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Inflammatory foods to avoid if you have arthritis
Arthritis is a common and chronic health condition involving inflammation in your joints and surrounding tissue. It causes pain and damage to joints and bones, and if not managed well, it can be a crippling condition to live with. While there are many factors that can contribute to arthritis, did you know that your diet can also play a big part in your arthritis pain and symptoms?
While there are certain foods that contain anti-inflammatory components which help alleviate symptoms of arthritis, common ingredients can actually increase symptom severity! Research shows us that dietary changes, such as eliminating certain foods and beverages, reduce inflammation and pain, helping those with arthritis improve their overall quality of life!
For those who suffer from arthritis, here are the top 5 inflammatory foods to cut out or avoid. Removing these foods from your diet will greatly improve your condition and reduce symptoms of arthritis.
While health practitioners encourage everybody to limit sugar intake, those with arthritis are urged to greatly reduce, or eliminate if possible, daily sugar intake. Foods and beverages that contain sugar trigger the release of proteins in the body called cytokines, which ultimately cause inflammation. Watch out for fizzy drinks, pastries, chocolate, candy and even fruit juices. Always check ingredients and avoid items that contain corn syrup, fructose, sucrose or maltose.
Processed and red meats
Diets heavy in processed and red meats are not recommended for those who suffer from arthritis as these meats have been shown to trigger inflammation in the body. Red meat also contains high levels of saturated fat which can exacerbate inflammation and also contribute to being overweight, which puts more strain on your already painful joints.
Plant-based diets that exclude red and processed meats have been shown to improve arthritis symptoms. View our range of superfood health foods here!
Alcohol is rich in sugar and calories, so daily consumption can lead to increased body fat and weight gain, which can also worsen arthritis symptoms. Not only that, but as we mentioned before, sugar has an inflammatory effect on the body, which increases symptoms of arthritis. Another major reason why those with arthritis should avoid alcohol consumption is dehydration, which causes reduction in joint lubrication and worsening of joint pain.
Alcohol may also interact with prescription or over-the-counter drugs you may be taking to treat arthritis. View our range of natural anti-inflammatories for joint pain and mobility!
Gluten, the protein found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley, is now more than ever being cut out of many peoples' diets. Common symptoms of gluten-intolerance include bloating, diarrhea, headaches, wind, fatigue and more. But people who are gluten-intolerant aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a gluten-free diet. Gluten can also cause inflamed joints and muscle soreness in some people, especially those who suffer from arthritis.
View Gluten-Free Cassava Flour - One of the richest sources of carbohydrates and a good source of minerals such as Calcium, Phosphorus, Manganese, Iron and Potassium (use as you would any flour for cooking or baking).
View Gluten-Free Flax Flour - Delicious nutty flavour that's great for baking, salads, smoothies, cereal, yoghurt, or even in cooked meals like pasta or soup - healthy source of fibre, protein, and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Cheese and high-fat dairy
Cheeses, butter, margarine and mayonnaise are all examples of dairy products rich in both saturated fats and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) - big inflammation (and weight-gain) triggers! View Ghee, a healthy, lactose free alternative to ordinary butter and cooking oils!
In general, if you follow a daily diet containing lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, avoiding processed food, red meat, sugar, gluten and alcohol, your joints will thank you!
If you have any health-related questions, please contact us or leave a comment below for FREE advice. We always love hearing from you!