Arthritis is a common disease that affects millions of people. It is characterized by inflammation of the joints, causing pain, stiffness and reduced mobility. Although there is no miracle diet to cure it, studies show that certain food choices can have an impact on the symptoms incurred. Diet therefore plays a crucial role in the quality of life of people suffering from this disease. In this article, we will explore how food can influence inflammation caused by arthritis.
The connection between inflammation and arthritis
To understand the impact of diet on arthritis, it is first important to understand the so-called “inflammatory” characteristic, which is in fact the body’s biological process of defense against infections and injuries. However, in people with arthritis, this process becomes dysregulated, leading to excessive and chronic joint inflammation. Ongoing inflammation can thus lead, among other things, to deterioration of articular cartilage, reducing its function and worsening pain.
Anti-inflammatory foods: what to favor and what to avoid
Certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce this body problem and thus relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Here are our top 5, to be favored in this perspective.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, these are recognized for their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3s also help reduce the production of pro-inflammatory molecules in the body, which can help soothe inflamed joints.
Colorful fruits and vegetables
Packed with antioxidants, such as berries, citrus fruits, spinach, sweet potatoes and peppers, they are great for fighting inflammation. Antioxidants also help neutralize free radicals, unstable molecules which can contribute to inflammation.
Nuts and seeds
Walnuts, almonds and flaxseeds are known to be rich in omega-3 and antioxidants. Including these foods in your diet can help reduce inflammation and support joint health.
Olive oil (extra virgin)
It is a source of monounsaturated fatty acids which also have anti-inflammatory properties. Choose extra virgin olive oil to get the most of its health benefits.
Contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that may help reduce inflammation. Replacing sugary drinks with green tea may be beneficial for people with arthritis.
Conversely, other foods are known to aggravate the symptoms of arthritis. Here are some of them :
Found in fatty meats, full-fat dairy products and processed foods, they can promote inflammation. It is advisable to reduce your consumption and favor healthier sources of fat.
Omega-6 fatty acids
Necessary for a balanced diet, but can promote inflammation if they are overconsumed compared to omega-3s. Corn, sunflower and soybean oils are rich in omega-6. Try to limit them and balance your omega-3 and omega-6 intake.
Foods high in added sugars, such as soda, candy, and baked goods, can trigger spikes in inflammation. Opt for healthier alternatives, like fresh fruit, to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Unfortunately, there is no recognized diet that has the ability to cure arthritis. Wise dietary choices definitely help reduce inflammation and improve the quality of life for people with this disease. By choosing foods with anti-inflammatory properties, you can provide nutritional support to your body in its fight against inflammation. Embracing regular use of key nutrients, such as vitamin C, D, calcium and magnesium, will also support your joint health. Remember to consult your healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized advice tailored to your specific needs, based on your overall health and arthritis. With a balanced and appropriate diet, you can actively help to better manage arthritis symptoms and improve your overall well-being.