Many people don’t realize that their diet can often times ease or worsen joint pain, depending on the type of food intake. As arthritis is a problem of chronic inflammation, it is important to avoid inflammatory foods and replace them with others that have anti-inflammatory effects. Below are five types of food to avoid if you suffer from arthritis.
1. Fried & Processed Foods
Studies have shown that consuming fried and processed foods, such as fried meats and frozen meals, can actually worsen inflammation. Furthermore, regular consumption of these foods can lead to weight gain, putting extra stress on your joints. Swap these unhealthy choices with more vegetables and fruits.
2. Sugars & Refined Carbs
High amounts of sugar in your diet result in an increase in AGEs (advanced glycation end product). AGE is a toxin that appears when foods are heated, grilled, fried, or pasteurized. HealthLine.com reports that “AGEs can damage certain proteins in the body, and the body tries to break these AGEs apart by using cytokines, which are inflammatory messengers. Depending on where the AGEs occur, they may result in arthritis or other forms of inflammation.” To keep this from happening, be sure to cut out sweets, soda and white flour baked goods.
3. Dairy Products
Dairy products may contribute to arthritis pain due to the types of proteins they contain. According to the HealthLine.com and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, for some, these proteins may irritate the tissue around the joints. They report, “some sufferers of arthritis pain have success switching to a vegan diet—which contains no animal products whatsoever.” If your main source of protein comes from meat and dairy, it may help to switch to alternative protein sources such as spinach, beans, lentils, and quinoa.
4. Salt & Preservatives
For several people who suffer from arthritis, excess consumption of salt can sometimes result in inflammation of the joints. What many don’t realize is that there are several foods that contain excessive salt and other preservatives in order to achieve longer shelf lives. If possible, try to reduce your salt intake as much as possible by avoiding frozen meals and checking food labels.
5. Alcohol & Tobacco
Tobacco and alcohol cannot only irritate arthritis, but may lead to a variety of other health issues. HealthLine.com reports “smokers are more at risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, while those who consume alcohol have a higher risk for developing gout.” To keep your joints healthy, cut back on drinking and smoking. Introduce a healthy diet, physical activities and a solid sleep schedule. Your body will thank you!