Diet is an important factor in managing osteoarthritis. While diet cannot directly treat osteoarthritis, it plays a significant role in building stronger bones and cartilage, enhancing muscle strength and mass as well as keeping your weight under control. While it is important to keep overall calorie intake low, the addition of certain foods can help you manage osteoarthritis better.
Here are eight food items that you must add to your diet:
Fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which can actively fight inflammation. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring are great additions to your diet if you are suffering from osteoarthritis.
Soybeans are a great source of omega-3 fatty acid for both vegetarians and vegans. Low in fat and packed with protein, soybeans are a must-have food for patients with osteoarthritis.
Adding oils such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado or safflower oil to the diet is also recommended for patients with osteoarthritis. Extra virgin olive oil contains high levels of oleocanthal which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are great sources of calcium, Vitamin D as well as protein. Calcium and Vitamin D helps in strengthening bones whereas protein helps in augmenting the muscle.
- Green tea
Green tea contains polyphenols which are extremely useful in reducing inflammation and decreasing the pace of cartilage decay. It can also limit the damage in joints.
- Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits such as oranges and limes are excellent sources of Vitamin C. Vitamin C-rich fruits help in controlling inflammation as well as keeping the joints healthy.
Garlic is said to contain diallyl disulfide, a chemical that helps to control the effect of cartilage-damaging enzymes.
Nuts are a rich source of proteins, calcium and Vitamin E. They are also packed with magnesium, zinc, L-arginine and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). All of these play an active role in reducing inflammation and keeping joints healthy.
In addition to this, it is also pertinent to avoid a few items. Four items that you should definitely avoid in osteoarthritis are:
Sugar is a common ingredient in juices, jams, and syrups as well as desserts and sweets. Intake of sugar can cause further weight gain which consequently results in reduced mobility of joints. It also provokes an inflammatory response from the body.
- Red meat
Red meat is high in saturated fats as well as omega-6 fatty acids, both of which can trigger inflammation. Studies have shown that this can lead to swelling of joints as well as worsening of existing osteoarthritis.
- Processed Foods
Baked goods and pre-packaged processed foods and snacks are high in trans fats. Not only are these damaging to the heart and cause weight gain, but they can also lead to inflammation and increased deposition within the joints.
- White Flour
White flour is a key ingredient of bread, pasta, biscuits, and crackers. These cause a rise in blood glucose which also increases inflammation in the body.