Some foods trigger inflammation and joint pain in people suffering from arthritis. Conversely, there are many anti-inflammatory superfoods that alleviate arthritis pain by reducing inflammation. Read on to know more about 6 such foods.
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States affecting more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children. Even though people of all ages can develop arthritis, it is more commonly seen in adults aged 65 years and over. It is not actually a single disease, but is an umbrella term that encompasses several joint conditions. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, ranging from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to juvenile arthritis and gout. Together, these different types of arthritis are regarded as the most common chronic illnesses in the US.
Arthritis is considered to be a rheumatic condition that is usually characterized by stiffness, swelling, aching, and pain in one or more joints. There is no single cause of arthritis, the causes vary depending upon the type of arthritis. Some of the potential causes include genetic predisposition, infections, injury, immune system dysfunction, and abnormal metabolism. The symptoms of arthritis are limited movement of the joint affected, pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, and stiffness. It can also affect certain organs that are not related to the joints such as the heart, the kidneys, and the lungs because it is a rheumatic condition.
The doctors diagnose arthritis by going through your medical history as well as conducting physical examinations and radiographic studies. There are numerous tests that are conducted to diagnose arthritis such as the rheumatoid factor, joint ultrasound, complete blood count, thyroid function test, and synovial biopsy. You do not need to undergo all these tests during diagnosis because the tests differ with the type of arthritis suspected. Your doctor will prescribe a treatment method depending upon the type of arthritis that you are diagnosed with. The main aim of these treatment methods is to manage the pain, reduce the damage to the joints, and improve the function of the joints. Some of the standard treatment methods of arthritis involve medications, physical therapy, non-pharmacological therapy, occupational therapy, and sometimes even surgery.
Even though there are no specific foods that are known to cause arthritis, nutrition and diet can play an important role in dealing with this condition. You can exacerbate your arthritis symptoms by consuming foods that increase inflammation, especially foods that are high in refined sugar and animal-derived foods. Research has shown that when patients avoided such foods, about 70 percent of them felt better and reported improved mobility and less joint pain. This, however, in no way means that your food choices are limited when you are suffering from arthritis. There are some superfoods that help alleviate your arthritis pain because they contain anti-inflammatory nutrients. These superfoods are:
Ever heard of ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. Well, it certainly rings true if you are suffering from arthritis. Apples are a rich source of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, boron, and magnesium that are all needed for healthy bones. Consuming about 100 grams of apples provides you the same amount of antioxidants that you would get by consuming 1500 milligrams of Vitamin C. Choose red apples over the green varieties as these have a higher concentration of antioxidants in their flesh as well as skin. You can add apples to your salad or coleslaw or just eat them daily as a snack. It is recommended that you do not peel the skin off because it has a higher concentration of antioxidants than the flesh.
Fruits such as cherries, elderberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries contain antioxidants known as ‘anthocyanins’. These antioxidants help alleviate your arthritis pain by lowering the quantity of inflammatory chemicals in your body. According to Muraleedharan Nair, a natural products chemist at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the Michigan State University, “They block inflammation and they inhibit pain enzymes, just like aspirin, naproxen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories.” Eat about 40-50 cherries per day to deal with issues such as muscle pain and arthritis. In fact, when you consume 250 grams of black cherries every day, it lowers you uric acid levels, which in turn prevents a gout attack. You can add berries to muesli, yoghurt, fruit salads, or just eat them fresh. If you are looking for a refreshing drink, blend the berries in a juicer and add apple juice to dilute it.
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