Does What You Eat Cause Arthritis?

fast food hamburger and fries

Arthritis, in all its forms, is a painful condition that makes life difficult for millions of people.  Its causes are many.  While I wouldn’t care to draw a causal link between arthritis and food, there are certain foods which can make matters worse.

Certain “trigger” foods can make arthritis pain worse.  Others can help you manage it.  If you suffer from arthritis, making a few key dietary changes can help you reduce the pain.  Adding some foods, while eliminating others won’t cure your arthritis, by any means.  It will, however, help you reduce pain and – feel better, overall.

Trigger foods.

Many of you reading won’t be happy to hear this, but fried and processed foods can increase inflammation in the body and the inflammation is what makes arthritis painful.  Personally, I can think of about a million other reasons you shouldn’t eat fried and processed foods, but that’s perhaps best left for another post.

Sugars and refined carbohydrates (candy, foods which include processed flour and soda, for example), increase the presence of AGE (advanced glycation end product) in your blood.  This is a toxin which encourages inflammation.

Dairy products, like cheese, milk and butter can cause pain by irritating joint tissue.  This effect is due to the proteins involved in dairy-based products.

Salt.  It’s everybody’s flavor favorite, but it’s another food ingredient that can make life with arthritis even worse.  In the same family are preservatives.  Both are capable of inflaming joints.  While nobody’s going to demand that you lead a salt-free life, less is more.  Read the labels of foods you’re buying and avoid convenience foods, as they’re loaded with salt.

Helpful foods.

Fruit and vegetables.  I know it’s an old saw, but if it’s been around that long, there must be some truth to it, right?  Of course, there is.  They’re good for you and they can help you manage pain and your weight at the same time.

Olive oil is what you should be cooking with, whenever you can.  It contains Omega-3 fatty acids which are great for your overall health and can help with joint inflammation.

Nuts and seeds.  Nuts and seeds contain protein which is necessary for you to sustain your health.  Some of them also contain healthy levels of Omega-3 fatty acids (see olive oil, above).

Turmeric.  This gold-colored spice can be added to food, making it not only delicious, but giving what you eat an anti-inflammatory kick, naturally.  It’s sold in almost all grocery stores and is not considered as exotic as it once was, now that people know about its helpful properties.

Finding balance in your life with respect to food is a challenge faced by many.  When you’re talking about arthritis, though, it’s a priority.  Choosing foods and food ingredients which reduce inflammation should be part of an overall program of therapy and exercise.

Avoiding trigger foods may seem like a tall order, but if you’re in pain, isn’t it worth the effort?  Contact Back and Body, if you need more information or support.

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