Good Diet Habits for Those with Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease caused by degradation or deformation of the joints. Weight bearing joints and joints that are frequently subjected to wear and tear, such as your knuckles, wrists, lower back, knees and ankles, are highly susceptible to this disease. Osteoarthritis is marked by intense pain, stiffness, creakiness and loss of joint mobility. This disease can occur naturally with age or be instigated by high impact exercises or injury. You are also more likely to develop osteoarthritis if you are diabetic, obese or suffer from nutritional deficiencies. By the same notion, you can help delay the onset and alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis through good diet and nutrition.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Being overweight or obese can significantly increase the frictional damage to your joints. Excess body fat overburdens your joints, causes narrowing of joint space, and accentuates uneven weight bearing and misalignment. To reduce your joint pain and avoid further damage, you need to strengthen and tone your joint muscles and keep your body weight within the normal range. Avoid oily and highly sweetened foods that are loaded with calories and promote fat aggregation. Foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar are also prone to cause inflammation and can heighten your level of pain and discomfort.

Additionally, you should reduce the amount of sodium in your diet. Overdose of sodium inhibits your body’s absorption of calcium and other essential nutrients that are involved in bone and joint development. Studies have shown that high salt diets can make your bones and joints become brittle and increase your risks for fractures and other joint injuries.

Focus on Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Stay on a predominantly vegetarian diet with an assortment of vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits are extremely conducive to weight loss and are loaded with nutrients that promote joint health. They are the best sources for antioxidant vitamins and phytonutrients, like vitamins A and C, lycopene, anthocyanin and resveratrol, which are great for reducing inflammation, swelling and pain. 

Incorporate healthy nuts and fatty cold-water fish in your diet. These foods are excellent sources of good fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, pantothenic acid and selenium. These anti-inflammatory nutrients have all been proved to suppress swelling, pain, increase mobility and deter joint deterioration.

Take Supplements

Glucosamine chondroitin is the most popular dietary supplement to treat osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is a precursor of the protein that forms your joint cartilage. Studies have shown that regular intake of glucosamine can help prevent cartilage degeneration. Glucosamine produces much better results when used in combination with chondroitin. Patients treated with glucosamine chondroitin had less pain and swelling and showed better joint functionality.

Glucosamine and chondroitin occur naturally in animal cartilage, bones and bone marrow. They are also found in the exoskeleton of shellfish. Asian cultures have been using shark cartilage, ox bones and pig ears as effective remedies for osteoarthritis. For more acute symptoms, glucosamine chondroitin is available in concentrated dosages as an over-the-counter supplement.

In addition to the above mentioned tips, you should also include herbal remedies for osteoarthritis in your regular diet. Ginger, cinnamon and dried chili peppers are all proven to help relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis. 

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