Medical Study #: Low Levels Of Vitamin D Can Increase The Risk Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
A study conducted by researchers from Boston University and published in in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives took the connection between low levels of vitamin D and increased levels of rheumatoid arthritis activity one step further.
I have mentioned that vitamin D is naturally produced by our bodies when the suns UV rays shine upon our skin, so it would make sense that people who lived in warmer climates would get more sun and would have more vitamin D produced by their bodies naturally.
The Boston University researchers concluded that the percentage of people that reported having symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in the north-eastern part of the USA, where they get less exposure to sun than other parts of the country, was much higher than those percentages of people that lived in so called sunshine states.
The lead researcher, Dr. Verónica Vieira, MS, had this to conclude: Women in states like Vermont, New Hampshire and Southern Maine were more likely to report being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Theres higher risk in the northern latitudes and this might be related to the fact that theres less sunlight in these areas, which results in a vitamin D deficiency.
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How To Avoid Achy Joints
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. The three main types are osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis , and psoriatic arthritis . Each type develops differently, but all are painful and can lead to joint deformity and a loss of function.
You cant always prevent arthritis. Some causes, such as age, family history, and sex , are out of your control.
However, a few healthy habits can help reduce your risk of developing painful joints as you get older. Many of these practices such as exercising and eating a healthy diet help prevent other diseases, too.
Chard Spinach Lettuce And Arugula
These leafy greens are rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C and K, which protect the cells from damage by free radicals, which are associated with rheumatoid arthritis. These foods are also high in calcium, which is very important for healthy bones.
Consuming 800 g, or 10 portions of 80 g, of fruit and vegetables a day, is associated with a lower risk of disease in general.
Imperial College London
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Evidence About Diet And Arthritis
People with gout may find that avoiding certain foods, in combination with gout medication, may prevent a gout attack.
However, theres no substantial scientific evidence that other forms of arthritis can be improved or alleviated by avoiding particular foods.
There is no conclusive evidence that the following foods trigger or aggravate the symptoms associated with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions:
- acidic foods such as lemons, oranges and tomatoes
- nightshade foods such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants
- dairy foods.
These foods all contain important nutrients and avoiding them may cause other health problems.
People who have an intolerance to certain foods have found that excluding them from their diet can make them feel better overall. However, its unclear how this affects arthritis symptoms. If youre thinking of excluding foods from your diet, speak with a dietitian to make sure youre not eliminating important nutrients.
Green Tea And Other Beverages
Many teas contain bioactive polyphenolic compounds that contribute significant antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, which may benefit people with arthritis. A 2016 study of people with arthritis found that green tea supplementation improved disease activity. Another 2018 study found that green tea extract might control pain and improve knee joint physical function in adults with osteoarthritis.
Instead of sipping on soda, drink green or oolong teas, which are both made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Additionally, if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. If you do choose to have an alcoholic drink, opt for red wine, which may have anti-inflammatory effects.
|Beverages to Include|
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Virgin Coconut Oil Can Reduce Inflammation
It is known that virgin coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and the Arthritis Foundation has acknowledged it in their website.
In a study published in International Immunopharmacology the researchers extracted antioxidants unique to virgin coconut oil and injected them into rats with induced arthritis. They found that the unique coconut oil antioxidants reduced inflammation associated with arthritis more effectively than current pharmaceutical drugs.
You can consume virgin coconut oil in moderation, up to 2 tablespoons a day for an adult. However, dont start immediately from 2 tablespoons a day, as it may cause you loose stools and nausea that may occur when consuming high amount of coconut oil. Start from 1 teaspoon per day, and gradually increase it to 2 tablespoons per day over 1 or 2 weeks.
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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Foods To Eat And Avoid For Arthritis Patients
Arthritis, an inflammatory disorder, affects the joints in the body. There are hundreds of types of arthritis, and most of them can be managed with the right medications and diet. Here are some useful dietary tips for arthritis patients to manage the symptoms and lead a healthy life with the condition:
Foods to eat with arthritis
- Fatty fish: One of the best dietary tips for arthritis patients is to eat fatty fish regularly. Fatty fish are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory healthy fats. Since arthritis is an inflammatory disease, these healthy fats help prevent or relieve the inflammation and pain associated with the condition.
- Broccoli: Among all the green vegetables, broccoli is one of the best choices for arthritis patients to manage the symptoms. Studies show that people who eat broccoli regularly have lesser inflammatory markers in their bodies.
