Arthritis is a term used to describe joint pain, but the term actually covers over 200 conditions that affect joints, the surrounding tissues, and connective tissues. Although minor at first the arthritic inflammation of your joints, can cause significant pain and stiffness which may get worse over time.
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However, Arthritis does not have to ruin the happiness, ease, and fulfillment of your daily life. Recent findings, building on previous studies, have shown the impact of food on Arthritis symptoms. At the core of Arthritis is inflammation. Fortunately, the foods outlined below have proven anti-inflammatory benefits getting directly to the core of Arthritis. In fact, 24% of people with Arthritis noticed a reduction in symptoms ( less pain, less stiffness, greater mobility ) from eating these following foods:
WHAT TO EAT:
Omega-3 fatty acids are potent anti-inflammatory foods taking the fight directly to Arthritis. More than lean meat and lean fish, fatty fish have been shown to reduce inflammation. In one study using omega-3 supplements, Arthritis symptoms declined including joint pain, morning stiffness, and need for pain relievers. These benefits have been seen for Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis. Plus, the Omega-3s are high in Vitamin D which replenish diminished levels which is seen as a potential cause for the advancement of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Although soy sometimes gets a bad rap, for those who don’t like fish, soy is a great source for Omega-3s. Tofu, Edamame, and similar soy sources will fill our body with the anti-inflammation power of Omega-3s outlined above. If you have a thyroid issue, soy may not be the best option for you. So do consult a dietician or your doctor before drastically changing your diet.
Cherries & Berries:
No more using cherries just to tie knots with the stems. The anthocyanins, quercetin, and rutin in cherries and other berries are known for their anti-inflammation properties. One study showed individuals were 14% less likely to show elevated inflammation levels. And a more specific study showed a decrease in Arthritis inflammation. Looking at cherries specifically, tart cherry juice consumed for three weeks has been seen to noticeably reduce the symptoms of multiple types of Arthritis. With two weekly servings of tasty berries like cherries, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries you can notice an improvement in your Arthritis symptoms.
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Hopefully you’ve acquired a taste for broccoli since being a kid, because this vegetable is packed with goodness. Rich in Vitamin K and C, Broccoli is a healthy food for anyone. But for those with Arthritis it can be even more impactful. Rich in sulforaphane, which studies have shown help block rheumatoid Arthritis cells from forming. In addition, these sulforaphanes help reduce inflammation benefiting any type of Arthritis. Steam, bake, raw whatever the case just add some extra Broccoli to your diet.
Not exactly a food, but we have to mention it. With polyphenols, and antioxidants plentiful green tea has become known for it’s anti-inflammatory powers. In some studies, it has even been shown to slow cartilage destruction. But green tea has even more benefits for those with Rheumatoid due to one specific antioxidant, EGCG. EGCG impedes the production of cells which cause joint damage. So if you need a bit of an energy kick in the day while still helping improve your Arthritis, grab a cup of green tea.
If you can start consuming the foods above you will be off to a great start in changing your life with Arthritis. Once you have integrated these foods into your diet there are even more which can help your symptoms. However there are certain foods you want to avoid.
WHAT FOODS TO AVOID:
Omega-6 Fatty Acids:
For those with Arthritis Omega-6s are Omega-3’s evil friend. Found in corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, and soy oils can dramatically increase inflammation. A study in the Clinical Journal of Pain found those with a higher ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s had more Arthritis pain, less function, and greater overall stress. So don’t be fooled by Omegas stick with number 3.
Cheese and high-fat dairy
High in saturated fats and AGEs certain dairy foods can spike inflammation level. These include: certain cheeses, butter, cream cheese, mayonnaise and similar foods. However certain dairy is ok, mainly fermented dairy, like greek yogurt. If keto is your preferred diet, consider the quality of the fats you are consuming. Certain types of dairy will likely get the boot.
Mono-sodium Glutamate ( MSG )
Sorry for all those take out Chinese food lovers, but MSG can increase inflammation levels impacting comfort with Arthritis. We’ve seen the signs on cash registers at Chinese food places, Mexican foods places and similar “no msg”, so fortunately many restaurants have identified alternatives to use. However, there are some surprise foods with MSG : certain salad dressings, deli meats, and fast food.
Sorry sweet tooths, but processed sugar is a no no. Sugars can prompt the release of cytokines, which act as little inflammatory signals to the body. Found in so much of today’s food sugar is hard to avoid : salad dressings, smoothies, and juice drinks surprise many with their grams of sugar.
There are other foods which can impact your Arthritis, but these provide a good framework to start from. Often people find prescribing to a specific diet framework to be more helpful than looking at specific foods. Plus, picking a diet will help identify foods and recipes which are tasty even without some of the higher inflammatory foods. For example, the anti-inflammatory Mediterranean Diet is suggested. In this diet, many of the Omega-6 oils are replaced with Olive Oil, and the tasty fats in dairy are satiated through fatty fish and certain healthier cheeses. A quick outline of the diet would be : daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole unprocessed grains, and healthy fats; weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs; with limited dairy and red meat. There are many diet options out there which can assist in limiting the symptoms of Arthritis but the focus should be on anti-inflammatory. By following the outlined diet and food suggestions you can regain your life and fight back against the limiting symptoms of Arthritis.
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