Doctors advise to stick to a certain arthritis diet plan if you have any form of arthritis. How can a specific diet help in arthritis treatment? A proper diet can do a lot! Arthritis diet is very important for pain relief. Hundreds of patients suffering from this joint disease notice significant improvement in their condition after having followed a few simple nutrition rules. We want to share this information with you, because proper nutrition is a key component of a healthy lifestyle as well as prevention of any disease. Ask your doctor to prescribe the best diet for you.
Rule 1: Find and Exclude Harmful Products
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system is fighting against your own body, and especially against your joints, causing their inflammation and gradual dysfunction. In case of gouty arthritis certain products can severely influence the course of the disease.
Specialists have noticed that if you eat foods that can cause allergic reactions, the course of rheumatoid arthritis becomes more acute. There is no special universal avoid list of products, as some people can be allergic to a certain product while the others are not. Therefore, the best way to find out a taboo food list in your case is to study your body, while adhering to the elimination diet for arthritis. How to do it?
To follow this diet you have to exclude a certain product in its pure form completely, as well as all the dishes that may contain it. For example, you need to avoid not only milk, but also all dairy porridges, soups, smoothies and ice cream that contain milk. After certain term you are allowed to eat milk and its derivatives for one day. For the next several days you have to monitor your health condition to see whether your rheumatoid arthritis has aggravated. For the accuracy of the results such test should be repeated several times.
As soon as you identify in this way foods that aggravate arthritis you should exclude them from your diet if not forever, then certainly for the period of exacerbation of the disease.
Observations show that the following products most often cause exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis and therefore must be tested with the elimination diet in the first place:
- whole milk;
- wheat groats;
- corn grits;
- solanaceae: tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes.
Rule 2: How About Becoming a Vegetarian
Almost 40% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis report significant improvement in their health after switching to milk-vegetable diet. In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis diet can include fatty fish as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
American scientists claim that Mediterranean diet is very beneficial for the course of the disease because it includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and olive oil, nuts and fish.
Rule 3: Eat Fruits and Vegetables
A person with arthritis should consume at least 200 grams of fruit and 300 grams of vegetables during a day not counting potatoes. This is especially true in case of juvenile arthritis. Fruit and vegetables contain a great number of specific phytochemicals that have analgesic and anti inflammatory action. Natural food is also a good source of potassium and vitamins.
Rule 4: During Arthritis Treatment Do Not Overload Your Stomach, Kidneys and Liver
Since rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, it is often necessary to take a variety of medications, many of which affect your liver or kidneys and sometimes can even cause gastritis.
For this reason, during the whole period of treatment of rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis you should eat those products that do not irritate your digestive organs or provide a great load on your liver or kidneys.
According to the psoriatic arthritis diet here are the foods to avoid with arthritis:
- hot spices;
- rich fatty broth;
- fried and smoked products;
- canned food;
- strong coffee and tea;
- solid fats;
- food rich in cholesterol.
While choosing among different ways of cooking, give your preference to steaming, boiling, stewing or baking rather than frying or grilling. When you steam your food, maximum amount of vitamins and nutrients stay in the products.
Rule 5: Do Not Forget About Calcium
Regular use of hormonal drugs while treating arthritis leads to wash-out of calcium from your bones and the development of osteoporosis. This can worsen your arthritis symptoms. To avoid this, treating with diet includes following products:
- low-fat dairy products;
- leafy greens;
- soy products.
Rule 6: Keep Your Weight Under Control
This rule is very important for overweight people with hip or knee arthritis as their extra weight puts additional load on the inflamed joints of their lower extremities. During an acute stage of the disease patients usually move less because of painful sensation, so the total amount of wasted calories during the day is reduced. In this case, if your daily amount of food remains the same, this will increase your body weight.
To control your weight you need to give up:
- refined carbohydrates, especially sugars (including candies and ice cream);
- foods with a high fat content because its excess causes formation of extra kilos (pastries, cakes, sandwiches and butter);
- alcohol and white bread, as they contain minimum of nutrients and many calories, not mentioning that excessive consumption of alcohol is bad for your health.
Rule 7: Eat With Gratitude and Positive Emotions
Rheumatoid arthritis, along with asthma and stomach ulcers, is among the diseases which can be provoked by stress and strong negative emotions.
Regular habit of eating with gratitude and positive mood helps you to neutralize the effect of negative factors, because in response to positive emotions your organism produces substances that have analgesic and anti inflammatory properties. Basically, the food eaten in a proper way can cure your diseases. Moreover, try to eat your meals in a relaxed atmosphere, which is very necessary for the correct functioning of your stomach.
Any form of arthritis without proper treatment leads to disability, as it causes irreversible changes in your joints. What to eat during arthritis is fully your decision, but you should understand that your diet can contribute to both exacerbation and remission of this disease. To improve your state and well-being it is necessary to monitor your weight, eat less meat, consume more fruits and vegetables, avoid alcohol, hot spices and avoid foods that cause worsening of the disease.