Arthritis is a disorder characterized by joint pain and inflammation. Though there are a few different types of arthritis – psoriatic, rheumatoid, and osteoarthritis – the treatment for all kinds focuses on reducing inflammation.
Certain foods commonly trigger painful swelling, and your doc will probably recommend that you try an elimination diet to determine which ones bother you the most. No diet can cure arthritis, but you could have fewer flare-ups with attention to your diet.
Following are the most common foods that trouble people with arthritis. And please pay extra attention to number 6 and 7.
1. Dairy Products
Dairy products contain a type of protein thought to irritate the tissue surrounding your joints. It doesn’t bother everyone, but adults don’t really need much dairy in their diets anyway.
Try eliminating dairy to see if your bad arthritis days decrease. It’s easy to replace the protein in dairy with foods like quinoa, lentils, nut butters, tofu, beans, and spinach.
2. Added Sugars
Inflammation is the painful condition you want to avoid, and a high daily intake of sugar leads directly to it.
That’s because of a spike in advanced glycation end products (or AGEs), which occur when protein or fat in the body interacts with sugar. AGEs are blamed for accelerated aging, increased risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, and of course, inflammation.
Food additives are notably troublesome for people with arthritis, and MSG is a prime example. It is a salt-based powder added to many Asian foods like soy sauce, but not just Asian foods.
You are likely to find MSG in many salad dressings, soup mixes, fast foods, and deli meats. The main issue with it is probably the sodium content, which can cause water retention and swelling.
It is not technically a food, but tobacco is something that is quite harmful to put into your body.
Studies reveal that smokers are at a higher risk for rheumatoid arthritis, and it is damaging to joints, bones, and connective tissue. If you don’t have arthritis already, you may be able to prevent it by quitting now.
If you have been diagnosed, definitely quit smoking! Not only does it cause painful symptoms, it makes arthritis treatment less effective and causes additional complications if you ever need surgery.
Drinking alcohol frequently makes you more likely to develop gout, a disease that can cause arthritis particularly in the feet.
When you have gout, uric acid is not metabolized correctly, creating little crystals that irritate your joints and lead to inflammation. Too much alcohol also forces your liver to work overtime, weakening it and causing yet more inflammation.
Finally, when you drink too much, you are not prepared mentally to make wise decisions about the fundamentals of health, i.e., proper diet, exercise, and sleep.