A healthy diet that is focused on improving arthritis not only improves specific symptoms of arthritis but also helps in the overall wellbeing of the patient. This diet helps a person to reduce weight, reduce blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol levels. They are then at lesser risk of being affected by many cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Including food items that are a rich source of Calcium and Vitamin D can help repair damage to the bone and strengthen the muscles and tissues around the affected joint. Here are some of the foods that can help you manage arthritis much better and reduce pain.
Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which have been unanimously accepted and recommended as food that reduces inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are potent fighters that reduce swelling within the body. Include 3 to 6 servings of fish; particularly, salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel every week. Choose smaller fish rather than the larger ones as they are more likely to have mercury.
A plant-based diet is the most widely recommended change for persons with arthritis. Make them the centerpiece of your diet. Vegetables are full of antioxidants and nutrients. Green yellow and orange – if you see these colors – just pick them up. Cook them, add them to rice, curries, and salads. Steam and eat with mild seasoning. Cook them to suit your palette – just ensure that the nutrients are not lost by over boiling or deep frying. Broccoli, kale, spinach, bok choy, celery, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, red and green peppers, onions, garlic, leeks and shallots, and olives are the vegetables that must be part of your diet in one form or the other.
Fruits with deep colors contain components and acids that can fight the free radicals which attack the body’s immune system. One can opt for seasonal fruits and those which are grown locally. Five to six servings of fruits daily is ideal. Tart cherries, strawberries, red raspberries, avocado, watermelon, and grapes should be included in your diet regularly.
Including 3 to 6 ounces of whole-grain in some form or other can be beneficial. Replace white bread with whole-grain bread and include more whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, Farro, and Buckwheat in your diet. Phase out white rice from your diet. These grains can be had as is or their flour can be used to make bread, tortillas, porridge, and soups.
Two glasses of either cold or hot green tea per day reduces the severity of the pain caused by arthritis. Green tea is a storehouse of antioxidants and can benefit arthritis caused by inflammation or by auto-immune issues. There are decaffeinated options too for those who have been advised to stay off caffeine.
Nuts and seeds
Many nuts contain high levels of alpha-linolenic acid which are Omega-3 fatty acids. Along with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium and Vitamin E, they help in controlling inflammation. They also provide the body’s requirement of fiber. Walnuts, Peanuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Flax seeds, and Chia seeds are recommended for persons with arthritis. The nuts can be eaten as a snack or used as garnishes for meat dishes. Chia seeds and almond meals can be used in desserts. Peanuts can be added in salads. Those with allergies should exercise caution while eating nuts.
Oils are a combination of fatty acids. The proportion of the acids determines whether the oil is healthy or not. People with arthritis are at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases and stroke and they should avoid oils that are rich in saturated fats. Unsaturated fats reduce cholesterol and, thereby, help in preventing heart disease. Oils with higher boiling points should be used so that the nutrients in the oil are not destroying while cooking. Keeping these in mind oils from olives, coconut, grape seed, walnut, avocado, and canola should be used more often as they all have proven anti-inflammatory properties. You can use them to fry your food, use as drizzles for salads and also in marinades and replacement for butter in baking. Walnut oil can be used without heating.
There are certain foods that can not only stagnate any chance of improvement but also make matters worse. It is critical that your diet does not comprise foods that make arthritis an issue bigger than it already is. Examples of such foods are
Processed sugar contains cytokines, which can cause inflammation. Avoiding sugar is difficult as it is added in almost all forms of packaged or processed food. Giving up tempting desserts needs strong will and practice.
They trigger inflammation in fat tissues that worsens arthritis symptoms. This is present in red meat, dairy, pasta, and desserts. Stay away from them as much as possible.
Trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids
They are known to trigger systemic inflammation and are found in many food items that are all around us. Fried, junk, frozen, desserts, cookies and packaged food are full of trans fats. If not, they should look for information and avoid any food that has trans-fat or hydrogenated oils.
Found in bread and cereals and products made of white flour these carbs should be avoided as they have a high glycemic index which stimulates inflammation.
Gluten and casein
Gluten sensitivity is the main cause of celiac disease. Gluten is found in wheat and barley and casein is found in dairy products and should be avoided
Excessive alcohol damages the functioning of the liver which in turn leads to inflammation and hence should be avoided.