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Arthritis Diet Review

Arthritis Diet

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Is there such thing as an arthritis diet?  Strictly speaking, there isn’t a solid eating strategy of only a certain list of foods that will make the pain and stiffness disappear. That simply isn’t the way the condition works, unfortunately.  However, many people – and doctors – believe that by making the right overall food choices, you can make a difference to the discomfort you feel. 

What is Arthritis and Can Diet Help?

There are two basic types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that causes stiffness and pain in the joints and is usually the result of ageing. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition which causes joints to swell and become painful.

The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known, although one reason for the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis may be a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. Indeed, inflammatory arthritis is much more common in countries where rich and highly processed foods are eaten, like the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.  In a few people, some plant proteins, such as the gluten of wheat, may also be a contributory cause to worsening symptoms, but this has not been conclusively proven.

The key to this understanding is in knowing that correlation is not causation. Yes, countries where highly processed foods are regular consumed also have a higher instance of arthritis, particularly inflammatory forms of arthritis. However, because there is a relationship, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the cause.  As a result, it doesn’t mean that an arthritis diet will necessarily prevent or repair the condition.  Still, it doesn’t mean that it won’t help, and considering the types of foods that tend to be recommended for this purpose, there are a spectrum of other benefits that come with their consumption too, making it worth a try for many people.

Diet and Inflammatory Arthritis

Medical literature contains many documented cases of how diet modification can improve inflammatory arthritis. Some arthritis experts consider that the best arthritis diet to reduce inflammation contains no animal products and almost no kinds of fats and oils.

In some people, eliminating certain highly allergenic plant foods, such as wheat, corn, and citrus fruits, is important (see Elimination Diet). However, experts remain divided as to the impact of diet modification on arthritis.

Before making major changes to what you eat, it’s generally recommended that you speak with your doctor. After all, an arthritis diet isn’t the only thing to consider when deciding on the type of nutrition or specific foods that are right for you.

Foods that might reduce inflammation

  • Fruit In particular those high in Vitamin C, like blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, peaches, mango, cantaloupe melon and anti-inflammatory fruits like apples.
  • Vegetables In particular vegetables high in Vitamin A (beta-carotene) and Vitamin C. Carrots, squash, sweet potato, spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts.
  • Oily Fish Rich omega-3 essential fatty acids and high in Vitamin E, like salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna and trout.
  • Nuts and Seeds Rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids and high in Vitamin E. Unsalted nuts, like walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds, and seeds like sunflower, linseeds (flax seeds) and pumpkin seeds.
  • Pulses and Grains Including lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), brown rice, whole wheat bread.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Foods Turmeric, ginger, garlic and apples.

It’s also a good idea to avoid foods that are known to promote inflammation. This doesn’t mean that you need to completely eliminate them from your arthritis diet forever. However, reducing their consumption to a reasonable degree may work in your favor.  Inflammatory foods include:

  • Sugars
  • Saturated Fats
  • Trans Fats
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids
  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • MSG
  • Gluten and Casein
  • Aspartame
  • Alcohol

Arthritis Diet Plan

For arthritis diet plan suggestions see Arthritis Diet Plan.