Manage Your Arthritis With Food

Lanu Pitan


Arthritis like all diseases can be effectively managed with the right diet.

Photo by Owen Beard on Unsplash

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints and its surrounding connective tissues. It is generally believed that arthritis is a condition that affects the elderly. While it is true that most elderly suffer from the condition, arthritis can affect people of any age, race, or gender including children.

Arthritis can be caused by normal tear and wear of the cartilage around the joints, one reason the condition is attributed to old age.

Inflammation is the body’s response that something is not right somewhere in the body. This could be caused by stress, viruses, or other known or unknown pathogens (foreign bodies). If the cause of inflammation is not put right, it can lead to the progression of chronic diseases like cancer and other serious diseases.

National Health Service statistics show that more than ten million people suffer from arthritis in the United Kingdom.

Arthritis is NOT a single disease, but the term is usually used on all the inflammatory diseases around the joint area. The two popular ones are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis major symptom is reduced mobility because it produces stiffness and or swelling around the joints and the surrounding tissues. Arthritis causes pain, some intermittently while others are continuous.

As arthritis has no known cure, especially if attributed to normal tear and wear of the cartilage, it is only sensible to manage the condition by diets.

Photo by Nino Liverani on Unsplash

Dietary Management Of Arthritis

The traditional management by medical practitioners is usually anti-inflammatory medications, and or with corticosteroids, and local pain relievers. These only give temporary relief, but unfortunately do not address the root cause in order to give permanent relief.

The dietary management of Arthritis is two folds —  foods to limit or eliminate from diets, that are deemed to aggravate the conditions. And foods to increase that help reduce the inflammatory conditions of the disease.

Foods To Eliminate From Diet

It is a well-known fact that certain foods are triggers for the inflammatory conditions of arthritis. So removing or limiting these foods can help manage the disease more effectively. Some are:

Dairy Foods — like milk contains a strain of bacterium MAP (mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis). This bacteria elevates the risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The bacterium is also found in meat, according to the research by the University of Florida College Of Medicine. So it is best to reduce milk and meat if you are unable to eliminate them completely.

Sugar- — this includes all sugary foods and drinks, fizzy drinks, cakes, high sugar desserts, alcohol (which is ultimately converted into sugar). Sugar prompts the release of certain proteins called cytokines in the body. Cytokines are believed to be inflammatory messengers.

Gluten — which is a protein in wheat is known to worsen arthritis condition. Gluten is a known immunological trigger in people with gluten intolerance, according to the research cited by Pubmed.

Nightshades — Nightshades are tomatoes, potatoes, peppers which some believe aggravate arthritis pain, however, studies showed that this is not proven.

Foods That Lessen Arthritis Condition

Turmeric — is a known herb, used in the management of arthritis from time immemorial. An active ingredient in the turmeric is curcumin, helps alleviate arthritis pain and condition, although this cannot be proved because of its low bioavailability.

Ginger — is in turmeric family, and is also known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative benefit.

Fatty fish — that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to provide joint flexibility benefit. Examples of fatty fish are salmon, mackerel and herrings.

Foods rich in flavonoids — like green tea, broccoli, soy, and most berries. Flavonoids are phytonutrients in plants and some fruits with tremendous health benefits.

Foods rich in antioxidants — (like carrots (A), avocados(E) and oranges(C) are good examples to fight inflammation. Antioxidants eat up the free radicals in the body, preventing them from binding to other molecules to cause havoc.

Plantains and bananas — are rich in magnesium and potassium, which are known to improve bone density. The higher the bone mass, the higher the health of your bone, and the lower the risk of fracture and arthritis.

In any diet, it is always good to listen to your body. Your body tells you if certain foods are not good for you.

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