Before discussing Arthritis Diet, it is worthwhile to understand what Arthritis is.
The meaning of “Arthritis” is joint inflammation. In fact, Arthritis is not a single disease but is used to refer to a multitude of diseases that are associated with joint pain. Hundreds of diseases in this category exists. It is a kind of rheumatic diseases.
Arthritis is marked by inflammation of joints. This is mostly reflected by symptoms like stiffness, swelling, redness, warmth. It affects joints in the body, which includes knees, hips, fingers, wrists, ankles, feet, back and neck. The sufferers include people of all age groups men, women and children.
There are different types of Arthritis out of which Inflammatory Arthritis and non-inflammatory Arthritis are the most common and discussed one. Inflammatory Arthritis is known to cause inflammation of joints and other tissues.
Inflammation is a process marked by the efforts of white blood cells and immune proteins to get rid of the various infection and foreign substances, which affect the body. However, in situations as such, the immune system may turn awry and mistakenly attack the joints with uncontrolled inflammation when there are no foreign substances to fight off. This results in the body’s normal protective system causing damage to its own tissues. But, the question remains as to how to understand that the inflammation of joints is Arthritis. There are many responses to it. Let us discuss them:
- The first and foremost symptom is the pain in one or various parts of the body. The pain may last for a long time or it may come and go. This pain can occur mostly in the morning while at rest or moving.
- Another symptom of inflammation is the swelling of the affected joints. These swellings may last for three days or longer and if they are witnessed at least thrice a month, the doctor should be consulted.
- When you wake up in the morning or sit on a chair and you encounter a strange stiffness in the joints, then it is a warning bell that your body has reached the borderline of Arthritis.
- One more symptom can be attributed to arthritis and that is the point when you begin to face difficulty in moving a joint.
Thus, these are the various symptoms, which mark the presence of inflammation of joints in the body. Of course, when this happens, the doctor needs to be consulted. But, certain changes in food habits can also tackle the situation well. Let us now discuss the various food habits to be adopted to reduce this inflammation. These are:
Fishes are rich in inflammation fighting omega 3 fatty acids. In fact, oils extracted from fish may reduce joint swelling, pain, stiffness etc. Thus, the consumption of fish is a very good option. Experts suggest that taking three to four ounces of fish two or more times in a week can prove to be very helpful.
Since it is a member of the allium family, Garlic is rich in diallyl-disulfide, a compound that combats the inflammation in Arthritis well. Therefore, consuming garlic can help a lot.
The consumption of ginger is very beneficial to tackle Arthritis, as it is known to be packed with substances that easily block the promotion of inflammation in the body.
Nuts and seeds:
Nuts like walnuts, almonds; pine nuts etc. serve the purpose very well. This is because of the reason that nuts and seeds are a good source of inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat. Despite having too much fat and calories, they promote weight loss. Hence, taking a slight amount of them daily is advisable.
Some of the spices like turmeric are rich in curcumin. Curcumin is well known to fight the inflammation in joints. Particularly in India, turmeric has been used from centuries in the regular meal for its numerous benefits.
Fruits are one of the best sources of antioxidants. They are the defense system of the body and protect the body against any kind of enemies, which can damage the cells. Moreover, some of the fruits like strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry etc. contain anthocyanin that have anti-inflammation properties. In fact, citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C and they thereby have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Cherries are also witnessed to contain anthocyanin that have anti-inflammatory properties. So, its consumption benefits in relieving from joint inflammation.
Vegetables, mostly the one rich in Vitamin K have anti-inflammatory qualities, which prevent the human body against inflammation of joints. Mostly, the dark-colored vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, cabbage, soybeans etc. should be preferred as the antioxidant properties of vegetables is directly proportional to the color.
Taking two to three tablespoons of olive oil daily is a good cure against the disease. This is because of the reason that olive oil has oleocanthal that is alike in many respects to the anti-inflammatory drugs.
Green tea is specifically prescribed for this purpose as it contains polyphenol, an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, its consumption benefits a lot.
C-reactive protein (CRP), the indicator of inflammation can very well be lowered with the help of beans, as they possess a significant amount of fiber, phytonutrients, and proteins.
Whole grains were rich in fiber can easily lower the inflammation in the blood. So, taking six ounces of grains on a regular basis is advisable.
Thus, these are the various foods, which can be taken to tackle Arthritis and prevent the inflammation in joints. Now, let us talk about the foods, which should be avoided as they facilitate the inflammation and instead of preventing the disease, adds to its promotion.
Foods to Avoid:
1) Fried and processed foods: Fried and processed fruits are known to contribute to the inflammation. Hence, their consumption should be avoided as much as possible.
2) Sugar: Well, a high amount of sugar consumption can add to AGEs, an advanced glycation product that damages proteins in the body. When this happens, the body attempts to break them with the help of cytokines. These cytokines are inflammatory messengers and hence they add to the inflammation.
3) Refined grains- Refined grains have the unique property of enhancing the blood glucose level. This blood glucose level further stimulates the process of inflammation in the body.
4) Dairy products: At times, some of the dairy products are found to facilitate the inflammation. This is because of the protein they contain.
5) Alcohol and tobacco- The consumption of alcohol and tobacco is known to give rise to a number of health issues including the one related to inflammation of joints. Thus its consumption should be avoided as much as possible.
6) Salt- Excess of salts is known to contribute to the rising in the blood pressure. Moreover, they tend to increase the inflammatory properties. So, their consumption should be restricted to just meet their needs.
7) Corn oil- Corn oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids add to the inflammatory properties. So, their intake should be minimized or stopped.
8) Refined Carbohydrates- Refined carbohydrates are a kind of high-glycemic index (HGI) foods that induce the production of AGEs. So, their consumption should be avoided.
9)Red Meat- Red meat is rich in saturated fats which is mainly responsible for causing inflammation. Not only this, but it also contains a high level of AGEs which facilitate inflammation. Thus, it is better not to consume it.
One can very well say that there is no hard and fast rule for preventing Arthritis. But, of course, it can be controlled and checked by adopting a good diet plan. We have tried to provide a healthy diet plan as which food should be consumed and which food should be avoided. The success of any plan depends on the will of the people who conform to it. So, in this case, the effect and benefit of this diet plan can be enjoyed by them who very well sticks to it