Arthritis Inflammation: Foods to Eat or Not Eat
Arthritis is a joint disease accompanied by inflammation which causes pain, redness, overheating and swelling. There are different causes of arthritis inflammation and they may vary from person to person. However, the choice of foods to eat or not to eat has a great effect on your arthritis inflammation. That means, by identifying the foods responsible for inflammation as well as removing them from the diet, you can easily reduce arthritis pain.
Foods Causing Inflammation in Arthritis
There are many foods that can cause inflammation and worsen your arthritis condition. Avoiding these foods is not a treatment for arthritis but it may help you relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
Fried and Processed Foods
If your daily diet does not contain fried and processed foods, then you are ahead of the curve to prevent arthritis. Several types of research have rationalized that consumption of fried foods, for example, fried meats, French fries, potato chips, hamburgers etc. increase the possibility of inflammation in people with arthritis.
Suggestion: Try to avoid fried and processed foods and include fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
Meats are also believed to have a link with arthritis inflammation. Commercially raised meats that are obtained from animals fed a diet containing omega-6 fatty acids can worsen your arthritis pain. Moreover, these animals are also given synthetic hormones and antibiotics to facilitate their growth. When these high inflammatory chemicals come into your body, they encourage a lot of body dysfunction, with a greater chance of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Suggestion: There is no reason to be depressed. I am not suggesting to kick out meats from your diet or to make yourself a vegetarian or vegan. Rather than, you should eat meats in a controlled way. They should remain in the background of your diet, not in the main list. Try to include meats from grass-fed animals.
Dairy products play a vital role in arthritis pain. They contain a special type of protein that causes tissue irritation around your joints. When you have a mild instance of arthritis pain, taking dairy products such as yogurt, butter, cottage cheese, ice cream etc. may lift your pain up to a moderate or severe state.
Suggestion: There are a lot of protein sources around you. You need not rely on dairy products for essential proteins. You can easily meet your protein requirement from vegetable sources, especially from spinach, lentils, nut butter etc.
White Sugars and Sweets
White sugars and sweets are also responsible for aggravating your arthritis pain. These products include sweetened juice, soft drinks, desserts, chocolate bars, fruit juices, pastries etc. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has reported that refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, for example, aspartame, induce the production of inflammatory messengers in the body.
Suggestion: You need not eliminate sugars and desserts altogether rather than you should reduce your consumption of sugars. Natural sweeteners like honey, fresh and dried fruits can be potential sources of sugars in this regard to reduce your arthritis pain.
Alcohol and Tobacco
Consumption of alcohol and tobacco has also a great contribution to your arthritis inflammation. They create a lot of health risks, including liver dysfunction and joint weakness.
Suggestion: If you want to reduce arthritis pain, you need physical activity, an adequate amount of rest along with cutting down alcohol and tobacco consumption.
Salt and Food Additives
Salt is not harmful when it is in normal proportion. But many foods are processed with excessive salts and additives (coloring agent, flavoring agent, stabilizer etc.) to facilitate consumer acceptability. Chemical preservatives are also sometimes used to maintain a longer shelf life of products. Increased consumption of refined salts and food additives increase the severity of your joint pains.
Suggestion: Try to avoid foods rich in refined salts and see the product labeling carefully to find out the harmful additives and preservatives. You should use Celtic sea salt instead of iodized salt.
Corn oil is rich in high inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid. So if you take foods processed with corn oil, for example, baked foods and snacks, they can result in arthritis inflammation. Remember that omega-6 fatty acid is a potential mediator of inflammation.
Suggestion: Take foods processed with olive oil, flax-seed oil, pumpkin seed oil instead. Fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids can also help reduce your joint pain.
Several studies have concluded that saturated fats are responsible for fat tissue inflammation. They also create a higher chance of heart diseases and worsen your arthritis pain. According to National Cancer Institute, the highest amount of saturated fats is found in pizza and cheese. Be aware of them. Grain-based desserts and pasta dishes also contain a high amount of saturated fat.
Suggestion: Replace your pizza dishes with foods containing unsaturated fat which is also known as ‘good fats’. Avocados, olive, nuts and fatty fishes are great sources of unsaturated fats.
Wheat Products and Carbohydrates
Wheat products and carbohydrates have also a great impact on inflammation. Most of the wheat products nowadays are genetically modified and are associated with different health conditions. Moreover, according to Scientific American, refined carbohydrates such as bread, crackers, white rice etc. create a greater threat for obesity and stimulate arthritis inflammation.
Suggestion: Try to eat pure white flour products. Low glycemic carbohydrates have a little impact on blood sugar level and they can help reduce arthritis pain.
Foods Reducing Inflammation in Arthritis
You should not always give priority to your taste buds when you have arthritis. You should not forget its pain when you choose something to eat. Although controlling diet cannot obliterate your arthritis pain, it is a great tool to reduce the pain. In the above discussion, you have seen foods worsening your pain state and possible suggestions to get rid of these foods. In the following discussion, you will find foods that help you fight against arthritis.
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acid which helps you combat arthritis inflammation. A study at the University of Hawaii reported that baked or boiled fish can reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. If you are not fond of fish, fish oil supplements can help you in this regard.
Olive oil possesses some anti-inflammatory properties. Several types of research have illustrated that olive oil contains an element called omega-3 fatty acid and you already know what omega-3 fatty acid does. Yes, it reduces your arthritis inflammation.
Colorful vegetables are rich in vitamin E and they can add fibers to your diet. Vitamin E has a great contribution in retarding the production of inflammatory molecules called cytokines. Vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale are good sources of vitamin E. Moreover, green vegetables contain antioxidants that are believed to reduce joint damage during arthritis inflammation.
Nuts and Fruits
Obviously nuts and fresh fruits can be your helping-hand if you have arthritis. Nuts – especially almonds are a potential source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in calcium and vitamin E. People eating nuts on a regular basis report a decrease in their arthritis pain. Fruits like strawberries, apples, cherries, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries etc. can be a good replacement for snack foods.
Garlic and Onion
Garlic and onion can play a vital role in combating arthritis inflammation. In several studies, it has been found that garlic has anti-inflammatory property and it blocks the inflammation pathway. Onion also contains anti-inflammatory compounds and prevents arthritis by retarding the production of mediators responsible for arthritis pain.
Ginger and Turmeric
The spices ginger and turmeric, have also anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric deactivates a particular protein which takes part in triggering the inflammation process. Ginger helps reduce your arthritis pain by its antioxidant property.
Green tea can also fight against your arthritis pain. Green tea with some lemon juice has antioxidants that can wipe out inflammatory mediators. Taking tea is also helpful for patients with heart disease and cancer.
Herbs increase the immunity of your body. According to research, certain herbs like chili pepper and cumin contain compounds that help you reduce arthritis pain. Fresh herbs like oregano, basil and thyme are a great source of antioxidants as well.
Maintaining a healthy diet as well as regular physical activity may help you lessen arthritis inflammation. But if you have a severe arthritis condition, you should consult with a physician.