Arthritis is a general term used to refer to conditions that cause pain and stiffness in the bone joints. The pain is a result of swelling and inflammation of the bone joints. Osteoarthritis is the commonest of all arthritis, other being rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, to name a few. Though there is no known cure for arthritis, these conditions can be managed with the help of pain-reducing medicines, anti-inflammatory drugs, and a diet that can help manage inflammation and boost immunity. The role of arthritis diet in managing the condition and minimising painful episodes of inflammation is well documented. Let us look at some of the best foods to eat and the ones to avoid to help manage arthritis.
Foods for Arthritis
Following are some of the items that you should include in your arthritis diet -
- Fish– Fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation. Consumption of salmon, tuna and sardines helps keep stiffness and swelling at bay. So fish is an important part of arthritis diet
- Beans - Regular consumption of beans is extremely helpful on many counts. Red beans, kidney beans, pinto beans etc., are great sources of antioxidants. What's more, these beans help control the levels of CRP (C-reactive protein) and thus help manage inflammation and swelling of the joints.
- Nuts and seeds - Doctors and nutritionists recommend consuming nuts and seeds because they boost energy. For arthritis patients, they help fight the inflammation due to monounsaturated fats. While nuts like almonds, pistachio, and pine nuts can be high calorie, a regulated daily intake is necessary.
- Fresh vegetables - Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and fibrous vegetables like broccoli are healthy. Broccoli contains sulforaphane that lowers the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Similarly, spinach too is loaded with the antioxidant kaempferol, which helps relieve swelling and fight the disease.
- Berries – Berries are nature's gift to humankind. They are full of minerals and antioxidants and boost overall health. Berries such as blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are rich in quercetin and rutin, which inhibit the inflammatory process. For arthritis patients, berries must form a regular part of the daily diet.
- Ginger and garlic – Ginger and garlic have natural anti-inflammatory properties. These have been used in natural and holistic treatments for a very long time. Nutritionists believe that regularly including these in your diet can help reduce arthritis pain and swelling.
Foods To Avoid With Arthritis
Let’s read about food to avoid with arthritis
- Fried foods–Cutting down on fried foods and substituting them with fruits and vegetables have proven health benefits. One of them is relief from joint pain and inflammation.
- Sugars and refined carbs - A diet high in sugars and processed foods increase the AGE (advanced glycation end) levels, which triggers the production of cytokines. Cytokines are inflammatory messengers which increase arthritis swelling and pain.
- Dairy products– Dairy products can trigger inflammation and joint pain due to the type of protein they contain. In some people, the protein may irritate the tissue around the joints. So dairy products are also included in the list of foods to avoid with arthritis.
- Tobacco– Tobacco and tobacco products are very harmful to the health and could cause several ailments, including some that affect joints. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.