It is often said that “we are what we eat” and food is a natural medicine against many diseases. Food cannot cure arthritis, but it can make the disease more bearable or more complicated. Although people who suffer from it are familiar with pain and crunches, small changes in diet can produce great improvements in living with the disease daily and, by the way, can help you lose weight.
What Is Arthritis And Its Symptoms
Arthritis is inflammation and swelling of the joints, causing joint pain and stiffness. Some numerous diseases and syndromes can cause arthritis. The most frequent is osteoarthritis, which is located in the hands, knees, hips and spine and causes the deterioration and wear of these bones. Rheumatoid arthritis, which usually appears on the wrists and fingers, is also very common. It causes pain, inflammation, stiffness, and loss of joint function.
Natural Prevention Of Arthritis
Many of you have this disease in mind, since it is increasingly common in our society. It has been shown that one of the causative factors of this is diet. Fast food, full of fats and additives contribute to the cartilage of our bones to wear out faster and at increasingly younger ages.
Relief Factor Ingredients That Prevent Arthritis:-
1. Meals with omega-3 fatty acids: Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the production of chemicals that spread inflammation. Also, they inhibit the enzymes that cause it. Fatty fish also contains vitamin D, which helps prevent swelling and pain.
A correct diet for arthritis must contain at least one gram of omega-3 a day. About 100 grams of salmon, for example, contain up to 1.5 grams of this fatty acid. It is also recommended to add nuts to salads.
2. Virgin olive oil
Olive oil contains oleocanthal, a substance that blocks the enzymes involved in inflammation. Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil equal one-tenth of a dose of ibuprofen, according to a study by the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.
It doesn’t sound like much, but every little change in diet counts. Of course, you should not smear everything in oil, not only because it is not cheap, but because each spoon has 119 calories. It is enough with a soup spoon a day, in salads, bread, or vegetables.
3. Peppers, citrus and other foods rich in vitamin C
Vitamin C protects collagen, the main component of cartilage. Although it is very beneficial, it should not be abused: inadequate amounts can be counterproductive for certain types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis.
A Canadian study of a sample of 1,317 men revealed that those who took 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C through daily food or supplements had a 45% lower risk of contracting gout (an arthritic-type metabolic disease) than those who consumed less. 250 milligrams a day.
Ideally, eat between 200 and 500 milligrams a day. An orange, for example, has around 200. And in any case, it is more advisable to eat foods with vitamin C, not supplements.
4. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are an essential source of selenium: 272 micrograms in just three or four nuts, compared to 63 micrograms in 85 grams of tuna.
A low level of selenium in the body could be related to rheumatoid arthritis. The mineral helps antioxidants scavenge free radicals that damage cells, promote regulation of the thyroid gland, and may even prevent cancer.
It is recommended to consume between 55 and 200 micrograms a day. If you find it difficult to find Brazil nuts, or you don’t like them, they can be substituted by a serving of tuna, beef or turkey, or by 12 micrograms of cooked oatmeal.
5. Onions and leeks
Leeks and onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can inhibit inflammatory substances, much like aspirin or ibuprofen does, according to some studies. Apples, cabbages, and cherry tomatoes are also high in quercetin. Just take a serving of one of these vegetables a day.
Consuming celery juice daily will help calm joint stiffness. Celery contains sodium, potassium, calcium, sulfur, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, and C. The combination of sodium and potassium helps dissolve the calcium deposits that cause arthritis. If you like infusions, you can also prepare a tea with this ingredient, using both its stem and its leaves.
Cabbage is a vegetable with many healthy properties. The ancient Romans believed that it was an effective remedy for various ailments and diseases. The application of cabbage leaves in the form of poultices mainly helps to relieve joint pain from any part of the body and inhibits the inflammatory process of cartilage.
This vegetable is rich in antioxidants, carotenoids and also incorporates potassium and vitamin A among others. If you have arthritis, a carrot juice every morning will help increase collagen in your joints and prevent inflammation.
Nutritionist-based studies have shown that bilberry has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, they have pointed out that blueberry has a beneficial impact on blood fat levels and blood pressure. It is advisable to include in your daily diet a glass of cranberry juice as it reduces the activity of rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating pineapple between meals is an excellent idea if you have arthritis since this fruit contains bromelain, a very advantageous substance to reduce inflammation in our joints. According to the results obtained by nutritionists, it has been shown that pineapple can reduce 100% of the pain.
The consumption and external application of rosemary has been one of the alternative treatments to reduce the symptoms caused by wear and tear on the joints. This plant contains essential oils, antioxidants and powerful anti-inflammatories that, together, help improve circulation to promote a sense of relief. It is advisable to drink 2 cups of rosemary infusion a day, one in the morning and one before bed. Optionally, you can dip a cloth in the hot infusion and apply it to the painful areas to prevent inflammation.
