Inflammatory joint diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and polyarthritis currently affect almost one-third of the US population. These particularly painful and disabling ailments have different origins and affect people of all ages. Although traditional and alternative medicine can offer effective solutions, we are not always aware that a proper diet can also help relieve arthritis. Below we will see what foods you should eat to take care of your joints and relieve pain.
Simple food choices for joints
Certain dietary practices can help reduce inflammation and relieve rheumatic pain. Gradually, these actions should become reflexes that maintain and protect your joints on a daily basis.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
In general, it is recommended to drink between 1.5 and 3 liters of water a day. This is essential to meet the body’s water needs. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water. Water plays an important role in the health of the cartilage that lines the joints, which is mainly water (65-80%). If the water supply is insufficient, the cartilage cannot protect the joints from friction. They deteriorate and pain occurs.
Relieving arthritis by reducing simple sugars
Simple carbohydrates, which have a glycemic index above 70, are rapidly absorbed by the body and raise blood sugar levels. They are found in large quantities in sweets, cakes, soft drinks, white bread, etc. Fast sugars are acidifying and promote glycation. This natural reaction of the body causes the production of cytokines, compounds that amplify the inflammatory response and break down joint cartilage.
Limit consumption of dairy products
Dairy products are known for their high calcium content, which is involved in bone mineralization and skeletal strength. However, when consumed in excessive amounts, dairy products can also cause joint pain. In case of lactose intolerance or poor digestion, lactose can cause arthritis. Therefore, some patients with joint pain have experienced an improvement in symptoms after reducing their consumption of dairy products. However, dairy products contain many essential nutrients for the joints, so it is best to consume them in the right amounts and according to your tolerance.
Best foods for arthritis
In addition to simple measures that contribute to good joint health, it is also wise to focus on certain foods. They should contain good fats, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that reduce the inflammatory response and protect against rheumatic pain.
Oily fish, such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel, are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These fatty acids release anti-inflammatory substances that help protect cartilage and improve joint flexibility and mobility. You can also replace animal fats with vegetable oils such as flaxseed oil, camelina oil, Argan oil, olive oil, or walnut oil to increase your omega-3 intake.
Vitamin C-rich vegetables and fruits
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Therefore, it fights free radicals that cause cellular damage, especially in the joints, and favors the development of inflammatory diseases. However, vitamin C is also essential for the formation of collagen, the protein that gives strength and elasticity to joints. So do not hesitate to consume foods rich in vitamin C: peppers, parsley, kiwis, red fruits, currants, citrus fruits, etc.
For arthritis relief, choose lean meats: steak, chicken breast, veal, etc. Rich in protein, iron, and amino acids, they contribute to good joint health without being too fatty. Lean meats are also a good source of zinc, a trace element essential for collagen formation.
Spices and their effects on joint inflammation
Certain spices are valuable allies in relieving arthritis inflammation. This is especially true for ginger and turmeric, which contain anti-inflammatory substances called curcumins and gingerols. They work effectively by inhibiting the molecules responsible for inflammation. Other spices can also be used to relieve pain and improve joint comfort: black pepper, curry, oregano, etc.