If you have arthritis or any similar disease, you must consume the proper nutrients to reduce the inflammatory and painful symptoms that it causes. Medical researchers have concluded that good nutrition and healthy eating will have a positive impact on arthritis-related symptoms. It could even stop the disease from progressing.
Of course, this will not be a magical treatment that will work instantly. But if you eat foods which contain anti-inflammatory properties, it will be beneficial if you have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or any inflammatory condition like these.
Arthritis and Inflammation
People living with Rheumatoid arthritis are not usually told to follow any particular set of nutritional guidelines. However, medical researchers discovered that omega-3 fatty acids, phytochemicals, and antioxidants can fight against inflammation in the body. Therefore, if you eat foods like fish, beans, olive oil, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, this will greatly reduce your symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This means you will see a reduction in pain, disease, and stiffness.
The best omega-3-rich food is cold water fish. Also, extra virgin olive oil has a natural phenolic compound called oleocanthal. This will greatly reduce inflammation and any damage to the cartilage in your joints. According to research studies, oleocanthal stops pro-inflammatory enzymes like COX-2 and COX-1 from being produced. This is similar to what ibuprofen does to reduce inflammation too.
There was a small study done in the 1990s which involved 53 patients who had rheumatoid arthritis. They were each given a vegetarian and vegan diet for their arthritis. At first, they were on a vegan diet and could not eat many other types of foods. Nine months later, patients were allowed to eat gluten, milk, and dairy if they were not intolerant of them. One year after that, patients saw relief in their morning stiffness, pain, and swollen joints. In fact, their overall health had improved. For this reason, researchers concluded that people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis would find relief if they consume a vegetarian diet.
Another discovery that researchers made shows green tea can alleviate arthritis symptoms because it causes several immune system responses to take place. Green tea contains an antioxidant which stops the body from creating the molecules responsible for the joint damage. In the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, researchers submitted a report in May of 2015 which shows that green tea has a better anti-inflammatory effect than black tea.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes an increase in a pro-inflammatory protein in the blood called C-reactive protein. Numerous medical studies have concluded that a diet which is high in fiber will lower C-reactive protein levels. You can get this fiber from whole grains, such as oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and beans.
You can keep a healthy weight if you maintain a nutritious and balanced diet. This will also take a load off your joints as well. In 2015, A study was published which featured 40 people suffering from osteoarthritis who switched to a plant-based diet for six weeks. This diet consisted of vegetables, fruits, lentils, beans, whole grains, and peas. After those six weeks, these people saw their physical functions improved along with a reduction of pain.
Medical researchers have known for a while that milk can benefit your bones. But what they were not sure about was whether milk benefited the joints. In a 2015 study featured in Arthritis Care & Research, it revealed that women with osteoarthritis in the knee had less progression of their disease after drinking milk on a long-term basis. However, women who consumed a lot of cheese had worsened osteoarthritis symptoms.
In a 2013 study featured in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a compound in certain foods known as sulforaphane was found to help reduce the progression of osteoarthritis and prevent the joint cartilage from being damaged. The foods which contain this compound include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
In a 2010 study that was featured in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, people that frequently eat leeks, onions, garlic, and other foods associated with the allium family had fewer symptoms of osteoarthritis early on. Medical researchers believe these foods can reduce the number of enzymes in the body which damage cartilage because of a compound in them called diallyl disulphine. This is perfect for osteoarthritis sufferers.
Gout is the one form of arthritis that has the greatest link to nutritional health. You see, many foods contain a substance called purine. The body breaks down this substance after it is consumed, causing uric acid to be created in the body. But for people who suffer from gout, it is more difficult to reduce uric acid levels in the body. So, they will end up with an abundance of uric acid, and that will cause their joints to become painful and inflamed.
In 2012, the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology featured a study which revealed that uric acid levels could be reduced from a Mediterranean diet. Because of this, the chances of having gout are reduced too. For instance, cherries have anthocyanins which are believed to be anti-inflammatory in the body for stopping gout attacks from happening so frequently. Most purple fruits and red fruits contain anthocyanins, such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries. The fruit with the highest levels of anthocyanins is tart cherries.
If you can refrain from eating foods with a lot of purines in them, that will help stop gout as well. Some of the foods that are loaded with purines include lamb, beef, pork, fish, meat broths, and pretty much all meat-based foods. Also, if you consume food with a lot of fructose or soft drinks with added sugars, then your uric acid levels will increase drastically. Some studies suggest that alcohol and beer consumption are associated with gout attacks too.
You need to eat foods with lots of calcium in them if you want to preserve the health of your bones. Some foods that contain high levels of calcium include green leafy vegetables, low-fat milk, and shellfish. You also need foods with a lot of Vitamin D in them. These foods include tuna, mackerel, salmon, egg yolks, and cheese.
Vitamin D makes it easier for the body to absorb calcium. However, the body cannot usually get all its required Vitamin D from just food alone. It needs to get it from sunshine too. If you were to stand out under the sun for 15 minutes without any sunscreen or protection, you would receive 10,000 IU (international units) of Vitamin D.
Try to maintain a Mediterranean diet which includes virgin olive oil and a lot of Vitamin D consumption. If you can do that, you will prevent bone loss in your body.