Arthritis is a general term encompassing conditions that share joint pain and inflammation. Typical treatment involves pain-reducing medication. While there is no definitive arthritis diet, research suggests including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet and limiting foods that may trigger joint pain.
Fried & Processed Foods
Researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine examined disease prevention through diet. Findings showed that “cutting back on the consumption of fried and processed foods, such as fried meats and prepared frozen meals, can reduce inflammation and actually help restore the body’s natural defenses.”
Lower Your AGEs
AGE doesn’t refer to how many birthdays you’ve celebrated. An advanced glycation end product (AGE), is a toxin that appears when foods are heated, grilled, fried, or pasteurized. AGEs damage certain proteins in the body, and the body tries to break these AGEs apart by using cytokines, which are inflammatory messengers. Depending on where the AGEs occur, they may result in arthritis or other forms of inflammation.
Sugars & Refined Carbs
High amounts of sugar in the diet result in an increase in AGEs, which, as discussed in an earlier slide, can result in inflammation.
Dairy products may contribute to arthritis pain due to the type of protein they contain. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, for some people this protein may irritate the tissue around the joints. Some sufferers of arthritis pain have success switching to a vegan diet—which contains no animal products whatsoever.
Alcohol & Tobacco
Tobacco and alcohol use can lead to a number of health problems, including some that may affect your joints. Smokers are more at risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, while those who consume alcohol have a higher risk for developing gout.
Salt & Preservatives
Know what’s in your food. Many foods contain excessive salt and other preservatives to promote longer shelf lives. For some people, excess consumption of salt may result in inflammation of the joints. It may be worth trying to reduce your salt intake to as modest an amount as is reasonable.
Many baked goods and snacks contain corn or other oils high in omega-6 fatty acids. While these treats may satisfy your taste buds, they may trigger inflammation. Some studies have looked at the pain-relieving effects of omega-3s on individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, and have found that fish oil, which contains omega-3s, may help with joint pain relief in certain people.