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For individuals grappling with arthritis, alongside adopting lifestyle changes and exercises to alleviate pain and enhance mobility, selecting the right foods can significantly contribute to pain relief and overall well-being. Inflammation stands as a prominent symptom of arthritis, and consuming foods that exacerbate inflammation only exacerbates the condition. So, what dietary choices should arthritis patients steer clear of to mitigate inflammation triggers?
1. Sugary Desserts
Reducing sugar intake isn’t just beneficial for arthritis patients; it’s advantageous for everyone. Managing sugar consumption can aid in controlling blood pressure, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and managing body weight. Added sugars found in commercial fruit juices, sodas, desserts, and certain foods intensify inflammation and stimulate cytokine production. While eliminating sugar entirely may require some adjustment, moderating its consumption can effectively help manage arthritis symptoms.
2. Excessive Salt
If you habitually reach for the salt shaker with every meal, it might be time to reconsider. Whether or not you have arthritis, excessive salt intake contributes to elevated blood pressure and increases the risk of stroke and chronic heart diseases. For arthritis patients, excess salt exacerbates inflammation, hindering everyday activities.
3. Processed Foods and Red Meat
Studies indicate that excessive consumption of processed foods and red meat exacerbates arthritis symptoms. These foods can induce inflammation by raising levels of homocysteine and C-reactive protein.
4. Dairy Products
Indulging in sweetened supermarket yogurt or opting for full-fat milk and cream could exacerbate arthritis symptoms. While dairy products like yogurt offer benefits for gut health, skin, and hair, they also contain casein, which can trigger low-grade inflammation. Opting for moderate daily consumption of low-fat or skim milk can be a better choice.
5. Gluten-Rich Foods
Frequent consumption of gluten-rich foods such as bread and pasta can heighten inflammation due to the presence of glycoprotein. For individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, gluten can exacerbate symptoms, though not all arthritis patients react adversely to gluten.
In managing arthritis, a balanced diet complements the treatment regimen and helps prevent and alleviate symptoms. Alongside dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, moderating alcohol consumption, regular exercise, and other modifications can also play a pivotal role in managing arthritis pain.