Arthritis: Doctor gives advice on best foods to help ease pain
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Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.In the UK, more than 10 million people have arthritis or other similar conditions that affect the joints. Although there is no cure for arthritis, you can alleviate symptoms by avoiding certain foods. Although there is no cure for arthritis, you can alleviate symptoms by avoiding certain foods.
That’s because certain foods have inflammatory properties that may make arthritis pain and symptoms flare up or get worse.
As Harvard Health explains, “Choose the right anti-inflammatory foods, and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness.”
“Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.”
According to the health body, you should try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:
- Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
- French fries and other fried foods
- Fizzy drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- Red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- Margarine, shortening, and lard.
What to eat
Certain foods have been shown to fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost the immune system.
Eating fish can help to fend off inflammation.
“Because certain types of fish are packed with inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids,” explains Arthritis Foundation.
According to the health body, experts recommend at least three to four ounces of fish, twice a week.
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Oily fish are a key component of a Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to confer direct benefits for arthritis management.
Studies confirm that eating foods commonly part of the Mediterranean diet can help arthritis by curbing inflammation.
A Mediterranean diet is generally rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans but low processed foods and saturated fat.
Another key component of the diet that is beneficial for arthritis are nuts.
“Nuts are jam-packed with inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat,” explains Arthritis Foundation.
According to the health body, the best sources are walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds.
In addition to eating well, you should also engage in regular physical activity.
If your arthritis is painful, you may not feel like exercising.
“However, being active can help reduce and prevent pain,” explains the NHS.
Regular exercise can also:
- Improve your range of movement and joint mobility
- Increase muscle strength
- Reduce stiffness
- Boost your energy.
“As long as you do the right type and level of exercise for your condition, your arthritis won’t get any worse,” notes the NHS.
“Your GP can recommend the type and level of exercise that’s right for you.”
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