Thursday, 28 March 2013

Avoid These Foods if You Have Arthritis

Arthritis is a generic medical term to describe an inflammation of the joint or some disorder cause by a joint inflammation. There are a number of variations of this condition so there is no such thing as an ‘arthritis diet’ designed to treat all arthritic disorders. The two most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA). There are dietary therapies recommended for these conditions but the focus is especially on providing a good balance of all essential foods and a diet which promotes weight loss. Weight reduction is an important part of arthritis therapy because it reduces the stress on the damaged joints and slows down the progression of the condition. On occasions, dietary supplements have been recommended and have been found to benefit some patients.

There are several different opinions about what’s right and what’s not in an arthritis diet. Some clinical trials have taken place and many myths have been blown. Foods that have been reputedly effective are accepted to have only a placebo effect.

Foods that could aggravate arthritis
If you suffer from arthritis, there are certain foods you need to avoid if you don’t want to worsen your condition and the pain associated with it. This doesn’t mean that you may have to say no to some of your favorite foods but that’s a sacrifice you will need to make in the interest of your health and comfort.
  • One of the things you will have to strive for is minimal calcium to phosphorous ratio. This is because the more phosphorous you have in your body, the more calcium you are going to lose which tends to aggravate your condition. Foods rich in phosphorous are red meats, processed meats, fish with red flesh, organ meats like kidneys and liver and soft drinks. Red meat is also high in uric acid which is a further irritant.
  • Avoid caffeine which causes you to lose vitamins and essential minerals from your body. As far as possible avoid decaffeinated drinks too because though they are advertised as such they do in fact contain a certain amount of caffeine.
  • Sugar is a no-no because it does not absorb calcium and nutrients. This is another good reason to say no to soft drinks which have a high sugar and phosphorous content.
  • Because acids are designed to neutralize stomach acids they also block the absorption of nutrients and are hence best avoided.
  • Keep off vegetable oil and fried food including margarine. All these foods are high in Omega 6 which worsens the inflammation.
  • Gluten is believed to aggravate arthritis so keep off or reduce your intake of wheat, oats and barley.
  • Avoid alcohol which blocks alcohol absorption. The same goes for salt and vinegar.
  • Oxalic acid is not good for you so push away those plums, cranberries and chards.
  • Foods from the solanum family are reputed to be bad for arthritis to capsicums, eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes are best avoided.
  • Full-fat dairy and baked products are high in saturated fat so should be handled carefully. The same goes for dairy products in general
  • Keep of dry roasted nuts but raw nuts are good for you.
Foods you can eat
You are probably wondering what you can eat. Here are some foods for thought which you can eat with a clear conscience.
  • Oily fish like tuna, sardines, salmon and supplements containing cod liver oil
  • Vitamin C found in many fruits like peaches, oranges and kiwifruit.
  • Anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and turmeric
Finding what helps and what doesn't
The only way to be certain of the effect a particular food has on you is to closely monitor what you eat and keep a journal. If you experience pain after eating a particular food note it down. If a pattern begins to emerge you know that food is not good for you. Stop it for a week and observe your reaction.

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