If you are suffering from joint inflammation or any of the 120 different types of arthritis then one of the most important areas of your health to focus on is your nutrition.
Arthritis means your body is in an inflammatory state. There are certain foods that have been shown to increase inflammation in the body. Adding these foods in your diet not only worsens the inflammation but can also set you up for other chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Here are the 4 main foods that you need to start eliminating to keep inflammation down:
You would be hiding under a rock not to of heard the argument against processed sugars, and there are many reasons for this. Put simply, processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Sugar goes by many names so look out for any word ending in ose, e.g. fructose or sucrose on ingredient labels, and if you need to add a bit of sweetness try alternatives like Stevia and Xylitol.
Salt attracts water to our cells which can make swollen joints even worse. Try and cut down how much you use as seasoning and in cooking, and consider hidden salts in packaged foods. If you like some salt, beware of common table salt (sodium chloride) and look for natural sustainably resourced salts.
Saturated and Trans Fats
These days we have way too much of these bad fats in our bodies compared to good fats. We need to adjust this imbalance. Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as red meat, so limit your weekly intake. Also look for palm oil and palm-kernel oil in the ingredients lists on food packages.
Trans fats are the worst of the fats. They are processed fats created by treating vegetable oils with hydrogen. These should be eliminated altogether as they are known to trigger systemic inflammation. The Australian government has been pushing companies to eliminatethe use of trans fats in processed foods since the 1990s however they can still be found in some fast foods and fried foods, as well as products such as biscuits and donuts. Avoid these foods and ones with partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient labels. Also be aware of decreasing your Omega 6 Fatty Acid intake (corn, safflower, sunflower, grape seed, soy, peanut, and vegetable oils, mayonnaise, and many salad dressings) and increasing Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids (fish and some nuts).
White flour products (breads, rolls, crackers), white rice, white potatoes (instant mashed potatoes or french fries) and many cereals are refined carbohydrates. These are high-glycemic index foods that fuel the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) , stimulating inflammation. Cut them out as much as you can. Replace carbs with vegetables to obtain a better balance in your diet.
Cutting back on these foods which all promote inflammation, and increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, along with making fish your main protein and getting more omega-3s can all make a difference in the inflammation in your body and reduce your arthritis symptoms.