Healthy diet choices can reduce arthritis pain and prevent flare-ups. Several studies have revealed the effectiveness of certain dietary substances in suppressing inflammation and pain. The goal of a diet designed for arthritis patients is to fight inflammatory chemicals in the body and improve the health of the bones and cartilages of the joint
Dietary modification is considered as a natural treatment for arthritis. A diet that helps to maintain healthy body weight and reduces risk of inflammation is considered appropriate for arthritis patients.
Prevent Arthritis Pain With Diet Adjustments
Balance Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids In Diet
Imbalance in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids ratio in the diet aggravates arthritis pain. Increasing consumption of omega-3 fats and reducing omega-6 fat ingestion helps to prevent arthritis pain. Vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, corn oil, sesame oil and soybean oil are the common dietary sources of omega-6 fats that are present in the form of linoleic acid.
Too much omega-6 fats in the diet stimulate production of inflammatory compounds, triggering inflammatory arthritis flare-ups. On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, fatty fish, especially those found in cold water, and flaxseed oil and nuts inhibit activities of the inflammatory mediators, thereby preventing inflammation of the joints. Ideally, the ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet of arthritis patients should be between 2 to 3/1.
Add Antioxidant Vitamins C And E to Your Diet
Optimal consumption of vitamin C can protect you from arthritis pain. This antioxidant vitamin is especially beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis patients. However, preliminary findings from an animal study suggest that consuming large amounts of vitamin C may worsen joint damage in osteoarthritis patients.
However, the risk is associated with high levels of supplementation with vitamin C. Despite the contradictory results, according to observations adding sufficient vitamin C rich plant products to the diet is good for the joints. Citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes and peppers are common dietary sources of vitamin C.
The antioxidant effect of vitamin E prevents damage and degradation of joints affected by arthritis. Consuming optimum amount of vitamin E can even reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. By promoting growth and development of cartilage cells, vitamin E supports regeneration of cartilages damaged by arthritis. Sunflower seeds, almonds, papaya, bell pepper and leafy green vegetables are common dietary sources of vitamin E.
Consume Foods With Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for the health of the bones. By supporting calcium absorption and regulating transportation of calcium to the bones, it helps to restore healthy bone mineral density.
Vitamin D also helps to reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions of the joints. Studies suggest that arthritis patients usually have low serum vitamin D level that worsens their arthritis pain and increases risk of joint damage. Adding fish, eggs, milk, mushrooms and foods fortified with vitamin D can meet your vitamin D requirement.
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Increase Consumption of Plant Products
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of a large number of phytochemicals help to prevent arthritis flare-ups. Meeting a large part of your daily calorie requirements from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables can protect you from arthritis pain.
Consider a Mediterranean-Style Diet
A Mediterranean-style diet is highly suitable for preventing arthritis pain. A diet comprising primarily of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, olive oil and fatty fish provides nutrients essential for combating inflammatory disorders.
Limit Saturated Fat and Meat Intake
Saturated fats stimulate production of inflammatory substances called prostaglandins that trigger arthritis inflammation and pain. Arachidonic acid, a type of fatty acid, found in meat is a source of prostaglandins. Limiting intake of saturated fats and meat can prevent arthritis pain.