Modify your diet …
New research has revealed that your diet has a lot to do with how your body responds to arthritis. For instance, certain foods are renamed for triggering inflammation of the joints, while others can help to reduce it and offer your natural pain relief.
And this is true of all arthritis types …
Whilst osteoarthritis ('wear and tear' arthritis) has never before been considered to be an inflammatory condition – as is the case with rheumatoid arthritis – studies have found that infection still plays a role in your pain management of this condition.
Luckily you can help to reduce the effects of inflammation, simply by making the following changes to your diet:
1. Balance your essential fatty acid ratio – it is a well known fact that coldwater fish, seeds and nuts are a good source for omega-3 which is good for your heart. But did you know that omega-3 can also help you to reduce inflammation?
Experts have found that increasing your omega-3 levels, while reducing the amount of omega-6 you consume (corn and sunflower oil, processed foods, spreads, eggs and meats) can both help to offer you some joint pain relief by decreasing inflammation.
Omega-6 in particular has been found to activate the COX-2 enzymes in your body which are responsible for joint inflammation, so by reducing the amount you have, you can reduce joint pain.
Foods to have: salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, walnuts, flaxseed, canola oil and dark leafy greens.
2. Reduce your intake of saturated fats, refined carbs and sugars – common in red meat, full fat dairy products, butter, white bread, sugary foods, cakes and sodas, each of these nutrients can trigger inflammation according to Dr. Wahida Karmally.
Now you do not need to cut out these foods completely; however nutritionists recommend opting for leaner cuts of meat ie round or loin, (free of fat) and having them in small portions.
3. Get plenty of vitamins and minerals – a combination of Vitamin C and D can help to boost your immune function but more importantly reduce inflammation by inhibiting the enzymes which are responsible for breaking down cartilage in your joints.
Aim to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and foods fortified in Vitamin D such as fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, krill), milk, cereals and orange juice. Also try to bulk up on your fiber.
4. Maintain a healthy weight – becoming overweight can worsen your arthritic pain and risk of inflammation. For this reason, it is important that you reduce your intake of foods which are high in sugar, saturated fat and refined carbs as these high calorie foods can lead to weight gain.
In fact, research has found that by losing 10lbs you can reduce knee and hip related pain caused by arthritis.
5. Adopt a Mediterranean diet – enrichment in antioxidants, phytochemical-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, healthy oils and fish, Mediterranean diets are notoriously lower in saturated fats and red meat, making it the ideal diet to reduce inflammation and encourage joint pain relief.
6. Choose a sustainable diet – for this reduction in inflammation to remain positive, it is important that you view your new diet as being sustainable and for life. These dietary changes are not a quick fix, but must be consistently maintained in order for you to experience long term joint pain relief.
Simply changing your diet can offer your body the much needed support it needs to take control of your arthritis and free your joints from the discomfort of aches, pains and inflammation.
Just remember to keep the above suggestions in mind and extremely make sure you adopt a healthy approach to your eating habits.