People who suffer from arthritis are always looking for ways to relieve their pain. One way to ease or even prevent it is through an arthritis diet. There are some arthritis diets that some people will swear by, but have never been proven to make a difference. There are some diets that make a definite difference according to health experts.
First let's take a look at some arthritis diets where there’s little or no evidence that they actually make a difference. One of the most common arthritis diets is to eliminate potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and most peppers. While the diet won’t do any harm, it hasn’t been proven to affect arthritis at all. Another arthritis diet seeks to reduce the acids in one’s body by eliminating sugar, coffee, red meat, most grains, nuts, and citrus fruits. It’s intended to be followed for just one month. People may feel better because they lose weight which reduces the stress on their joints, but again there is no evidence to support this. It also excludes many sources of vitamin C which is essential in fighting arthritis. Drinking green tea has been shown to reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis in mice, but there are no conclusive results on human studies yet. Shark cartilage is supposed to relieve arthritis. Animal and lab studies show promise, but there are no human studies to support this yet.
Now let’s take a look at some arthritis diets that have been shown to work. Switching fats can reduce inflammation. Eating fats found in red meat and poultry have actually been shown to increase inflammation. Switching to cold water fish can help reduce the inflammation. Using corn, safflower, and sunflower oils also helps. Another arthritis diet is the ASU (avocado-soybean unsaponifiable). It has been shown to relieve osteoarthritis, stimulate cartilage repair, and lessen a patient’s need to NSAIDs to control pain. Ginger has been shown to ease pain and inflammation as well as protect the stomach from gastrointestinal effects from taking NSAIDs. Glucosamine is a supplement that relieves pain in some patients with osteoarthritis. It helps the body rebuild cartilage, but can take up to two months to see the effects. If you are allergic to shellfish, check with your doctor before taking this as it is derived from crab, lobster, or shrimp shells. Before taking any supplements talk with your doctor as some can interfere with or worsen side effects from your medications.
Of course the best arthritis diet is a good old-fashioned well balanced diet. Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, and go easy on fats and cholesterol. A heart healthy diet is especially important to patients with rheumatoid arthritis as studies have shown a link between this disease and heart failure. Vitamin C is good for repairing body tissue. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium, build bone mass, and prevents bone loss. Calcium helps strengthen your bones. If you are on medication, ask your doctor if he/she recommends taking vitamins. Some medications can create vitamin or mineral deficiencies. When choosing your arthritis diet, be sure to talk with your physician as different types of arthritis have different needs.