Do Certain Foods Help Arthritis?
Beyond the recommendations for eating a healthy diet, making nutritious choices, controlling food portions, and managing your weight, there are also diets recognized as anti-inflammatory diets.
Is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Good for You?
Large amounts of arachidonic acid, which you get when you eat animal foods, can increase inflammation. Some arachidonic acid is essential, but too much can worsen inflammation. The American diet consists largely of meat and dairy. The anti-inflammatory diet recommends reducing the amount of saturated fats by decreasing your intake of animal and dairy products.
There are no diets that offer a miracle cure for arthritis. An anti-inflammatory diet is also not a cure, but the diet recommends substituting foods that produce more inflammatory chemicals with foods that produce less inflammatory chemicals.
Decrease the amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in margarine, corn oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and partially hydrogenated oils. Instead, use monounsaturated oils, such as olive oil or canola oil. Reduce how much filler you eat, such as crackers, pastries, cookies, and chips.
Instead, increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which you will find in cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring), flaxseeds or flaxseed oil, omega-3 fortified eggs, walnuts, green leafy vegetables, fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables, and by adding ginger or turmeric to your diet.
Eating Better with Gout
The American Medical Association recommends the following dietary guidelines for people with gout, advising them to eat a diet:
High in complex carbohydrates, such as fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, vegetables
Low in protein (soy, lean meats, poultry)
No more than 30 percent of calories derived from fat; 10 percent from animal fats
Recommended foods for gout patients include:
Fresh cherries, strawberries, blueberries, red-blue berries
Vegetables, green; leafy
Foods high in vitamin C
8 glasses of water each day
Dairy products that are low fat
Chocolate, cocoa, coffee, tea, carbonated beverages
Essential fatty acids (tuna, salmon, flax seed, nuts, seeds)
Tofu may be a good alternative to meat
Asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, peas, spinach, whole-grain breads and cereals, chicken, duck, ham, turkey, kidney, and lima beans are considered to be moderate in purines and may not negatively affect gout if eaten in reasonable quantities.
To summarize, if you are looking for a diet plan other than the food pyramid recommendations, learn more about the anti-inflammatory diet principles, especially if you have an inflammatory form of arthritis, and the low-purine diet if you have gout.