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Best & worst Foods to Eat to Reduce joint Pain

Some of the best foods to eat if you are facing joint pain are fatty fish, garlic, walnuts or olive oil. On the other hand, try to avoid Omega-6 fatty acids like red meat. If you asking yourself what to eat to reduce inflammation continue reading.

Although many of us have arthritis as we get older it is, in fact, a disease that can affect anyone of any age, gender or racial background. People who are lucky enough to be free of this disease don’t realize just how debilitating it can be.

Although there are different types of arthritis, the commonest is known as Osteoarthritis. This gradually develops in bone joints with over-use so it tends to affect people older than middle age. Another is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease in which your joints are attacked by your immune system.

As you might expect, there are simple self-help measures you can use to help relieve the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis. The easiest of these is to watch what you eat.

All you have to do is avoid certain foods as much as you can, and increase your intake of other foodstuffs.

Some of the best foods to eat

Fatty Fish

Probably, one of the best foods to eat is fatty fish. Varieties such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout are very high in omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to help with inflammation.

Even if you don’t like the taste of fish, you can buy omega-3 supplements in the form of fish-oil filled capsules. If you happen to have an intolerance to fish or are a vegetarian, you can also buy plant-based omega-3 capsules.

Oily fish and the various omega-3 supplements also have high levels of vitamin D which help with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

The American Heart Association recommends that you have fatty fish twice a week, or supplements every day to make full use of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Garlic

Many people already know that garlic helps our immune system to cope with heart disease and other chronic illnesses, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help combat osteoarthritis symptoms.

RELATED: How to improve the immune system in the elderly

Ginger

This is another plant that may help ease arthritis symptoms. We all know of its zingy flavor used to enhance tea, soups, and confectionary, but if it does us good as well, there’s even more reason to include it in our diet. Eat fresh, dried or powdered ginger to help our bodies combat the symptoms of arthritis.

Broccoli

Broccoli and its other brassica relatives such as cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and others are probably some of the best health-giving foodstuffs you can eat. Not only are they full of vitamins, minerals and edible fiber that our bodies need to be healthy, they also contain components such as sulforaphane which may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Walnuts

Walnuts are full of nutrients but also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which as we saw earlier has a marked effect on arthritis symptoms as well as reducing inflammation.

Berries

Berries are full of all types of vitamins and minerals, but they are especially high in antioxidants, which decrease arthritis inflammation. There are many types of berries you can choose from to add to your diet. Common ones include strawberries, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and blueberries. It doesn’t matter which ones you choose, or how about having an assortment?

Olive Oil

This foodstuff is well known for its health-giving properties, but it also may have a beneficial effect on arthritis symptoms and reduce the progress of arthritis. You can either use it in cooking or make a simple salad dressing.

Foods to Avoid:

Processed Foods

As a general rule, prepackaged meals and snacks usually contain partially hydrogenated fats. These tend to trigger systemic inflammation and increase the likelihood of painful arthritis symptoms. They also contain high levels of salt, sugar, and preservatives which are also bad for arthritis.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Don’t confuse these with Omega-3 fatty acids. They are present in corn, peanuts, sunflower, and soya, as well as in most types of meat. Although Omega-6 is beneficial in small quantities, excessive consumption may trigger inflammation.

Sugar and Its Alternatives

Refined sugar and foods that contain it, such as confectionery, pastries, candy, soda, and fruit juices trigger the release of cytokine proteins in the body that cause inflammation. When you look at food labels, don’t only look out for sugar, watch for corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, and maltose.

This doesn’t mean that you can turn to sugar alternatives such as aspartame and sucralose. Some people are sensitive to these and may cause an inflammation response in the body. You’ll find these alternatives in diet sodas, sugar-free gum and candy, low-fat yogurt and similar sugar-free foodstuffs.

Red Meat and Fried Foods

Many types of meat are high in saturated fats which lead to high cholesterol and inflammation. Meat also contains ‘Advanced Glycation End Products’ which when subject to grilling, roasting, and frying stimulate inflammation. 

Other fried foods such as French fries and donuts also contain saturated fats and aggravate inflammation.

Refined Carbohydrates

Refined grains such as white flour and white rice, when made into white bread, pasta and crackers cause a spike in blood sugar. This often increases inflammation within the body. Stay with un-refined grains whenever you can.

Some grains also contain gluten which can cause sensitivity in certain people. People who are gluten intolerant suffer joint pain and inflammation which might either be confused with arthritis or aggravate existing arthritis symptoms.

Dairy Produce

Produce such as cheese, butter, full cream milk, and foodstuffs made from these are all high in saturated fats and advanced glycation end products.  

Both of which are inflammation triggers and should be consumed in moderation. Remember, however, that children need the calcium and proteins found in dairy products for proper muscle and bone growth.

Some foods such as fermented dairy products like Greek yogurt are anti-inflammatory so they’re beneficial for arthritis sufferers so long as they are not intolerant to cows milk.

Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol causes increased inflammation as well as the other, more well-known health problems such as heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, and others. However, there is evidence that moderate alcohol intake can be beneficial.

If you have arthritis inflammation, try removing alcohol from your diet completely for one or two months and see how you feel. You might be pleasantly surprised at the reduction in joint pain as well as finding that you sleep better.

What Does all this Mean to me?

Having read through the lists of good and bad foodstuffs, you probably think that you have to cut out all the fun foods to relieve yourself of arthritis inflammation. This isn’t necessarily the case. You may find that reducing one or two particular foods has more effect on inflammation than removing all those lovely comfort foods.

That’s not all, food is meant to be enjoyed and if you can reduce your overall intake of the ‘naughty’ foods, you might find that you can afford to treat yourself now and again without adversely affecting your arthritis symptoms too much.

What’s next?

You will find mobility aids helpful if you have joint pain and problems with moving around.

If you liked this content you should also check the nutritional requirements of an elderly person. If you have problems with an appetite you should check tips to increase appetite. For those who have digestion problems here is how to improve it.

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