Unfortunately, there’s no miracle diet that will cure your arthritis. However, you can follow some basic principles when it comes to food that may help ease your joint pain. At Rheumatology Solutions, our experts recommend consuming a diet that will help reduce inflammation to all of our patients, whether they have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or some other disease of the joints.
Like stress, inflammation is a natural biological process that serves a purpose, but one that can also be damaging if it becomes chronic. Your immune system uses inflammation to defend and heal your body, but when inflammation goes on for weeks or even years, it can cause serious problems.
One of the classic symptoms of most forms of arthritis is inflammation. Your joints may be red, swollen, and tender.
Researchers have discovered that some foods tend to encourage inflammation. For example, large amounts of refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, along with heavily processed packaged foods, are associated with increased levels of inflammation. Packaged foods—like frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, margarine, and baked goods like cakes and cookies—tend to contain trans fat, which is considered unsafe by the FDA.
Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol and eating too much red meat can also contribute to inflammation. If you do choose to consume alcohol and red meat, do so in moderation.
The good news is that some foods actually lower inflammation. Some spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon fight inflammation, as well as vegetables, fruits, and fatty fish such as sardines and mackerel.
Nuts and healthy fats, such as in avocados, can also help lower inflammation. Green tea and peppers like bell peppers or chili peppers are considered anti-inflammatory as well.
Essentially the best diet to consume when you have arthritis is a well-rounded, varied, and healthy diet. Aim to consume plenty of vegetables and fruits, consume healthy proteins such as those found in nuts, fish, and poultry, and healthy fats like olive or avocado oil. Limit sugar, processed foods, trans fats, red meat, and alcohol.
Experts have promoted the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for many years, and it is a good place to start in lowering your levels of inflammation. As we said before, no diet can cure arthritis, but following the Mediterranean diet could help ease your symptoms.
If you’d like to learn more about the specifics of diet, inflammation, and arthritis, schedule an appointment with a specialist at Rheumatology Solutions. We want you to enjoy a high quality of life, and enjoying a nutritious diet can certainly contribute to that.