If you suffer from arthritis, climbing stairs, walking from the parking lot to your office building, or unscrewing the lid off a jar might be some of your least favorite activities. On some days, the joint stiffness, swelling, and pain you experience may make you not even want to get out of bed. If living with the discomfort and unpredictability of arthritis is your reality, you’re not alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, 23 percent, or more than 54 million, American adults have arthritis. Interestingly, the foods you eat can intensify the symptoms of arthritis by setting off an inflammatory response in your body. If you suffer from arthritis and joint pain, strive to avoid the following foods as much as possible.
Indulging in a sweet treat such as a donut at the end of a long, stressful day might be one of your favorite pastimes. Unfortunately, donuts, cookies, and other pastries often contain harmful trans fats. Trans fats are known to increase inflammation.
Consuming sugary treats can also boost inflammation by increasing advanced glycation end products, AGEs. An AGE is a toxin that appears when foods are heated, grilled, pasteurized, or fried. AGEs negatively impact specific proteins in your body. As a result, your body attempts to break the AGEs apart by utilizing cytokines. Cytokines are inflammatory messengers. Because sugar goes by many names, always search for words on food labels and ingredient lists ending in “ose” such as sucrose or fructose when reading nutrition labels.
Your body needs a certain amount of omega-6 fatty acids for normal growth and development. However, consuming too many of these fatty acids can trigger your body to manufacture pro-inflammatory chemicals. Vegetable oil, a common ingredient in many American dishes, is high in omega-6 fatty acids. To prepare healthy meals at home, opt for olive oil, coconut oil, and other options with lower omega-6 fatty acid concentrations.
While limiting your consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, consider increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike omega-6 fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids are believed to decrease the amount of inflammation in your body. Good sources of these beneficial acids include salmon, tuna, walnuts, and flax seeds.
Due to the kind of protein they contain, dairy products can contribute to arthritis pain. For some arthritis sufferers, this protein might irritate the tissue around their joints. Instead of getting a significant portion of your protein from dairy sources, consider eating more vegetables, such as spinach, tofu, beans, nut butters, lentils and quinoa. Nowadays, numerous non-dairy substitutes for milk line supermarket shelves including almond milk, coconut milk, and oat milk.
Numerous research studies indicate saturated fats trigger adipose, fat tissue, inflammation. Besides being a precursor for heart disease, adipose can also worsen the inflammation associated with arthritis. Hamburgers and other types of red meat contain massive amounts of saturated fat. Pizza, cheese, and pasta dishes are other common culprits.
Products made from white flour such as white bread are refined carbohydrates. According to Scientific American, refined carbohydrates, rather than fats, might be the main reason for the skyrocketing rates of chronic conditions in this country. High on the glycemic index, refined carbohydrates fuel the production of AGEs. They also contain gluten. If you have celiac disease or another gluten sensitivity, eating white bread and other foods containing gluten may make your arthritis symptoms worse.
Soy sauce contains the flavor boosting food additive mono-sodium glutamate, MSG. MSG can activate two vital pathways of chronic inflammation. It can also be detrimental to liver health. Besides soy sauce, soups, salad dressings, and deli meats often consist of this potentially problematic food additive.
Drinking alcohol puts a strain on your liver. Excessive alcohol consumption weakens liver function, upsets other multi-organ interactions, and can cause inflammation. People who drink alcohol face an increased risk for developing painful gout.
For those suffering from diabetes or simply trying to limit their intake of sugar, diet sodas are popular. Some brands of diet soft drinks, and numerous other sugar-free foods, contain the non-nutritive, intense artificial sweetener aspartame. If you’re sensitive to aspartame, your immune system might react by attacking this chemical. When this occurs, a resulting inflammatory response will ensue.
Living with arthritis can be both painful and disabling. If you suffer from joint pain, eliminating the aforementioned foods from your diet might ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
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