Osteoarthritis can significantly change the way you live your life. Whether it's rushing around your house to do your daily chores or playing with your kids in the evening, you will find that your ability to do any of these things is significantly diminished due to the mobility impeding nature of this joint disease.
Osteoarthritis is especially limiting when it affects critical motor areas like your knees. The disease leads to inflammation and breakdown of the cartilage in your joints and bones and can lead to severe stiffness and pain to these areas. The good news, however, is that it is now believed that a healthy osteo-specific diet can go a long way in helping you manage major side effects like inflammation and joint pain.
Here are five dietary tips to manage Osteoarthritis better:
Weight management can go a long way in lessening joint pains. Follow a healthy diet that consists of small but wholesome portions, avoid unnecessary sugars like soft drinks and add more fibre in the form of green leafy vegetables to lower your weight.
Tip: Is your new diet leaving you hungry for more? Have a bowl of soup as a starter before your main course to satiate your hunger without significantly adding to your daily calorie limit.
Antioxidants for Joint Health
Fruits and vegetables should be your new best friends as they are rich in antioxidants. This is essentially helpful as inflammation can lead to the production of joint damaging molecules called free radicals. Antioxidants can help defend your body from these harmful free radicals and thus protect you from long-term joint damage.
Add fruits like apples and strawberries as well as green leafy vegetables like palak (spinach) to your diet to help deal with escalating joint pain.
Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Reduce Joint Inflammation
Omega -3 fatty acids are good sources of energy and can thus help relieve pain and stiffness in your joints and muscles by decreasing inflammation. Add fish like Mackerel, leafy greens and mustard or flaxseed oil in your diet to get your required dose of healthy fats.
Fish oil supplements are a great way to boost your Omega-3 intake as they decrease inflammation by suppressing the production of cytokines and enzymes that break down cartilage.
Add Vitamin C to Build Connective Tissue
Vitamin C is an important tool in your arsenal of osteoarthritis fighting foods. Abundantly found in citrus fruits, Vitamin C can help your body in the fight against Osteoarthritis by helping build connective cartilage tissue that is usually ravaged by this form of arthritis.
Go beyond oranges and add fruits like Pineapple, Papaya, Bananas, and Tomatoes as well as vegetables like Cauliflower and Okra (Lady Finger) to get your required amounts of Vitamin C.
Combat Inflammation With Spices
Spices like Turmeric and ginger have great anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric contains a substance called Curcumin that can stave inflammatory chemicals. You can also add fresh ginger and turmeric to your tea and other dishes. Besides these, garlic, cinnamon, and chilli peppers are also known to possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help with osteoarthritis.
There is sufficient evidence to conclude that weight management coupled with a few strategic changes like a balanced diet consisting of green vegetables, nuts, fish and healthy oils can have a positive effect on your fight against osteoarthritis.