No arthritis diet is likely to cure the condition completely but there are many foods which will help to reduce the symptoms and slow its progress.
No diet should be considered in isolation so I advise you consider 3 main points to manage arthritis:
1. Avoid becoming overweight
2. Follow a healthy diet
3. Exercise regularly
Let us consider each of these points in turn
If you are overweight you are subjecting your bones and joints to excess pressure and this can make the symptoms worse. The increased pain will begin to limit the amount of exercise you are able or willing to do and this results in a vicious circle.
Broadly speaking a mediterranean diet is best suited to managing and improving the condition. This places an emphasis on oily fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil and nuts.
Oily fish such as salmon, pilchards, mackerel, sardines and anchovies contain omega-3 fatty acids which help prevent inflammation of the joints found in the various types of arthritis - rheumatoid, reactive, psoriatic.
Vitamins and nutrients are also important especially the following:
Calcium - for healthy bones and is available in milk products, fish with bones e.g. sardines and calcium supplements.
Vitamin D - which helps process calcium in the body and is available in oily fish and exposure to sunlight.
Iron - prevents anaemia (which can be a side effect of arthritis medication) sources include red meat, liver, pulses such as lentils and beans, vegetables such as spinach, kale and watercress.
Vitamin C - helps maintain the body's immune system and readily available from fruits and vegetables.
Selenium - helps slow the progress of arthritis and can be found in brazil nuts, meat and fish.
Fried and processed foods - very hot temperatures can produce toxins called AGE's which can cause inflammation in certain parts of the body.
Refined sugars - found in manufactured cakes, sweets and biscuits.
Salt and preservatives - processed meats, certain cheeses and sauces can contain unhealthy amounts of salt.
Omega-6 fatty acids - found in corn oil.
Smoking and excess consumption of alcohol - both have been found to generally lower the body's ability to fight ill health.
Regular exercise has been proved to be necessary to maintain healthy body function. Think of the analogy of a body of water - if the water is moving it remains fresh but if it stays still it soon becomes a stagnant pool.
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