Diet suggestions for those diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis
Arthritis is an umbrella term for various conditions and disorders that affect the joints. Arthritis often includes painful and inflamed joints and is also medically known as inflammatory arthritis. A chronic illness, arthritis has no permanent cure, and this calls for pain management and treatment including exercise, medications and a controlled diet.
This, in fact, brings us to the subject at hand, which involves the ideal diet recommendations for those dealing with arthritis and its associated symptoms. Doctors and dieticians recommend a wide range of foods that can help reduce the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis by preventing inflammation of the joints. Some of these foods and their benefits to those who have inflammatory arthritis are listed below.
Fish is known to be highly beneficial for those afflicted by inflammatory arthritis and organizations such as the American Heart Association along with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend the consumption of fish at least twice a week in three to four-ounce portions. Fish is of great benefit to arthritis patients as the omega-3 fatty acids found in some types of fish have certain anti-inflammatory properties. A 2004 study by the Journal of Nutrition observed around 727 postmenopausal individuals and concluded that those with a healthy intake of omega-3 fatty acids showed lower levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 which are known inflammatory proteins. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, tuna, herrings, sardines, anchovies, scallop and other fish that thrive in cold water. If one cannot include these fish in his or her diet due to personal preferences; substituting fish consumption with omega-3 supplements is a practical idea.
Seeds and nuts
It is quite apparent by now that the management of inflammatory arthritis calls for an anti-inflammatory diet and such a diet should almost always include seeds and nuts with well documented anti-inflammatory properties. In 2011, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied human subjects of both genders over the course of 15 years and concluded that those with a higher intake of nuts and seeds reduced their chances of death by inflammatory diseases by around 51%. This is an astounding figure, and these very same anti-inflammatory properties of nuts and seeds can benefit those who have arthritis of varying kinds. Nuts have a high content of vitamin B6 and monounsaturated fats with inflammation-fighting properties that are undeniably beneficial to those suffering from arthritis. Walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and almonds are a few prominent examples of beneficial nuts to add to your diet when living with and managing the symptoms of arthritis.
A vegetarian and fruitarian diet
A bounty of various fruits and vegetables in your diet can help better manage the symptoms of arthritis and prevent inflammation of the joints that often results in debilitating pain. It is the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables that are most beneficial to those with arthritis. It is these antioxidants that combat free radicals to reduce cell damage. Additionally, vitamin C, which is found in abundance in various citrus fruits, is a useful aid in facilitating healthy joints and preventing the onset or reducing the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis. Cherries and variations of fruits in naturally occurring red and purple colors are rich in anthocyanin that have well researched and documented anti-inflammatory properties. Research also suggests that the vitamin K content of vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and cabbage can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis because of their anti-inflammatory properties. It is fairly easy to see how a diet that is loaded with various healthy fruits and vegetables can benefit arthritis patients.
Most oils result in weight gain that can increase the pain caused by inflammatory arthritis however the same doesn’t apply to olive oil in recommended proportions. According to the experts; a recommended intake of two to three tablespoons of olive oil on a daily basis can substantially reduce the inflammation in joints which causes the debilitating pain that is the overwhelming characteristic of arthritis. Similar to the well-known prescription painkiller Ibuprofen, olive oil has potent compounds of heart-healthy fats and oleocanthal that impairs the functioning of COX enzymes resulting in a decrease in inflammatory actions and decreased sensitivity to pain. Extra virgin olive oil has the highest potency of anti-inflammatory properties.
Beans and whole grains
It is a useful measure to add both beans and whole grains to your diet to enjoy relief from arthritis. Consumption of beans reduces the levels of C-reactive proteins in the body which is a well-known inflammatory protein while whole grains have a similar effect.
While most forms of arthritis aren’t curable, one can enjoy a better quality of life, reduction in debilitating pain, and the ability to go about one’s daily tasks and chores without hindrance by sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet that keeps the aches and pains at bay.