Arthritis is a medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterised by inflammation and pain in the joints, which can lead to a reduction in mobility and quality of life. While there is no known cure for arthritis, there are ways to manage the symptoms, including making dietary changes.
1. Processed and fried foods
Processed and fried foods are high in trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation can exacerbate the symptoms of arthritis, making it more painful and harder to manage. Processed foods such as potato chips, frozen dinners, and pre-packaged snacks should be avoided, as should fried foods like french fries, chicken wings, and onion rings.
2. Sugary drinks
Sugary drinks such as soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks can cause inflammation in the body, leading to more severe symptoms of arthritis. These beverages are also high in calories, which can contribute to weight gain. Excess weight puts additional pressure on the joints, making them more painful and harder to move. Instead of sugary drinks, opt for water, herbal tea, or low-sugar alternatives.
3. Red meat
Red meat is high in saturated fats, which can cause inflammation in the body. It is also high in purines, which can increase the levels of uric acid in the blood. High levels of uric acid can lead to gout, a form of arthritis that causes pain and swelling in the joints. If you have arthritis, it is best to limit your consumption of red meat and opt for leaner sources of protein such as chicken, fish, or beans.
4. Dairy products
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt contain casein and other proteins that can cause inflammation in the body. If you have arthritis, it may be best to limit your consumption of dairy products or switch to non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk or soy milk.
Alcohol can cause inflammation in the body, making arthritis symptoms worse. It can also interact with medications used to treat arthritis, making them less effective. If you have arthritis, it is best to limit your consumption of alcohol or avoid it altogether.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Some people with arthritis may be sensitive to gluten, and consuming it can cause inflammation in the body. If you have arthritis, it may be worth trying a gluten-free diet to see if it helps alleviate your symptoms.
7. Nightshade vegetables
Nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes contain solanine, which can cause inflammation in the body. While there is no conclusive evidence that nightshade vegetables worsen arthritis symptoms, some people with arthritis report feeling better after eliminating these foods from their diet.
Making dietary changes can help manage the symptoms of arthritis. Avoiding processed and fried foods, sugary drinks, red meat, dairy products, alcohol, gluten, and nightshade vegetables can help reduce inflammation in the body, making arthritis symptoms less severe. If you have arthritis, it is best to work with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to develop a dietary plan that meets your individual needs and helps manage your symptoms.
David Radar, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.