Treating Arthritis Print

Osteoarthritis (when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down) and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disorder causing your immune system to mistakenly attack your own body's tissues) are amongst the most common of the around 200 kinds of arthritis. Patients with osteoarthritis should reduce intake of processed and refined foods, saturated animal fats, sugar and salt. They should consume more wholegrain cereals, fruit and vegetables. A healthy diet provides extra energy in combatting the disease.

Obesity & Exercise
Obesity stresses joints, such as knees, hips and ankles, increasing the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Lower weight equates to less discomfort. Exercise (e.g. swimming, cycling and walking) and low-fat diet (less mono-saturated fats) help prevent the disease or reduce the symptoms. Exercise also strengthens the muscles which protect the joints.
  • Try walking or swimming every day for 5 -10 minutes, gradually increasing the duration.
  •  Stretching exercises assist with movement and posture.
  • Well cushioned shoes lessen stress on weight bearing joints.
  • Exercise in moderation. Excess and jarring joints can result in osteoarthritis.

Allergies may contribute to causing rheumatoid arthritis. Common culprits include eggs, dairy and cereal. To identify the particular food problem, implement an exclusion diet under medical supervision.

Fish Oils
Scientific evidence shows that fish oils help victims of both kinds of arthritis. Salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and trout contain polyunsaturated fats called omega-3 fatty acids which can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the joints. The body reacts to arthritis with inflammation of joints, causing pain and swelling. Victims should try having fresh oily fish thrice weekly or fish oils in capsule or liquid form.

Other Beneficial Foods
Greens - source of beta carotene, calcium, folate, iron and vitamin C. Eat raw or lightly cooked every few days.
Bananas - provide a good source of potassium fibre and Vitamin C. Eat at least thrice a week.
Broccoli - source of beta carotene, potassium, folate, iron and vitamin C. Eat raw or lightly cooked every few days.
Carrots - source of beta carotene. Eat raw or cooked as often as you wish.
Ginger - Anti-inflammatory agent. eat 5g in cooking, twice a week.
Celery -  Anti-inflammatory agent. Source of potassium. Eat raw, thrice a week.
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