There are several treatment measures for arthritis.
Typical treatment involves inflammation and pain-reducing medications. We know that inflammation is at the root of many major diseases.
Cancer is perpetuated by inflammation — tumors grow larger as the inflammatory process takes hold. Likewise, the swelling and pain of arthritis, fibromyalgia, even diabetes and obesity have been linked with chronic inflammation in the body.
While there is no single diet to follow, research suggests including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet and limiting foods that may trigger joint pain. There are several types of foods known to either promote or suppress inflammation in our bodies.
Below are some examples of foods that should be avoided:
Fried and processed foods
Research has found that decreasing the amount of fried and processed foods eaten can “reduce inflammation and actually help restore the body’s natural defences.” Frying foods in oil at extremely high temperatures, enough to put a crispy edge on a fry, creates a neurotoxin chemical called acrylamide, which causes inflammation.
Processed foods contain trans fats to help preserve them, and trans fats trigger systemic inflammation. To dodge trans fats, avoid any foods labelled as containing partially hydrogenated oils.
What you can do Cut down on the amount of fried and processed foods you consume.
foods such as:
• fried meats
• prepared frozen meals
• French fries/potato chips
• Grilled sausages
• Microwave popcorn
Lower your AGEs (advanced glycation end)
AGE here does not refer to how old you are or how many birthdays you have marked. An advanced glycation end product (AGE) is a toxin that appears when foods are heated, grilled, fried, or pasteurized. AGEs damage certain proteins in your body, and your 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.
Grilling, frying, baking and barbecuing foods exposes them to dry heat, which increases the amount AGEs in them. Some foods were more likely to have high levels of the harmful compounds after cooking. Beef, cheese, fried eggs and high-fat spreads were among the foods highest in AGEs
What you can do:
Researchers have shown that reducing the amount of foods cooked at high temperatures in your diet could potentially help reduce blood AGE levels.
Sugars and refined carbohydrates
Foods that contain refined sugars triggers the release of proteins in the body called cytokines, which causes inflammation. Sugar is labelled many ways in food items. In addition to sugar, watch for corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, or maltose in the ingredient list.
High amounts of sugar in your diet also result in an increase in AGEs, they also cause a spike in blood glucose level, which has been shown to increase levels of several inflammation-markers in the body.
Processed carbohydrates may trump fats as the main driver of escalating rates of obesity and other chronic conditions. Many baked goods and snacks contain corn or other oils high in omega-6 fatty acids. These high-glycaemic index foods fuel the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) products that stimulate inflammation.
What you can do is to cut down on foods such as:
• processed foods
• white flour baked goods
• white rice
• white potatoes/instant mashed potatoes
• white flour baked goods
• fruit juices
Dairy products may contribute to arthritis pain due to the type of protein they contain. For some people, this protein may irritate the tissue around their joints. Others living with arthritis have success switching to a vegan diet — which contains no animal products whatsoever.
• cream cheese
Salt and 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 their joints.
It may be worth trying to reduce your salt intake to as modest an amount as is reasonable. Always read labels to avoid preservatives and additives. Less salt may help you manage your arthritis, so avoid prepared meals. Though they’re convenient, microwavable meals are often very high in sodium.
In small amounts, alcohol shouldn’t cause problems. But alcohol is naturally irritating to our insides. Drinking too much can allow bacteria to pass through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation.
Tobacco and alcohol use can lead to a number of health problems, including some that may affect your joints. Smokers are at risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, while those who consume alcohol have a higher risk for developing gout.
Corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, and soy oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are healthy in small doses. But excessive omega-6 consumption can trigger inflammatory chemicals.
This is not the case for the types of oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as olive, canola, and flaxseed oils. These varieties are healthy, even in larger amounts.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS BEST FOR ARTHRITIS
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage: These veggies are part of the cruciferous family, and they are full of a compound called sulforaphane, which helps slow cartilage damage in joints due to osteoarthritis.
Fatty fish: Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation.
Garlic: Garlic is a member of the allium family—which also includes onions and leeks. These items contain a compound called diallyl disulfide that may help with a number of diseases—including arthritis. This compound may have some effect in limiting cartilage-damaging enzymes.
Tart cherries: Some people with arthritis have found relief from products made from tart cherries. The ingredient in cherries that helps with joint symptoms is the same one that gives this fruit its red color—anthocyanin.
Turmeric: One of the best-researched inflammation fighters isn’t a food at all, but a spice. Turmeric contains a compound called cur cumin. Research reveals that cur-cumin could be beneficial in the management of chronic inflammatory-related joint disease.
Vitamin C: Antioxidants in vitamin C may slow the progression of OA, research finds. Research has it that people who took vitamin C supplements were 11 percent less likely to develop knee OA than those who didn’t take the supplements.
Other examples of anti-inflammatory foods suitable for arthritis may include:
• Dark leafy greens
• Purple grapes
• Colourful veggies
• Olive oil
• Flax seeds
• Pumpkin seeds
• Nut butters