Can Diet Affect Osteoarthritis?

osteoarthritisUnlike with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis is not a disease which we associate with a specific diet. Before we get into the osteoarthritis diet and how it can help those suffering from osteoarthritis we need to get a better understanding of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by mechanical stress on the joints which causes degeneration of the cartilage. The joints which are most commonly affected are the hips, knees, hands, ankles, neck and spine.

Because it is a disease caused predominantly by wear and tear it is most commonly found in older people. Overuse of a particular joint can result in osteoarthritis. The disease is most prevalent in older, white females who are overweight.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis on the other hand is cause by inflammation in the joints which causes the cartilage destruction. With regards to diet and Rheumatoid arthritis it has been well documented that a diet which is anti-inflammatory in nature can ease and even abate symptoms of the disease. Up until recently however the only reason for dieting when one was inflicted with osteoarthritis was to keep excess weight off so that more stress is not put on the joints. There is something short sighted in this approach however because when one has osteoarthritis, inflammation does occur as a result of physical damage. This inflammation causes further pain in the joints, so opting for an anti-inflammatory diet can be of great benefit to sufferers.

 

Avoid

• Refined foods such as white breads and rice, pasta, cakes, biscuits, pies and sugar.
• Junk and processed foods of all kinds
• Foods high in trans and saturated fats

 

Opt for

• Fresh fruits and vegetables (eat as much raw veg as possible)
• Foods high in omega 3 such as salmon, mackerel, snoek, cod liver oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil
• Foods that contain Beta-carotene such as: spinach, kale, pumpkin, peppers, carrots, butternut, broccoli, apricots
• Lots of water, at least 2-3 litres of water a day
• Green tea
• Lean cuts of meat such as: chicken and fish (avoid red meat or keep to a minimum)
• Spices like rosemary, turmeric, ginger and cayenne pepper