Think arthritis only affects the elderly? Think again. Rheumatoid arthritis affects more women than men, especially during their reproductive years. If you are someone who is struggling to cope with this new condition while taking care of your family, you are not alone. For tips from experienced moms who have been there, take a look at Mommy Authority. You will find a range of topics covered by qualified health professionals and experienced moms. In addition, read below to understand more about arthritis as well as how you can manage it naturally by eating the right foods.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is simply the inflammation of the joints. Because of this broad definition there are actually over 100 kinds of arthritis but the most commonly seen ones are:
- Osteoarthritis – This occurs when the normal cartilage in a joint is worn away due to many years of friction or a serious injury. This occurs more commonly in older individuals.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – This is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the lining of the joints. This condition can affect any person of any age and has been linked to genetics.
In both types of arthritis, the cartilage that normally cushions joints is reduced or lost. This causes the bones of a joint to rub together when pressure is placed on it. Bones are very sensitive tissue and are surrounded by many nerve fibers, so the impact causes massive pain signals to be sent to the brain. It also causes the release of inflammatory substances which causes swelling in the joint. This swelling can lead to a loss of mobility.
5 Foods To Eat To Manage Arthritis Pain
- Cruciferous vegetables – Vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage contain a compound called sulforaphane. When cartilage cells break down due to mechanical pressure, they release substances called reactive oxygen species which cause damage to neighboring normal cells. This leads to a faster breakdown of the cartilage. Sulforaphane inhibits the chemical breakdown of normal cartilage cells.
- Allium vegetables – Diallyl disulfide – which is found in garlic, onions and leeks – has a similar effect to sulforaphane.
- Fatty fish– Fish such a salmon, tuna and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are great substances for fighting inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids also help with the construction of new cartilage cells.
- Vitamin C and anthocyanin – Foods which contain vitamin C and anthocyanin such as tart cherries, oranges strawberries and pineapples are also very helpful for fighting inflammation. This is because vitamin C and anthocyanin are antioxidants, which means they remove reactive oxygen species from joint tissues.
- Turmeric – Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. Scientific studies which have observed the effects of curcumin in the body have found that it acts in many ways to reduce inflammation. Firstly, it acts as an antioxidant. Secondly, it inhibits the processes which form the chemicals that enhance inflammation.
Take Home Message
A healthy diet is an important first step to managing any condition. Apart from the beneficial substances present in healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet helps to reduce risk of the onset of arthritis and to manage the impact of it. The foods mentioned in this article can be eaten in conjunction with a medical therapy for arthritis to enhance its effect. It is also important to understand that too much of these foods can also be harmful so it is always necessary to maintain a balanced diet. It is a good idea to consult a health care practitioner to discuss methods of managing arthritis and to talk about the foods that can help with arthritis management.