There are plenty of options when it comes to finding a natural arthritis treatment. One of these natural methods is nutritional healing. Many questions arise when thinking about an arthritis diet, and we’ll try to answer them in this article:
- What exactly is an arthritis diet?
- Can it cure arthritis?
- Is there proof of its efficiency?
- Is this a weight loss diet?
- What are the recommended foods for arthritis pain relief?
- Are there foods to avoid with arthritis?
An Arthritis Diet, Or Many?
We shouldn’t be talking about an arthritis diet, but multiple arthritis diets. If you browse the web, you will find many different theories about an arthritis diet. But whatever diet you come upon, beware of the ones that claim it can cure your arthritis. There is NO CURE at the moment for any arthritis disease, unless the septic one (treated with antibiotics). Before starting any diet, it is advised to consult your doctor.
The 4 Most Popular and Researched Arthritis Diets:
Studies have shown that maintaining an ideal body weight is necessary to avoid too much pressure on the articulations, thus causing further joint damage and pain. This is particularly important for people affected by osteoarthritis. Excess weight is also associated with more severe fibromyalgia symptoms.
!!! Weight loss should be achieved by healthy eating, never with a crash diet.
When following an arthritis diet, people often find they lose weight at the same time. It has to do with the foods to avoid with arthritis in these particular diets: foods that are often high in calories.
The Alkaline Diet
Many naturopaths advocate for an alkaline diet. This diet’s goal is to restore the acid-base balance in the body; this would result in increased energy and mental clarity, as well as prevention of most diseases including obesity. Proponents of this diet believe that osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are caused by too much acid in the body. All foods causing acidity are excluded from the diet.
More scientific studies are needed to prove the benefits of the alkaline diet regarding arthritis, although a real protection effect has been demonstrated for osteoporosis. The reason being that when the body is in a chronic acidic state, it reaches into the bones to take minerals that will neutralize the excess of acid; bones then get brittle.
A Vegetarian Diet
Avoiding meat would have a beneficial effect on arthritis. Studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans experience a reduction in pain and stiffness associated with arthritis from their diets. Some theories regarding those benefits:
- The effect could be attributed to the avoidance of acid residues coming from the metabolism of meat proteins and saturated fat (as in the alkaline diet).
- The antioxidants which are found in some fruits and many dark, leafy vegetables may provide the relief to arthritis pain.
- By avoiding animal proteins, vegetarians avoid bad cholesterol. It is a scientific fact that a diet high in cholesterol and fat may contribute to inflammatory diseases.
The Elimination Diet
Some recent studies suggest that individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis may benefit from excluding suspected allergenic foods from their diet. This supposes that each person may have specific food allergies that trigger their pain and inflammation. In an elimination diet, individuals remove all suspected trigger foods from their daily diet. After a period of time when symptoms have subsided, they can slowly add a suspected food back in and watch for any increased pain and stiffness.
Here are some nutritional advice that can be drawn from the different arthritis diets:
The Foods To Avoid With Arthritis
Below are the foods that you ought to avoid while on an arthritis diet:
* Processed food
* Soda, sweet beverages
*Dairy products (take calcium supplements)
* Starchy foods like potatoes
* Red meat (minimal intake only)
* Foods high in saturated or trans fat
* Sunflower oil, corn oil (omega 6)
* Fried or greasy foods
* Additives, preservatives
The Foods For Arthritis Pain Relief
* Orange and dark green colored foods
* Oily fish (omega 3)
*Olive oil, Canola oil or Flax seed oil.
* Foods high in vitamin E
* Grains, such as wheat and brown rice
The relationship between nutritional intake and arthritis is complex and remains poorly understood. There’s no easy answer on how to reduce pain and inflammation with an arthritis diet.
For the most part, good nutritional habits for an arthritis diet for would be:
- Eat a variety of fresh foods from all the basic food groups,
- Maintain your ideal body weight,
- Avoid fat, saturated and trans fats, cholesterol,
- Get an adequate amount of fibers,
- Avoid too much sugar, salt and alcohol
If you are thinking about changing some of your eating habits, it may be scary at first. Begin slowly, one little step at a time. It will be much more easier and this way you have more chances to succeed.
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