Arthritis has been a common disorder and it is usually characterized by inflammation and pain in the joint. While there are different types of arthritis including psoriatic, rheumatoid, and osteoarthritis – the treatment for all kinds usually focuses on reducing inflammation.
Researchers have however found that certain foods commonly trigger painful swelling, and your doctor may recommend that you try an elimination diet to determine which ones bother you the most. While no diet can cure arthritis, you can have reduced inflammation when you pay attention to your diet.
Here are a few foods that trouble people with arthritis.
Dairy products contain a type of protein that scientists believe irritate the tissue surrounding your joints. It doesn’t bother everyone, but adults don’t really need much dairy in their diets anyway.
You can try eliminating dairy to see if your bad arthritis days decrease. It’s easy to replace the protein in dairy with foods like quinoa, lentils, nut butters, tofu, beans, and spinach.
Tobacco is not technically a food, but is something that is quite harmful to put into your body. Studies reveal that smokers are at a higher risk for rheumatoid arthritis, and it is damaging to joints, bones, and connective tissue. If you don’t have arthritis already, you may be able to prevent it by quitting smoking now.
If you have been diagnosed, definitely quit smoking! Not only does it cause painful symptoms, it makes arthritis treatment less effective and causes additional complications if you ever need surgery.
Drinking alcohol frequently makes you more likely to develop gout, a disease that can cause arthritis particularly in the feet. When you have gout, uric acid is not metabolized correctly, creating tiny crystals that irritate your joints and results in inflammation. Too much alcohol also forces your liver to work overtime, weakening it and causing yet more inflammation.
A high daily intake of sugar can worsen your inflammation and that is exactly what you are trying to avoid. That’s because of a spike in advanced glycation end products (or AGEs), which occur when protein or fat in the body interacts with sugar.
AGEs are responsible for accelerated aging, increased risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, and of course, inflammation. Processed sugars can also cause the release of cytokines, the body’s inflammatory messengers.
Food additives such as monosodium glutamate are notably troublesome for people with arthritis. It is a salt-based powder added to many Asian foods like soy sauce, but not just Asian foods.
You are likely to find MSG in many salad dressings, soup mixes, fast foods, and deli meats. The main issue with it is probably the sodium content, which can cause water retention and swelling.