- Walnuts: Walnuts have significant anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and it is proven that arthritis patients who include walnuts in their regular diet experience lesser pain and discomfort.
- Spinach: Another great food that helps keep arthritis manageable is spinach. It is a rich source of an antioxidant called kaempferol, which has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body.
Foods to avoid for arthritis patients
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.
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Stay Away From Msg If You Have Osteoarthritis
According to a 2020 paper published in Medicine and Pharmacy Reports, oxidative stress plays a big role in osteoarthritis. Oxidative stress occurs when there’s an imbalance between pro-inflammatory molecules called reactive oxygen species and anti-inflammatory antioxidants in the body. In the case of osteoarthritis, ROS builds up in the cartilage and fluid surrounding joints, causing damage on a cellular level.
It makes sense, then, to stay away from anything that encourages oxidative stress. In a 2017 study published in the International Journal of Medical Research and Pharmaceutical Sciences, researchers found that monosodium glutamate promoted oxidative stress in the cartilage of rats, causing it to break down at a much faster rate. Although the experiment was on rodents, the study authors theorized that MSG could speed up the progression of osteoarthritis in humans.
According to Healthline, MSG is a highly controversial food additive used to enhance flavor. Although commonly associated with Chinese takeout, it’s found in a lot of processed foods, including chips, frozen meals, soups, and condiments. Although considered safe to use by the FDA, MSG has been blamed for increasing the risk for obesity, liver damage, heart disease, and nerve damage in animal studies.
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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Arthritis: Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid
Many diseases, including arthritis are caused by chronic low-grade inflammation. It is now widely accepted that some foods fuel inflammation, while others make it better. Foods like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and fatty fish are scientifically proven to reduce inflammation and improve the symptoms of arthritis. Medical studies have also revealed that supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can be effective in treating osteoarthritis.
In this article I am going to cover foods and supplements that are scientifically proven to improve symptoms of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis . At the end of the article Ill cover the connection between vitamin D and Rheumatoid arthritis .
They have similar symptoms and both affect the joints, but the origins are different.
While OA is usually an age-related condition caused by the wear and tear of joints, RA develops any time in life and is considered an auto-immune condition.
If You Have Gout Opt For Wine Instead Of Beer
Historically, gout was often associated with overindulgent royalty who ate huge, lavish feasts full of meat and alcohol . But, as it turns out, not all alcohol is created equal when it comes to purine content.
According to a 2014 study published in PLoS One, wine has significantly less impact on levels of uric acid in the blood when compared to beer. Researchers followed 589 healthy individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 to see how different types of alcohol consumption affected their uric acid levels. While the researchers were looking specifically at the presence of high levels of uric acid in the blood as a predictor for a condition known as metabolic syndrome, they acknowledged that uric acid levels also directly correlate to gout flare-ups.
The study authors noted that alcohol is innately hyperuricemic, meaning it raises uric acid levels in the blood. Beer, specifically, is very high in purines, creating a double whammy effect on uric acid levels. Wine, on the other hand, is low in purines and contains plant compounds called polyphenols that appear to counteract the hyperuricemic effects of alcohol. In fact, study participants who consumed wine experienced no change in their uric acid levels.
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Foods That May Exacerbate The Symptoms Of Ra
According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are several foods that you should avoid or decrease from your rheumatoid arthritis diet. Not only do they increase inflammation, but they can increase the risk for other chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Below, youll discover what types of foods to avoid with RA.
Foods High in Sugar
If you have a nightly ice cream habit, frequent the donut shop and have a tough time passing up the candy dish at work, it may be time to decrease your intake.
However, if youre willing to try a sugar substitute, youre in luck! There are a variety of options available: stevia, aspartame and sucralose are all non-caloric options. Caloric sweeteners include maple syrup, agave and honey.
Foods High in Salt
Excess salt can also increase inflammation, and any additional risk of inflammation should be avoided when you have rheumatoid arthritis.
The recommended amount of sodium for the average American is 2,300mg or less, but people with comorbid conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease and hypertension should limit their sodium intake to 1,500mg per day. However, the average American eats upwards of 3,400mg of sodium per day. Therefore, if you have RA, it is very important to be cautious about sodium in your diet and read nutritional labels if you are unsure.
Not All Fats Are Created Equal
However, certain fats are not good for inflammation. These fats include saturated fats, trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids.