A well-balanced diet can help you maintain bone strength and a healthy weight. Also, studies show that moderate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals can help ease some of the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis.
• calcium Most women with arthritis, especially those over 45 and women taking glucocorticoids, need calcium supplements to help to prevent the loss of bone that leads to osteoporosis.
• B vitamins Several B vitamins may help reduce joint inflammation and pain. Foods enriched in vitamin B-3 (niacin) include lean meats and fish, tofu, cottage cheese and sunflower seeds; vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid) is found in meat, eggs, soybeans, wheat germ, whole grain cereals, lentils and peanuts contain; and vitamin B-6 is found in meat, fish, whole grains, wheat germ, whole wheat, bananas and soybeans.
• vitamin C Some studies have suggested that vitamin C may reduce the risk and progression of osteoarthritis. Foods high in vitamin C include broccoli, red peppers, citrus fruits, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and strawberries.
• vitamin D Osteoporosis may progress faster in women with low levels of vitamin D, because the vitamin helps calcium to protect bones and joint s. Foods high in vitamin D include fortified dairy products and fish such as salmon, halibut, sea bass, tuna, cod and herring.
• vitamin E This vitamin helps ease osteoarthritis pain and leg cramps. Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower and safflower seeds, wheat germ and whole wheat flour, and various fruits and vegetables.
Foods That May Help Include:
Remember that piece of succulent baked salmon? Evidence suggests that fish may be helpful in osteoarthritis. Fish, especially cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, halibut, herring, tuna, sardines, and cod, have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3 fats are used by the body to make substances that reduce inflammation.
Add some zest to your salad dressing with fresh ginger. Some people with osteoarthritis report that using ginger regularly helps reduce the pain and swelling in their joints. Ginger contains active components that stop the body from producing inflammatory substances that add to inflammation in the joints.
A versatile spice that adds an exotic bite to any meal, ginger can transform practically any dish from mundane to exceptional. Try mincing a sliver of fresh ginger for a topping on steamed vegetables, meats, fish, baked fruit, and fresh salads. While fresh ginger is the most flavorful, dried ginger may also be beneficial.
Nutrients in Food That May Help Include:
To Reduce the Risk or Progression of Osteoarthritis
When osteoarthritis patients get plenty of vitamin D in their diets, their joint damage progresses more slowly. In contrast, people who don’t get enough vitamin D, have more rapidly occurring joint damage, leading rapidly to disability. Vitamin D not only helps prevent the breakdown of cartilage, it's necessary for rebuilding healthy cartilage and maintaining strong bones. Shrimp and fortified milk are two very good sources of vitamin D.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant in the body. By neutralizing free radicals, vitamin C helps reduce inflammation and damage that occurs in osteoarthritis.
Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of healthy connective tissue and cartilage, and may even be able to help undo some of the damage that has already been done. The osteoarthritis of patients who get plenty of vitamin C in their diets seems to progress more slowly compared to people who have diets low in vitamin C.
Excellent food sources of vitamin C include broccoli, parsley, bell peppers, strawberries, cauliflower, lemons, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, papaya, kale, cabbage, spinach, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, chard, collard greens, raspberries, peppermint leaves, asparagus, celery, fennel bulb, pineapple, and watermelon.
Beta-carotene is another powerful antioxidant. Like vitamin C, beta-carotene helps destroy free radicals before they can cause excessive damage to joints. A diet rich in beta-carotene also helps slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
Fortunately, beta-carotene is easy to spot because it gives fruits and vegetables, such as apricots,and carrots, their bright orange color.
Excellent food sources of beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, winter squash, collard greens, chard, cantaloupe, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, parsley, cayenne pepper, peppermint leaves, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, and apricots.
Niacin, also known as vitamin B-3, plays many roles in the body and is needed for healthy cells. Although researchers aren’t quite sure why, a diet high in niacin may help protect people from ever developing osteoarthritis in the first place. Some studies show that niacin may cut osteoarthritis risk in half.
Excellent food sources of niacin include crimini mushrooms and tuna. Very good sources include salmon, chicken breast, asparagus, halibut and venison.
To Reduce the Pain of Osteoarthritis
Vitamin E, like vitamin C and beta-carotene, is yet another antioxidant that helps eliminate damaging free radicals. Vitamin E is also very good at reducing inflammation, which contributes to the problems in osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that osteoarthritis sufferers with high intakes of vitamin E report a significant reduction in their pain. Many are even able to reduce the amount of pain-killers they need to take. Mustard greens, chard, turnip greens, and sunflower seeds are a few excellent sources of vitamin E.
In Australia, boron has been a very popular remedy for osteoarthritis for many years. It's especially useful in areas where the diet tends to be low in boron, which can occur if the soil contains low levels of boron, or if people are eating diets that are low in boron-rich foods. Boron is needed in the body for the production of many substances, including hormones and vitamin D, both of which are very important for healthy bones and joints.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in some studies to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis. When the diet contains plenty of these essential fats, the cells make less of the pro-inflammatory substances and more of the anti-inflammatory substances.
By reducing inflammation, omega-3 fats help prevent the damage to the cartilage and connective tissue that usually occurs in osteoarthritis.
Excellent food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds, walnuts and salmon.
Some studies show that niacinamide can improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and may be able to reduce the amount of pain-killers needed. To date, researchers are not sure exactly how niacinamide, which has many different functions in the body, is able to help with osteoarthritis.
Substances to Avoid
Vitamin A and Retinoids
People who take very high doses of vitamin A for a very long time tend to wind up with joint pain and damage that looks a lot like osteoarthritis. These high doses could not be obtained from diet alone and are also much higher than doses that appear even in multivitamins.
This means that only people who are taking extra vitamin A as a supplement are at risk. Also, certain medications typically used for skin conditions are made from vitamin A-like chemicals called retinoids. Retinoids may also cause joint damage. If you are taking medications like these, you may want to talk to your doctor about the possibility of joint problems with long-term use.
Genetic hemochromatosis is a hereditary condition that occurs mostly in people of Caucasian descent. People with this condition absorb more iron than they need and then store it in their bodies. As much as 80% of people with this condition, also called iron-overload, develop osteoarthritic joint changes if they consume too much iron. If they continue to get too much iron, it can build up in their organs and cause severe organ damage.
Typically, the amount of iron found in a healthy, balanced diet is not enough to cause problems. However, iron supplements should be avoided by persons at risk for osteoarthritis, even iron-containing multivitamins, unless a doctor has specifically recommended iron supplementation.
What should you eat if you have osteoarthritis or are trying to avoid getting it? The best advice is to eat a varied diet high in necessary nutrients.
A diet filled with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean meats, and especially cold-water, wild-caught fish is sure to provide you with all the nutrients that are important in maintaining overall health and flexible, healthy joints.
This way of eating may help halt the progressive damage of osteoarthritis, as well as help you cut back on the amount of pain-killers you need by reducing pain and swelling.
Throwing a little bit of ginger into your cooking for some added zip may further reduce symptoms.
Stop giving your joints SAD (Standard American Diet) foods. Leave the refined white flour, fat-laden products on the shelf, and switch to foods rich in the nutrients your joints need. Flexibility in your diet will translate to flexibility in your joints.
• A one month trial elimination diet is recommended.
• Avoid coffee, caffeine-containing drinks, soft drinks, alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking.
• Eliminate red meats, dairy products (cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, etc), eggs, all grains and pastas (except rice), peanuts, soy, cashews, oranges, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant for 3-4 weeks.
• Eliminate all red meats foods.
• Drink water, sparkling waters, non-caffeinated teas, and non-sugared juices in moderation.
• Eat only whole foods. Canned beans, prepackaged salads, greens, and vegetables are acceptable. Frozen fruit and vegetables are acceptable.
• Eat 2 large servings (bowls) of green vegetables daily - cooked or raw.
• Eat as much raw or cooked orange-yellow vegetables as possible.
• Eat 2-4 whole fruits per day.
• Eat 1-2 handfuls of nuts or seeds per day. (For weight loss small palm full)
• Eat 1-3 cups of beans per day.(For weight loss 1 cup)
• Eat 1-2 cooked cups of rice per day. (For weight loss 1 cup or eliminate)
• Keep a food/symptom diary that has the headings: date, time, weight, food, symptom, exercise across the page.
• Move everyday for at least ½ -1 hour in ways that don’t hurt your joints. Non-pain movement helps joint pain.
• A basic high potency multivitamin/mineral is recommended with extra calcium/magnesium (1000/800-600 mg) if one chooses not to eat a lot of green vegetables rich in calcium and magnesium.
Well I am going to take this challange I know its is going to be tough because all the foods I am use to are on the do not eat list! If any of you want to do this with me let me know we can support each other with idea's. I will post my daily excercise and food on a page to the right of this blog.
Lord knows this can only help, I don't wwant to be left in a wheel chair for the remainder of my life!