Arthritis is a degenerative condition that is characterized by inflammation and sometimes derangement of the joints. It can be both painful and debilitating. The classification includes commonly known conditions such as Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, but is also used to classify conditions such as Gout, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia.
Inflammation is the main characteristic of arthritic conditions. Inflammation is what our body uses to protect ourselves and recover from infections, injuries, and wounds. Typically, once the body resolves the issue, the inflammation goes away. If you have arthritis – whether it is from an autoimmune response or from the stress on the joints, there is an overwhelming inflammatory response that often does more damage than good.
In addition to prescribed medications, nutrition can play an important role in managing inflammation and helping to relieve the pain associated with arthritis. Some nutritional tips to help reduce inflammation include:
- Consuming a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Consume a diet that is low in unhealthy saturated and trans fats.
- Select whole grain products over more refined carbohydrates such as white bread and white rice.
- Losing weight or maintaining weight within a healthy range can assist with reducing pain and discomfort because additional weight can cause added stress on the joints.
- Include Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
- Include antioxidants in your diet.
There is extensive research on the role of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and inflammation. Omega 3’s can be obtained through the diet by consuming fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel or items such as flax seed, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. It is also available in pleasant tasting supplements available at our clinic.
Antioxidants help to protect your body from damage. Antioxidants can be obtained from foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Consuming a healthy diet can supply the average person with adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. As we age, our ability to absorb certain vitamins and minerals can decrease. Additionally, certain health conditions, lifestyles, eating patterns, and medications can also impact our nutrient needs. Depending on the type of arthritis, supplementation for certain vitamins or minerals may be appropriate to help manage your condition.
It is best to consult with a nutritional professional when looking for ways to naturally relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis. Our nutritional team at the Lavallee Health Centre will assist you with selecting a diet that suits your lifestyle. Call today to book an appointment.