The role of diet in treating and preventing diseases is now widely recognized. Unhealthy dietary habits are known to be the major cause of diseases such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, and obesity. But more and more studies are finding the link between diet and chronic diseases such as arthritis. While diet alone may not help prevent or treat arthritis, it certainly can improve your overall outcomes. To help you out, here are a couple of scientifically-proven diet plans that can help in preventing arthritis.
1. About Arthritis Diet Plans
Arthritis is a general term referring to various diseases of the joints. The two most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Although the causes and effects of these two types of arthritis are very different, both can be prevented and treated with the right kind of diet. Anti-arthritis diets should be rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. These nutrients have disease-fighting properties that could help arthritis sufferers. You also need to avoid animal-based products (with the exception of fish) and highly-processed foods as these can promote inflammation.
2. Include Fish at least Once a Week
The anti-inflammatory benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids which are found abundantly in fish have been the subject of arthritis studies for quite some time now. However, most of these studies have focused on fish oil supplements in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis specifically. However, other studies also found that a higher dietary intake of fish oil from whatever source could decrease your risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids seem to have the strongest anti-inflammatory properties. These fatty acids fight inflammation by lowering the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 proteins.
3. A Handful of Nuts and Seeds Daily
The Arthritis Foundation recommends including nuts and seeds into your anti-arthritis diet plan as these were found to ward off inflammation as well. The recommended dose is 1.5 ounces of nuts and seed daily or one handful. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a higher intake of nuts lowered the chances of dying from an inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis by 51 percent. The anti-inflammatory properties of nuts could partially be due to their high vitamin B6 content which studies show is deficient in arthritis sufferers.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Every Dish
Extra virgin olive oil which is a staple of the Mediterranean diet is rich in oleic acid, antioxidants, and vitamins. Unlike refined vegetable oils, extra virgin olive oil is cold-pressed which means that most of its nutritional value is preserved. When used in conjunction with physical therapy, olive oil can prevent cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis according to one study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Make sure to use olive oil in salad dressings and for flavoring dishes to preserve its nutritional value. While you’ll still get some nutrients from olive oil when using it for cooking, heat does deplete the oil of some of its nutrients.
5. Adopt a Whole-grain Vegetarian/Vegan Diet
Switching to a plant-based diet and replacing refined grain products with whole grain could help alleviate and even prevent symptoms of osteoarthritis. According to one recent study, osteoarthritis sufferers experienced significantly greater relief from their symptoms when adopting a diet rich in vegetables and whole grains. This type of diet is said to up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and reduced your exposure to pro-inflammatory precursors found in refined grains. The same anti-inflammatory benefits of this type of diet apply to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers as it helps reduce overall inflammation.
Arthritis is any disease affecting the joints that causes joint degradation, pain, and swelling. Current treatment options for arthritis are limited to just mitigating pain. But scientists are recognizing the preventive and healing benefits a diet could have for those at risk of arthritis. Adopting a plant-based and high fiber diet with plenty of antioxidants and other micronutrients is bound to not just improve your overall health but also reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis as evident in a great number of studies. Use these diet plans as rough guidelines for the prevention and treatment of arthritis symptoms.