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Arthritis Diet: Is there an Anti-inflammatory Diet?

May 16, 2019 in Arthritis

Arthritis Diet: Is there and Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

After a while, the protective cartilage between our bones is less effective at naturally absorbing nutrients. Without this cartilage, bones rub together at the joints causing pain, unpleasant swelling, or inflammation. If you have arthritis, you will want to consume an appropriate arthritis diet to best ensure you are getting the proper nutrients needed to heal your joints.

Why an Arthritis Diet Matters

Rather than resorting to the pharmacy to combat inflammation, there is strong evidence that the grocery store is just as useful of a resource. According to The Harvard School of Public Health there have been many experimental studies that have shown that diet can have anti-inflammatory effects.1

The Mediterranean Anti-Inflammatory Diet

While it’s not possible for a healthy diet to cure arthritis all on its own, there are certain foods you can eat that will help to relieve the painful symptoms. One of the most beneficial arthritis diets is the Mediterranean diet. It’s an incredibly healthy, natural diet that favours plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats such as nuts and olive oils, whole grains, fish and legumes. This diet can not only help with inflammation and weight loss, it can also help to promote long-term overall health.

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

  • More energy
  • Weight loss will relieve pressure on sore joints
  • High in Omega-3’s and healthy fats
  • Can reduce inflammation
  • Can lead to lower blood sugar
  • Higher immune function
  • Elimination of processed foods
  • High intake of fruits and vegetables

Foods You Should Eat on an Arthritis Diet

While you are on the Mediterranean Diet, you should be focusing on eating fruits, vegetables and healthy fats (such as extra virgin olive oil) multiple times a day. Legumes and whole grains should be a priority at least once a day. Additionally, fish, nuts and seeds should be a staple multiple times per week. Unhealthy fats and refined sugars should be significantly limited and if possible, eliminated completely.

Healthy Fats

arthritis diet: is there an anti-inflammatory diet

Not all fats are bad. It’s the trans fats and saturated fats in foods like butter, cream, desserts, pizza and chips that you should be mindful of. If consumed in excess, these types of fats can lead to high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease and many other health complications. Because of this, the Mediterranean diet doesn’t discourage fats, it just tells you to be mindful of the kinds of fats you eat. Focusing on unsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids can actually lower your cholesterol, help you manage your weight and reduce inflammation. Some good fats to focus on are:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (especially in the place of butter)
  • Fish oil
  • Fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines)
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds (flax, chia, hemp)

Download the Free Arthritis Pain Management Plan to Learn Some Amazing Anti-Inflammatory Recipes

The Arthritis Pain Management Plan was designed and written with the overall health and well-being of a person suffering from arthritis. The plan includes:

  • Diet and meal plan suggestions
  • Aerobic and strength training exercises
  • Sleep better guide
  • De-stress and mental well-being tips
  • Pain management tips
  • And more!


Fruits and Vegetables

arthritis diet: is there an anti-inflammatory diet

Fruits and vegetables are essential components of any healthy diet and the Mediterranean diet is no different. They are loaded with antioxidants, which have long been tied to reducing inflammation in the body. This makes them ideal for arthritis sufferers. Load up on these fruits and veggies on a daily basis:

Fruits

  • Blackberries
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Tart cherries
  • Strawberries, kiwi, pineapple and cantaloupe (for Vitamin C) 2

Veggies

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Peas

Whole Grains

arthritis diet: is there an anti-inflammatory diet

Unrefined, whole grains are a fundamental part of the Mediterranean diet. They are loaded with nutrients, including protein, antioxidants, vitamin b and fibre. If consumed correctly, they can lead to weight loss, heart health and boosted energy. Here are some grains to consider:

  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat

Certain Spices

There are certain spices you can focus on that have been tied to reducing inflammation in the body. The anti- inflammatory effects of these spices have been touted for hundreds of years. Plus, they are a great way to season food without overusing salt. Find ways to work them into your new and improved anti-inflammatory diet:

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic

Don’t Forget to Drink Lots of Water

When it comes to arthritis pain, consistent hydration is crucial to feeling better. The body's cartilages are mostly made of water, so hydration is key for joint restoration, repair, and general maintenance. Drink lots of water and avoid overconsumption of dehydrating liquids like coffee and alcohol.

Foods You Should Avoid on an Arthritis Diet

Now that you know the foods you should focus on, here are the foods you should avoid as best as you can.

Fried and Processed Foods

These foods are the main culprits when it comes to trans fats and saturated fats. They can contribute to weight gain which puts added strain on the joints, inflammation and numerous other health problems. Here are some major problem foods:

  • French Fries
  • Fast-food sandwiches
  • Potato chips
  • Bacon
  • Margarine

Dairy

Dairy is infamous for flaring up painful symptoms. Many bodies do not react well to the highly processed dairy we find at our local grocery store. Cutting out milk, cheese, cream, and yogurt can result in an improvement of pain. You can always substitute for almond milk or other dairy-free trades.

Refined Sugars

Refined sugars have no nutritional value. It is an empty carbohydrate that simply sweetens foods. Not only can refined sugars lead to inflammation in the body, consuming too much of it can drain your energy, lead to weight gain and increase your chances of heart disease and other complications.

arthritis diet: is there an anti-inflammatory diet

Get More Arthritis Content From DR-HO'S Living Pain-Free Blog:

  1. Arthritis: This is Everything You Need To Know
  2. Arthritis Symptoms: What are the Common Symptoms?
  3. Tips & Tricks for At-Home Arthritis Pain Management
  4. 3 Reasons Why People With Arthritis Should Try Supplements
  5. 5 At-Home Knee Exercises for Arthritis 
  6. How to Quickly Ease Arthritis in the Knees 
  7. 5 Simple Hand Exercises to Help Joint Pain and Arthritis 

Arthritis Diet: Is there an Anti-inflammatory Diet?

Sources:

  1. Harvard Health Publishing, Foods that fight inflammation
  2. Arthritis Foundation, 6 Food Choices to Help Ease Arthritis Pain
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