Arthritis is not a single disease; it includes a hundred disorders that involve the joints. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common form of arthritis. In USA, about one in every five people is suffering from this disease. One important aspect in joint pain treatment is the control of body weight. Being overweight will put extra stress on the joints which increases the risk of wear and tear. Excess fat is capable of producing hormones and chemicals which will increase the level of inflammation. Weight should be reduced to get arthritis pain relief. Diet control is necessary for this also.
Selecting a diet which is heavy in acid forming foods leads to adverse effects on arthritis. Essential foods that will help to cure arthritis are oily fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and spices. Benefits of a good diet are that it will be helpful in the prevention and reduction of symptoms of arthritis.
Recommended Foods for Arthritis Patients
Avoid white flour or refined white flour (pasta, white bread, etc.). White flour turns into sugar in our body which will aggravate the pain. Brown rice is good to eat.
Fruits and vegetables should be consumed in large quantity daily. Five servings of these items in a day will do much help. Cooked fruits and dried fruits can be used. Eat cherries, pears, prunes, etc. Avoid citrus fruits, bananas, and tomatoes. Tomatoes can be used after removing the skin and seeds. Cooked vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, tapioca, chard, spinach, tapioca, etc. are good.
Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables help to curb the actions of free radicals which are destroying the healthy cells and exacerbating the damage at inflamed sites. Inflammation produces cell-damaging molecules that are formed in response to toxins. Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of free radicals.
Include foods that are rich in Vitamin C, Selenium, Carotenes, and Bioflavonoid in the diet. Vitamin C is available in sweet pepper, orange, grapefruit, strawberries, pineapple, papaya, lemon, etc. Body will get Selenium from foods such as tuna, crab, oyster, lean beef, shrimp, whole grains and turkey. Carotenes are a group of powerful antioxidant materials found in fruits and vegetables such as sweet potato, carrot, bale, butternut, squash, pumpkin, spinach etc. Bioflavonoid has anti-inflammatory effects and it is available in onion, cherry tomato, broccoli, elderberries, cocoa powder, apricots apple (with skin) etc.
Omega 3 fatty acids in fish oils have direct anti-inflammatory properties. They are polyunsaturated fats which will decrease inflammation by suppressing the production of cytokines and enzymes. It is excellent for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. We get omega 3 fatty acids from salmon, herring, sardines, rainbow trout, pacific oysters, flax seed oil, and walnuts. Consume foods containing omega 3 fatty acids three to five times a week.
Oliver oil should be used instead of vegetable oil or butter. It is a good mono saturated fat that contains antioxidants called polyphenols that protect the the body against inflammation.
Ginger and turmeric are good to include in the diet. Ginger contains chemicals that will ease pain and swelling of joints. Fresh ginger is anti-inflammatory and capable of giving a cooling effect to the body. Use ginger in tea or in curries. Turmeric is from Asia. It will suppress inflammatory body chemicals.
Avoid artificial fats, saturated fats found in red meat, diary foods, processed foods and refined carbohydrates (white bread and sugar). All these produce free radicals or cause blood sugar level to spike leading to inflammation.
Along with the medication, selecting and avoiding the appropriate foods will also help to minimize the effect of the disease. If possible, be a vegetarian or limit the intake of red meat, vegetable oil, butter and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables for the treatment of joint pains.