There are many claims about certain foods and their ability to help with the pain of arthritis. Unfortunately, you have to take these claims with a pinch of salt: there is very little evidence to support them and there is certainly no miracle cure. However, there is some good food for arthritis sufferers: let’s take a look now…
Arthritis & A Balanced Diet
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, then you will be aware that your own management of the condition will have a big impact on its effects on you. Experts will give you advice on the ways you can make yourself more comfortable, for example, and target the effects of the condition rather than the condition itself.
It’s a good idea to view food in a similar manner: no food is going to cure you of arthritis, but there is evidence that suggests that some food can help ease its symptoms and, possibly, slow down its progression. With this in mind, we are going to concentrate on foods that could help you lose weight, ease painful inflammation; and that can be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Before you go on any kind of diet, you must consult your doctor. If you are an arthritis sufferer on prescription medicine, this is even more important, as some foods can have an affect on your medication.
Losing Weight With Arthritis
Your weight can be a big problem if you suffer from arthritis. Those extra pounds can put a lot of pressure on the painful joints in your back, spine, knees, hips, ankles and feet. To lose weight and improve things, you need to think about eating foods with a high soluble fibre content, which when eaten, help your stomach feel full up without the extra calories.
Think about starting the day with protein-packed eggs or a high fiber cereal to help keep hunger at bay for longer. Pears, bananas and apples are fantastic fruits with a high fiber content and the added bonus of pectin fiber, which decreases your blood sugar levels. Don’t eat too many fruits, though: of your recommended 5-a-day, at least three (and preferably four) should be vegetables.
Other foods to look at include beans, salads, soups and lean meats and fish. Green tea is great for boosting your metabolism, which in turn helps your body burn off fat quicker. If you have a hankering for something sweet, try sprinkling cinnamon on porridge oats instead of sugar.
Food That Helps Reduce Arthritic Inflammation
Some foods are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help arthritis sufferers ease the pain in their afflicted joints. Look for foods rich in omega-3; oily fish such as sardines, mackerel or salmon is packed with it, and you should try and eat at least two portions per week. You can also find omega-3 in seeds such as linseed and flax seed, as well as nuts – particularly walnuts.
According to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Anti-Inflammation Diet by Christopher Cannon, MD, an anti-inflammatory diet is “probably very close to the Mediterranean diet”. In general terms, the Mediterranean diet consists of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains like brown rice and bulgar wheat, lean meats (chicken mainly, with occasional lean red meat) and of course, plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.
Spices can also have an anti-inflammatory effect: try using more ginger, curry, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom and nutmeg in your cooking. Having fun and being more adventurous with your meal preparation can help you get into the routine of a new diet, so start getting creative!