Do you suffer from arthritis?
Arthritis is a common health condition that involves chronic inflammation in your joints. Depending on the type, it causes pain and damage to your bones and other body parts.
It’s technically an umbrella term used to describe multiple conditions, including osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriatic arthritis. These all affect a joint or the tissues around your joints.
The amount of inflammation you have can be affected by many factors, including diet, activity level, hydration, illness, smoking, and alcohol intake.
Studies have shown that dietary interventions, such as eliminating certain foods and beverages, are capable of reducing symptom severity in people with inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis, as well as improving their overall quality of life.
Here are the 8 main foods and beverages you should avoid if you have arthritis.
Dairy That’s High In Fat
Dairy is a pretty large category that includes anything from yogurt and cheese to milk and ice cream. So the nutritional information, like the amount of fat and sugar, changes significantly based on each product.
You should avoid full-fat dairy and added sugar products when you have arthritis because research shows a link between a high-fat diet and inflammatory reactions.
If you suspect that you might be sensitive to or intolerant of dairy, try eliminating dairy for a brief period, and see how you feel. This step could help you discover how your body reacts to this type of food product.
Take note that some dairy products, like yogurt and kefir, have probiotics or beneficial bacteria. Research shows that probiotics and a healthy mix of gut bacteria have a tendency to decrease inflammation and could help reduce your arthritis symptoms.
While it’s true that your body needs sodium to function correctly, consuming too much of it can be asking for trouble. And unfortunately, many of us get way too much.
Studies have associated high salt intake with more significant inflammation and an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. And while we understand that this can be hard, as a substitute, look for foods that are low in sodium and don’t have any added salt.
Try flavoring your food with different spices and herbs, like ground pepper, oregano, cumin, minced garlic, or onion powder. All of these condiments enrich the taste of your food in ways that salt can’t.
You can also try a seasoning mix that doesn’t have any extra added salt. Many grocery stores even devote specific shelves to seasoning mixes like this. So your options are plenty!
Processed And Red Meats
Red meats tend to be higher in saturated fats than white meats or plant-based protein. Some research even links red meat to inflammation, which may increase arthritis symptoms.
For instance, diets heavy in red meats demonstrate high inflammatory markers like interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), and homocysteine. The study on 217 people with arthritis also found that red meat generally worsened their symptoms.
Additionally, a survey of 25,630 people determined that high amounts of red meat intake may be a risk factor for inflammatory arthritis. Contrarily, plant-based diets that EXCLUDE red meat have been known to improve arthritis symptoms.
One particular study discovered that substituting red meat with a serving of fish, chicken, legumes, or nuts was associated with lower inflammatory biomarkers.
Specific types of alcohol, like red wine, can have anti-inflammatory properties because they contain antioxidants. Drinking no more than 5oz of red wine daily has been shown to promote joint health.
But on the other hand, for different types of arthritis, alcohol can trigger a flare. Studies have associated all kinds of alcohol with an increased risk of developing gout and flare-ups.
So because alcohol can worsen arthritis symptoms, anyone with inflammatory arthritis should try to avoid it.
A study of 278 people that have axial spondyloarthritis, inflammatory arthritis primarily affecting the spinal cord and sacroiliac joints, tied alcohol intake to raised spinal structural damage.
Moreover, chronic alcohol consumption has been associated with an increased risk of osteoarthritis, though, to be fair, not all studies have found a significant link.
Now that we’ve covered a few things you should avoid…What CAN you eat?!? Keep reading to find out!
Berries are those small superfruits PACKED with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You even have dozens of varieties to choose from. But some of the most familiar favorites include:
Berries contain specific antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These compounds have many anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce your risk of diseases.
In one study that included 25 adults, those who consumed blueberry powder daily produced significantly more natural killer cells than those who didn’t. These results were comparable to those of an older study.
Your body naturally produces NK cells, and they help keep your immune system functioning the way it should.
In another study, adults with excess weight who regularly ate berries had lower levels of specific inflammatory markers associated with heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis than those who didn’t eat strawberries at all.
Turmeric is a powerhouse that has a warm, earthy flavor and is often a spice used in many Indian dishes. It’s actually received much attention in recent years because it contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound.
Studies show that turmeric reduces inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes, and many other conditions. In one study, people who had metabolic syndrome ingested 1 gram of curcumin every day combined with piperine from black pepper.
They experienced a significant drop in the inflammatory marker CRP. Getting enough curcumin from turmeric alone may be hard to experience a noticeable effect. So taking supplements containing isolated curcumin may be much more effective.
These supplements are often combined with piperine, which can boost curcumin absorption by 2,000%.
Grapes contain anthocyanins, known to reduce inflammation. In addition, they tend to decrease the risk of several diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s, eye disorders, and…you’ve guessed it: ARTHRITIS.
Grapes are also one of the best sources of resveratrol, another antioxidant compound that has many health benefits. Research shows that this antioxidant can protect the heart against inflammation.
In one study with 60 people that had heart failure, those who consumed two 50mg capsules of resveratrol daily for three months experienced a decrease in inflammatory gene markers. An older study from 2012 found that adults who ate grape extract daily experienced increased adiponectin levels as well.
While we all know that there are thousands of varieties of mushrooms that exist in the world, only a few are actually edible and grown commercially. The most common and delicious include truffles, portobello mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms.
They’re very low in calories but rich in copper, selenium, and all of those essential B vitamins. They also contain phenols and other antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory protection.
One study found that consuming mushrooms lowered their anti-inflammatory compounds significantly. So, it may be best to eat them raw or lightly cooked, making mushrooms a perfect choice if you suffer from arthritis.
Arthritis literally means: joint inflammation. And food can play a major role in the amount of inflammation you deal with daily. If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, some simple diet changes might actually help manage your symptoms.
Studies show that foods high in saturated fats, sugar, omega-6 fats, and salt could amplify your arthritis symptoms. So instead, you should aim for a diet that’s a bit richer in vegetables, fruits, omega-3s, and whole grains to help reduce the inflammation in your joints.
Try out some of our tips today, and let us know how it goes!
And for some more intelligent nutrition guidance, we recommend you also check out: Having Problems With Your Liver? These 7 Super Foods Will Help!