When you are suffering from recurrent arthritic attacks, did you pause and reflect on the current diet that you are following? Is it devoid of the essential nutrients that your body needs to carry out all its bodily functions in an optimum manner? Well, the one major factor that can worsen the condition of your arthritic joints is the deprivation of vitamins that are most crucial for preventing joint pains and inflammation associated with arthritis.
These vitamins can be taken through supplements available in the market, but it is always preferable to boost the intake of arthritic-friendly vitamins through the consumption of vitamin-rich foods that strengthen your immune system, without causing any side effects. However, some vitamins work better than the others depending upon the frequency and intensity of certain symptoms of arthritis that an arthritic patient experiences more often than the others.
Hence, you can analyze which vitamin serves to treat your condition better by reading through the following list of vitamins required for treating the severity of your arthritic joint pains.
Best Vitamins for Arthritis
Being one of the most potent anti-oxidant, vitamin A helps in combating redness, swelling and inflammation in the joints by flushing out all the free radicals that promote an immune response in the body. This makes it a very good candidate for the treatment of inflammation of joints associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
The daily recommended dosage of vitamin A for men has been found to be 3,000 international units, while women need about 2,333 IU for effectively treating arthritis. Rich dietary sources of vitamin A include dark green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes and fruits like apricots, peaches, etc.
B vitamins play a major role in regulating cellular metabolism and in energizing your body. Consumption of foods like fish, turkey, salmon, beef, beans, etc. can boost the levels of vitamin B3 or niacin in the body that promotes blood circulation, which in turn, eases joint pain and increases mobility. Hence, a daily dosage of 16 grams of niacin for men and 14 grams of niacin for women has been recommended for reducing swelling and for improving muscle strength and flexibility.
Vitamin B-5 improves blood circulation and helps in reducing the swelling that develops in arthritic joints. Deficiency of Vitamin B-6 and B-12 is most prominent in arthritic patients, since they aid in stimulating the production of white blood cells and antibodies that enhance the immune system. Vitamin B-12 activates B-6, thus enhancing the effect of B-6 in preventing bone fractures.
Obtain the recommended dosage of 1.7 milligrams of B-6 for men and 1.5 milligrams of B-6 for women from common sources like beans, meat, poultry and fish. Foods like liver, egg yolks, salmon, cereals and pasta will enable you to increase your intake of vitamin B-12 to 2.4 micrograms for treating joint aches. Hence, B-complex vitamins play a major role in providing you with enough amount of energy to enable you to exercise, which is crucially important for lubricating your joints and increasing their range of motion.
Termed as the most powerful anti-oxidant, vitamin C serves as an anti-inflammatory agent to combat the swelling and inflammation in the joints. Most importantly, it acts as a precursor for collagen, a protein that imparts elasticity to the connective tissue, which is comprised of tendons, ligaments, skin and cartilage. Basically, arthritis results from the deterioration of the cartilage that leads to joint instability.
Hence, vitamin C serves as a very good source of collagen that cushions the joints and prevents them from the normal wear and tear. It also acts as an immune stimulant and a potent antimicrobial agent by sweeping the body of the destructive free radicals and the infection causing bacteria, thus preventing them from eliciting an inflammatory response.
If you are suffering from gout, replenish your body with about 300-500mg of vitamin C daily by sipping lime juice or by increasing your intake of foods rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits, kiwi, melons, berries, etc. to speed up the process of dissolving uric acid crystals that accumulate in the joints. However, do not exceed a daily dosage of 500mg of vitamin C to avoid digestive upsets and an inefficient absorption of essential nutrients from the intestine.
A deficiency of vitamin D is the leading cause of osteoporosis, which clearly states its importance in strengthening bones and muscles. Sunshine being its most important source, vitamin D drives the absorption of calcium and the minerals required for bone health, thus making bones and the cartilage surrounding them, less susceptible to degradation.
Found mostly in fish, fortified milk, yogurt, etc., vitamin D has been shown to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis and and lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis by strengthening the immune system and preventing auto-immunity. However, beware of over-supplementing and ensure that you do not exceed a daily dosage of 400mg of vitamin D.
Vitamin E is yet another anti-oxidant that prevents free radical damage to joints and also promotes blood circulation. Include leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils, soybeans, wheat germ oil, Brussels sprouts, raw sunflower seeds, beans, nuts, avocados, etc., in your diet to obtain a daily dosage of at least 15mg of vitamin E for exploiting its inflammation-fighting properties.
However, if you are taking hypertensive drugs, make sure that you consult a doctor, since vitamin E can enhance their blood thinning effects, leading to unpleasant consequences.
Vitamin K enriched foods like sea foods, green vegetables, dairy products, oatmeal, wheat, etc., help you obtain a daily dosage of 90mg for strengthening bones and to promote a greater bone density for easing the symptoms associated with osteoporosis.
Even though, these vitamins alone do not provide you with a magical cure, incorporating them in your diet can certainly help to ease the disability and inconvenience you face while trying to deal with the symptoms of this debilitating condition.
Bear in mind that the key to a successful treatment is to adapt a combinatorial approach involving a well-balanced diet, containing plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise and a healthy life-style free of arthritic triggers. Also, prior to including these foods or supplements in your diet, make sure that you consult a professional health practitioner to avoid any long-term complications or interaction of these foods with the current medications prescribed for your condition.