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How diet affects arthritis


Diet and Arthritis

The term arthritis generally refers to as many as 150 health conditions. The perfect medical expression for this group of conditions is musculoskeletal conditions since they affect the muscles, joints and bones.

Arthritis has no special diet or ‘miracle food’ that cures it, though eating a well-balanced diet combats the condition and improves overall health.

The two most important impacts of diet on arthritis are:

·       Weight: If you become overweight, it will strain your joints and increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, goutetc.

·       A balanced diet: If you have arthritis and eat a diet with all the vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs, your overall health will improve and the side effects of certain drugs will reduce. It can also protect you against heart and blood-related conditions that may be a complication from a form of arthritis.

Here are arthritis-related conditions that diet changes can benefit:

·       An increased intake of omega-3 found in sardines and salmon can benefit people suffering from inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

·       When it comes to gout (a type of arthritis), people have to drink lots of water but avoid foods high in purines like shellfish, offal and beer.

Consider eating a Mediterranean-style diet such as:

·       Nuts

·        fish

·       Olive Oil

·       Pulses

·       Vegetables

·       Fruits

·       Plus adequate Fluids.

This offers you better energy levels, maintained weight, and a greater sense of hope and well-being, improving your symptoms.

Never forget to seek advice from a doctor or dietitian before a diet change because you can make unnecessary changes or overdose on certain products or supplements and get sicker. You may also take supplements that interact with your medication.

Omega-3 fats, inflammation and arthritis

Foods rich in omega-3 fats can help against arthritis-related inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis. Such help is moderate unlike that of medication. The exciting news is that they have zero side effects and come with other health benefits, for example, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Omega-3 fats-rich foods include:

·       canola (rapeseed) oil

·       linseeds and linseed (flaxseed) oil

·       oily fish like salmon and sardines

·       walnuts

·       Omega-3-fortified foods like margarines and eggs

·       Certain fish oil supplements.

Evidence about diet and arthritis

It’s been found by people with gout that avoiding certain foods while taking gout medication may prevent a gout attack.

However, there is zero substantial scientific evidence that avoiding certain foods improves some forms of arthritis.

Also, no conclusive evidence declares or suggests that the following foods trigger or worsen the symptoms of arthritis and any other musculoskeletal condition:

·       Acidic foods, for example, tomatoes, lemons and oranges

·       ‘Nightshade’ foods, for example,  potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers

·       Dairy foods.

Remember that foods like these contain vital nutrients that not consuming them may affect your overall health negatively.

Some people with food intolerance issues have found that excluding these foods can make them feel better overall. But the way this impacts the symptoms of arthritis remains unclear.

Are you planning to strike-off certain foods from your menu? Please consult a dietitian to ensure that you don’t eliminate important nutrients.

How to manage your diet if you have arthritis:

·       Eat a well-balanced diet

·       Include a wide range of fruits, vegetables, protein foods, nuts, pulses, dairy, cereals and grains for general good health and a healthy weight

·       Also include lots of omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish, canola oil, linseeds, walnuts or fortified omega-3s foods like eggs or margarine

·       Take enough dietary calcium to cut down the risk of osteoporosis in future

·       Drink lots of water

·       Maintain modest weight to keep your joints, knees and hips free from strain

·       Keep a diary on your food consumption and symptoms and discuss the results with a dietitian or doctor

Always seek professional advice from a dietitian or physician because there is too much conflicting info online and in the media about diet and arthritis.

You’re welcome to SuzzyMuke Tips for more life-changing articles on health.

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