A sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals is important for anybody to maintain a good health. But if you suffer from any type of arthritis, it becomes crucial to include enough of the right nutrients in your diet.
FACT 1 The inflammatory process associated with arthritis changes the lining of the intestines, thus reducing the absorption of some essential nutrients while increasing daily nutrient requirements.
FACT 2 Nutrients deficiencies will increase joint pain and stiffness.
FACT 3 Certain vitamins and minerals can help prevent arthritis disease and reduce its symptoms.
But what particular vitamins should you include in your arthritis diet?
Role in arthritis treatment: Antioxydant that decreases cell and tissue damage. Helps in bone development.
Natural sources of vitA: Orange colored foods (carrots, apricots, squash,etc), broccoli, spinach.
Role in arthritis treatment: Used by our body to release energy. Plays a role in tissue generation, creation of antibodies and the healing process. This vitamin is good to reduce swelling.
Natural sources of B5: Eggs, meat, whole grains, and nuts.
Role in arthritis treatment: Helps in reducing tissue swelling.
!!! Vitamin B3 supplements are not advised for persons with high blood pressure.
Natural sources of B3: Meat, fish, poultry, enriched and whole grain breads, fortified cereals.
Role in arthritis treatment: Another vitamin that reduces tissue swelling.
Natural sources of B6: Fortified cereals, fortified soy products, organ meats.
Role in arthritis treatment: Helps with cell formation, nerve protection.
Natural sources of B12: Fish and seafood, organ meats, poultry, meat, fortified cereals.
Role in arthritis treatment: A powerful antioxidant that rids the body of free radicals and their damages on tissues. This vitamin is needed to make collagen to build cartilage and blood vessels, and to strengthen muscles. Acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can relieve pain, Plays a vital role in wound healing and fighting viruses.
Natural sources of vitC: Red and green peppers, kiwis, oranges, strawberries, broccoli.
Role in arthritis treatment: Used by the body in the absorption of calcium, which is essential for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones.
Natural sources of vitD: Fish liver oils, fatty fish, fortified milk products, fortified cereals. Also, formed naturally as a result of sunlight exposure (10 minutes/day).
Role in arthritis treatment: A powerful antioxidant that protects the joints from free radicals while increasing joint flexibility.
Natural sources of vitE: Fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter, vegetable oils.
Role in arthritis treatment: This vitamin assists with mineral deposit into the bone surroundings.
!!! Vitamin K will reduce the effect of blood thinner medication. Talk to your doctor.
Natural sources of vitK: Green vegetables like spinach, collards, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage.
The minerals that should be part of your arthritis diet:
Role in arthritis treatment: Builds bones. Prevent osteoporosis.
Natural sources of calcium: Dairy products, fortified juices or soy products.
Role in arthritis treatment: An antioxidant effective because of its ability to stop free radical damage to joint linings that causes the accumulation of fluids, swelling and pain.
Natural sources of selenium: Organ meats, seafood, Brazil nuts.
Role in arthritis treatment: Necessary for a good immunity, wound healing, cell reproduction and tissue growth. It is also an antioxydant.
Natural sources of zinc: Seafood, lamb, turkey, meat, beans, yogurt, peanuts.
Do you need vitamins supplements?
You may wonder if you get a sufficient nutrients intake from your daily diet. If you follow nutrition guidelines, (eating balanced meals with varied, fresh foods from all 4 categories), you shouldn’t have to worry about any deficiencies.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 full report
Referring to RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) will help you find your particular need for one given nutrient according to your life stage and gender:
If you doubt that your nutrition is adequate, you may want to consider adding vitamins and minerals supplement to your arthritis diet. It’s always best to consult your doctor about taking supplements; some could not be suitable for you.
The vitamins and minerals reviewed in this article should play a key role in your arthritis diet and aid in improving your condition. However, it should not be used as a substitute for a medication prescribed by your doctor, but as part of a global approach to treating arthritis.
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