There are many different types of arthritis. “Arthritis” is considered an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of conditions that affect the joints. Many of those conditions — including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis, among others — involve inflammation.
Inflammation increases the pain you feel. Medications are available that can reduce inflammation, but you may be able to reduce inflammation naturally by avoiding certain foods. Changing your diet generally doesn’t cost much, if anything, and doesn’t involve drugs that could have undesirable side effects.
Avoiding these eight foods, or ingredients in foods could help you experience less inflammation — and less pain.
1. Fatty foods. Trans fats, such as the fat in fast foods, fried foods, processed foods, donuts, and many other convenience foods, are closely related to inflammation. By reducing or eliminating fried and processed foods from your diet, you’re likely to lower your level of inflammation.
2.Processed/Refined carbohydrates. Foods that contain flour, such as breads and crackers, and foods such as white rice and instant mashed potatoes are high-glycemic foods that cause inflammation. These refined carbs are also linked to obesity and a host of chronic conditions.
3. Sugar. Sugar is also a refined carbohydrate, but it’s pervasive enough in the standard Western diet to be mentioned on its own. If you drink soda, eat candy, or enjoy cakes and other sweets, you may benefit from reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet.
4. AGEs. Advanced glycation end (AGE) products are toxins that your body produces after eating certain foods. They can damage some proteins in your body, and then your immune system responds by trying to destroy the AGEs with cytokines. Cytokines cause inflammation.
AGEs are produced when you eat foods cooked at high temperatures, such as grilled, fried, or pasteurized foods. Avoiding them can help reduce inflammation.
5. Dairy. Dairy contains a protein called casein, which may contribute to inflammation. Avoiding dairy could reduce the amount of inflammation in the tissues surrounding your joints, which can lead to less pain.
6. Additives. Additives are less obvious than ingredients such as sugar and flour, but they can contribute to the pain you feel from inflammation. Monosodium glutamate, aspartame, and salt have been linked to increased inflammation. Processed foods, diet sodas, and other convenience products often contain one or more of these inflammatory additives.
7. Alcohol and tobacco. Smoking increases your risk of rheumatoid arthritis and may also cause increased inflammation. Alcohol has been linked to gout, another form of inflammatory arthritis. Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake have many health benefits.
8. Gluten. People who have celiac disease or who are sensitive to gluten may experience joint inflammation and pain. You may want to try cutting out gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye to see if you feel a difference in joint pain whether you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or not.
A healthy, anti-inflammatory diet is rich in vegetables and fruits and includes plenty of proteins derived from plants. If you’d like to learn more about how to reduce or eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet, book a consultation at Modern Concepts and Revive Chiropractic online or by phone today.