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Joint Problems and Your Diet Print

Fish oils, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, provides a degree of relief for joint problems. People who suffer from painful swelling of the joints should include plenty of oil fish in their diets, e.g. salmon, mackerel, herring, trout and sardines. These seem to lessen the strength of inflammatory compounds which the body releases.

Excessive uric acid results in painful crystals in joints. Fresh fish may cause a build-up of uric acid. Thus gout sufferers should take fish oil in supplement form instead.

Take Care of Your Deficiencies
Diets low in antioxidants may predispose some people to joint problems. This is especially true for selenium and vitamins A, C and E.

To increase vitamin A intake, have a weekly portion of liver and plenty of carrots, mangoes, apricots, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe melon.

Red and yellow peppers, kiwi, oranges, Brussels sprouts and cabbage are rich in vitamin C.

Have avocadoes, nuts, sunflower seeds, and olive oil for vitamin E.
Fish, shellfish, meat, wholegrain cereals, eggs and brewer’s yeast are good sources of selenium.

Foods to Avoid

  • Sugar contributes to weight gain and can also trigger the release of cells that can increase inflammation. Other foods containing highly refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, may have the same effect.
  • Salt can cause cells to attract water and swell the joints. Processed and pre-packaged foods often contain high levels of salt.
  • Transfats and saturated fats are common in processed foods and baked goods, and can trigger inflammation.
  • MSG: A food additive that often features in oriental foods and soy sauce, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) can also be a hidden ingredient in fast foods, soup mixes, and potato and corn snacks. Other additives, such as the sweetener, aspartame, may have a similar effect.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids which occur in various types of cooking oil might boost the body's production of inflammatory chemicals, e.g. corn and sunflower oils.
Obesity, injury, over-exertion and infections can all affect the joints. Weight loss can facilitate relief from several symptoms of arthritis.
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