Diet Tips for Reducing Arthritis Symptoms
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, then you probably know by now that diet plays an important role is managing your condition. But knowing what to eat, and more importantly, what NOT to eat, can be tricky. The fact is, there isn’t any secret food that will make your arthritis go away, and no single food is going to make it drastically more severe. However, there are some best practices to follow when it comes to your diet and arthritis.
By following these tips and integrating CBD into your treatment regimen, you can live a much more enjoyable life with less pain and inflammation.
Did you know that even dogs can develop arthritis and also benefit from CBD? Learn more.
Eat less overall
This one is simple in theory – but as we know, much harder to actually put into practice. What you need to understand is that arthritis joint pain can get worse with the more weight you are carrying. Do your back and knees a favor and try to eat less overall. Not everyone may need to lose weight (you might already be underweight).
Always discuss your symptoms and treatments with a medical professional. In addition to eating less, we recommend getting more active so you can tackle weight loss via exercise and diet. Read here for the best low-impact workouts!
Avoid fried food and processed foods (cookies, candy, chips, etc.)
Research shows that these foods can cause and/or increase inflammation, and that cutting them from your diet will reduce inflammation. This point is also important considering tip #1 – to lose weight. Add more natural foods like vegetables and fruit to your diet. Your body will thank you.
There is a caveat to this tip of “eating more vegetables”
Love him or hate him, hall of fame NFL QB Tom Brady swears by his own strict diet – which avoids tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and eggplant. These are known as “nightshade vegetables” and there is some debate as to whether or not they cause or reduce inflammation. Our tip is to find out for yourself. If your arthritis is bad, then you might as well give it a try to cut these foods from your diet for a few weeks.
Cut back on sugar (soda, sweetened juice)
This is definitely good dietary advice that anybody and everybody should follow – arthritis or not. Try to only get sugar from natural foods like fruits (blueberries, strawberries and bananas are some of our favorites for snacking).
Sugar can increase the amount of AGEs in your blood (advanced glycation end products). This sounds scientific, but the important thing to know is that increased AGEs are bad. This increases inflammation which equals more pain.
Try cutting dairy
This one might not be for everyone, but it’s certainly worth a try to see if you can reduce your pain and inflammation. There is conflicting research on whether dairy (i.e. milk) reduces inflammation or makes it worse. We suggest that you speak to your doctor to discuss any possibly food allergies before making any major switch.
You might discover that cutting dairy milk from your diet does in fact improve your arthritis. If you can, consider replacing dairy milk with almond, cashew, soy, or coconut milk. Find whichever one your taste buds enjoy and after a few weeks you might forget all about dairy.
Reduce/quit smoking and drinking
It is no secret that both alcohol and tobacco use can lead to health issues, both in the short and long term. If you have arthritis, you have an increased incentive to quit (or at least cut back) on these vices. Smoking and drinking both increase the risk for developing arthritis, among other problems such as gout.
There are more resources to help you quit now than ever before. So even if you’ve tried and failed to quit smoking or drinking in the past, it’s never too late to reap the benefits of quitting today.
Reduce your salt intake
This is a pretty standard dieting tip, just like cutting back on sugar. High sodium diets can cause high-blood pressure, and can also cause joint inflammation. Read food labels to avoid excessively salty foods. When you cook at home, only add salt to taste once your meal is prepared. Also try to altogether eliminate any frozen microwavable meals in your diet, as almost all of these are extremely high in sodium.
Foods to add to your diet:
Omega-3 fatty acids
- chia seeds
- flaxseed oil
- fresh fruits and vegetables
High fiber foods
- whole-grain oats
- research has shown that olive oil has anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Thank you for reading! Knowledge is power, and learning is key to living a better life.
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