If you consume this vegetable very frequently, it will provide you with the recommended daily amount of vitamin K that your body needs. If we add to this the calcium, magnesium and antioxidants that this ingredient also contains, we have everything we need to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. With a 130g serving of cooked spinach + in one of your main meals, it would be enough to obtain all the necessary benefits for our health.
Ginger is a plant that contains antioxidants and gingerols that help reduce joint inflammation. You can include it in your diet by adding two tablespoons of powdered ginger (or fresh, better yet) to a cup of boiling water, like tea. It is also advisable to massage the joints with oil of this ingredient to relieve pain.
14. Chia seeds
If you include some of these ingredients in your day to day, you will see how the pain caused by arthritis will decrease, and above all, your health will gradually improve. Proper nutrition will be your best medicine from now on.
Garlic is a delicious seasoning in a multitude of dishes. Like an onion, it contains diallyl bisulfite, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effect of pro-inflammatory substances called cytokines. Hence, garlic helps fight pain, inflammation, and cartilage damage in people with arthritis. Opt for fresh garlic, since when bottling you can add preservatives and during processing decrease its potency.
16. Black pepper
Black pepper is the fruit of the black pepper plant of the Piperaceae family and is used as a spice to flavour dishes, but also for its medicinal properties. It contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and choline, in addition to minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.
Turmeric is the active compound in the root of this plant; it blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes in two inflammation pathways. Several human clinical trials have shown its anti-inflammatory benefit, which results in less swelling and joint pain. The spice is popular in curries and other Indian dishes. It is most effective mixed with black pepper, which helps the body absorb it better, so eat them together when you can.
18. Green tea
Studies show that certain antioxidant components that green tea has can decrease the severity of arthritis. One of these investigations, carried out by a team at the University of Michigan, found that epigallocatechin-3-gallate – an antioxidant present in tea – decreases the production of substances that cause joint damage in arthritis patients.
It is advisable to drink three or four cups of green tea a day, avoiding the decaffeinated versions, which do not contain some of the beneficial nutrients of the infusion. It doesn’t take away the pain, but it makes it more bearable.
Foods To Avoid
1. Dairy products
Dairy is one of the main enemies of people who have arthritis. This is due to casein, a protein found in products like milk, yoghurt, and cream. Casein can cause inflammation and joint pain. Instead of getting dairy protein, get it from vegetables like spinach, grains like beans, lentils, and quinoa, and if you prefer, from tofu.
Although corn is an integral part of the Latin diet; this vegetable is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause an inflammatory reaction in the body, thus worsening arthritis pain. If you have arthritis, it is preferable that you avoid corn either fresh, flour or processed in junk foods. Substitute foods high in omega-6s with foods rich in omega-3s such as olive oil, flaxseed, and pumpkin seeds.
3. Red meat
If you have arthritis, avoid red meat at all costs. Studies show that some people who consume red meat in abundance duplicate the risk of suffering a type of arthritis called rheumatoid arthritis. Red meat is high in iron, and this mineral causes tissue damage; which will degenerate into swelling and pain in the body. Instead, choose fish like salmon, tuna, and trout, which are rich in omega-3s.
Although eggs are a good source of protein, experts recommend that if you have arthritis, you eliminate them from your diet. Being an animal product, eggs contain arachidonic acid in the yolk, which the body converts into inflammatory compounds. That is why, when consuming eggs, you could notice swelling and feel pain. Prefer the protein that the vegetable kingdom offers us, including soy, legumes and cereals in your diet.
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, essential for a healthy immune system, but some medical studies have revealed that citrus fruits can aggravate arthritic inflammation in some patients. However, the Arthritis Foundation recommends consuming vitamin C in moderation: 75 mg daily for women and 90 mg daily for men. If you want to add more vitamin C to your diet, you can get it by eating foods like strawberries, guavas, kiwis, papayas, and broccoli.
Although potatoes are rich in potassium; they also contain a small amount of a toxin called solanine. Some doctors believe that solanine can aggravate arthritis by causing inflammation in the muscles and joints. If you like potatoes, it is better to opt for sweet potatoes.
Tomatoes, like eggplant and peppers, belong to the nightshade family and their consumption can adversely affect people with arthritis, according to specific medical studies. The culprit is a toxic alkaloid called solanine, a compound that can aggravate inflammation, especially in people who already have the disease. Add better carrot to your salads.
If you enjoy a few cups of coffee a day keep in mind that this drink could aggravate your arthritis. Caffeine causes the loss of essential minerals and vitamins; it has also been linked to an increase in rheumatoid arthritis. A cup of hot, decaf tea could be an excellent substitute.
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