If you or a loved one suffer from arthritis, you know just how much the everyday symptoms can interfere with life. While your doctor may prescribe medication to help with pain, he or she may also recommend lifestyle changes, including diet adjustments, to address your symptoms.
The best diet to fight arthritis pain and symptoms is one that controls inflammation in the body. While an anti-inflammatory diet may be particularly beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis, it can also ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis, gout, and osteoporosis. While no official recommendations exist for an anti-inflammatory diet, certain foods have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.
Fish and Healthy Oils
Replace butter with healthy, plant-based oils such as olive, walnut, or avocado, which contain fatty acids that help reduce inflammation. When it comes to what to put on your plate, consider seafood. Like healthy plant oils, fish also contain a lot of anti-inflammatory fats. Opt for fish high in omega-3s like salmon, tuna, herring, or sardines. Gout sufferers should consider avoiding fish due to the high levels of purines they contain.
There’s a rumor out there that dairy makes arthritis worse, but actually, research shows that drinking milk can slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Dairy is also beneficial for osteoporosis sufferers.
Fruits and veggies
Produce contains vitamins that can reduce, or even prevent, osteoarthritis symptoms. As for nightshades like potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes, eat up – unless you notice inflammation after eating them. Although some arthritis sufferers report inflammation after eating them, there’s no research to support the claim that nightshades increase symptoms in most people.
Soy beans and nuts
Nuts and soybeans are also sources of healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3s, and are also high in fiber, which may lower your body’s levels of a certain protein that is linked to inflammation. For this reason, high-fiber whole grains may also be an important addition to your diet.
Teas of all varieties have been shown to reduce inflammation due to their high levels of antioxidants. Green tea may yield the greatest benefits, but black and white teas also contain anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Don’t underestimate the power of a glass of water in fighting inflammation. Keeping hydrated will help your body eliminate toxins and lubricate your joints.
What to Avoid
Some foods may increase inflammation, so you should limit or avoid your consumption of them. While some fats help reduce inflammation, others can increase inflammation if you eat too much. Omega-6 fatty acids are among the culprits, and can be found in some plant-based oils like corn and sunflower oil. Sugar likewise can trigger inflammation.
When it comes wine pairings, you may have heard that the red varieties reduce inflammation. While research suggests that this is true, don’t consider it an excuse to drink in excess. Too much alcohol of any kind can actually increase inflammation.
Finally, food allergies and sensitivity may also lead to inflammation, so if you’re experiencing inflammation in spite of a healthy diet, talk to your doctor about possible reactions to foods you are consuming.
Before you make any changes to your diet, talk to your doctor about the best changes for you. If you find that it is time to consider bigger lifestyle changes, and possibly long-term care, the team at Life Care Funding can help answer any questions you might have. Reach out to our LTC team today!