People living with osteoarthritis may, from time to time, notice that they aren't doing all the things they would like to do. You need not let arthritis rule your world. Here, we will take a look at a few ways your diet can have a positive effect on your health and wellness, particularly as it pertains to the arthritic condition.
The Power of Antioxidants
We hear that we should eat foods rich in antioxidants, but why? At the basic level, it is because antioxidants fight free radicals, and free radicals do a lot of harm to the body. Just as much as these cell-damaging molecules ravage the skin and the eyes, they also degrade the cushioning between the joints. According to mounting research, antioxidants can inhibit the effects of free radicals on the joint to such a degree that a healthy diet or supplementation can relieve pain, slow the progression of arthritis, or even prevent it.
So what should we all be eating to avoid arthritic conditions?
This antioxidant builds and supports healthy cartilage. Without adequate amounts, cartilage becomes weak and susceptible to excessive wear. Foods high in vitamin C include:
- Grapefruit and oranges
- Strawberries and raspberries
- Kale, broccoli, and cauliflower
- Tomatoes and bell peppers
Some studies suggest that vitamin D can also support healthy cartilage that does not break down. Vitamin D foods include:
- Wild-caught salmon, shrimp, and cod
- Many foods, such as milk, are fortified with vitamin D
- Remember that vitamin D is the "sunshine vitamin!" A few minutes of sun exposure to bare skin in the early morning is the best way to get ample D.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
We have been told for so long that fat is bad for us that we may be missing an important way to reduce inflammation - healthy fats. For individuals with any type of inflammatory disorder, including osteoarthritis, omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial due to their suppressive action on the production of the enzymes that weaken cartilage. Foods high in omega-3s include:
- Wild-caught salmon
- Pacific oysters
- Flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed
- Lastly, spices such as ginger and turmeric have been recognized for their strong ability to suppress the chemicals that cause inflammation in the body.
Do you require treatment for arthritis of the hand, elbow, or shoulder? CallAdvanced Orthopedics & Hand Surgery Institute at (973) 942-1315.