Foods that Help with Arthritis
Today, more and more people are becoming interested in exercise. However, many individuals will experience joint pain following a workout or sports activities that requires a lot of jumping or running for prolonged periods. Joint pain may also be triggered by cold weather. Individuals with the aforementioned factors are at risk of developing Arthritis.
Arthritis is a general term referring to over 100 joint diseases, two of the most prevalent are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The causes of these conditions are explained below.
Osteoarthritis is when cartilage deteriorates over time. Cartilage in the joints between bones allows seamless movement without friction. Eventually, over time the cartilage may become completely eroded, causing bone on bone friction leading to pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that is considered chronic. It is a malfunction of the autoimmune system as in this case the body’s tissues are damaged by the body itself. Although it may occur at any age, it normally is more prevalent in individuals over 40 and is 3 times more prevalent in females. Unlike the deterioration that occurs in Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis occurs in the linings of joints which can lead to pain and swelling, eroded bone, and deformed joints
People with risk factors developing arthritis include those who are obese, as the heavy weight will put extra pressure on their joints. However, healthy athletes may also develop arthritis despite their physical fitness. Most susceptible are gymnasts, runners, and high jumpers, because their sports require heavy joint usage, especially in the knees and ankles. Running and jumping are especially high impact, pressuring the joints in a similar way as being overweight does.
Foods that will be beneficial for arthritis for the most part will be similar to those in the diet plan of an individual who is trying to lose or maintain weight. Recommended are foods low in fats and a diet consisting of vegetables and fruit primarily. For both patients with obesity and arthritis doctors recommended a strict weight control regiment coupled with medication with emphasis on vegetables and healthy carbs such as brown rice. These are an important source of beta-carotene, calcium, folate, iron, and vitamin C. Daily and consistent intake of the aforementioned will help to prevent complications from diseases.
It is also recommended that patients with arthritis eat a good amount of fish oil, as there is evidence to suggest that the omega-3 found in fish have qualities that help to suppress arthritis. . It is recommended to take this supplement, available in capsule form, 2-3 times a week. However, it is important to consume fish oil according to the instructions on the label and as recommended by your doctor. Apart from fish oil, evening primrose oil has also been shown to ease the symptoms of arthritis. Before taking evening primrose oil, consult with your doctor.
Foods that are highly recommended include:
Fish containing omega 3 such as salmon, sardines, and catfish. Especially for those suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Healthy Carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, various beans/peanuts (avoid ones that contain a high amount of calories)
Fruits and vegetables: for example leafy greens, bananas as a source of potassium, and fibers. These should be included in at least 3 meals per week. Ginger has also been found to alleviate arthritis, it is recommended to consume 5 grams twice a week. Guava and celeries have also been found to be beneficial, especially for people suffering from Osteoarthritis.
For patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis doctors suggest adding soy to the diet. This can be obtained from soy products such as Vitamilk or Lactasoy. Foods that should be avoided or removed from the diet completely include: processed foods, extremely salty or sweet foods, and foods with saturated fats such as butter and coconut oil.