Arthritis and Food

1107-32Olive oil is not just a heart healthy oil, but is great for arthritis as well. It is a monounsaturated fat that relieves inflammation and its antioxidant fight free radicals. A study in Greece of 300 people showed that those who consumed 3 or more tablespoons a day had half the rate of RA compared to those who consumed much less or none at all.

Fish Oil is well known for its cardiovascular benefits but it has been shown to be beneficial for arthritis as well. Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids, while vegetable oils, eggs, meats, milk and many processed foods contain omega-6 fatty acids. These two fatty acids need to be in balance to prevent inflammation.

Throughout human history our diets have provided a 1:1 ratio of these two fats creating balance in the body. These two fats balance each other to control many bodily functions. The current typical American diet now provides as high as a 20:1 ration in favor of omega-6. This ration promotes inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Eating lots of cold water fish including tuna, mackeral, salmon, and trout. Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Flaxseed Oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids which help control compounds called cytokines which cause inflammation. Try 1 tablespoon for every 100 pounds you weigh. It is available in capsules and as oil that can be poured onto vegetables and salads, or seeds that can be sprinkled on salads or yogurt. The oil breaks down with heat and it’s not suited for cooking and needs to be stored in your refrigerator. Alpha-linolenic acid in flaxseeds can be converted to EPA and DHA in the body, but the conversion can be inefficient in some people, especially in older people who may want to try fish oil instead.

Evening primrose oil: The seed from this plant is rich in the omega 6 fatty acid gamma linoleic acid (GLA). GLA is helpful in fighting rheumatoid arthritis that does not always respond to glucosamine supplements. GLA blocks the helps prevent the excess of prostaglandins which cause inflammation.

Pumpkin Seeds: Not just for Halloween, these seeds make a healthful snack. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, selenium (an anti-inflammatory mineral), vitamin E, beta carotene and other antioxidants helpful for inflammation and joints.

Cherries have been known for years as a folk remedy for arthritis, but now there is proof to the remedy. Michigan State University studies have confirmed that the compounds that give tart cherries their bright red shade also relieve pain. The compounds also are rich in antioxidants, which slow the body’s natural process of deterioration. When in pain, eat plenty of cherries.

Sweet Bell Peppers in yellow, red and green varieties all rich in vitamin C which is one of the most essential nutrients for building collagen. Collagen is a major component of the cartilage that serves to cushion your joints.

Pacific oysters – A recent discoveries in nutrition. These oysters have been shown to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and block an enzyme that can cause erosion of the joint cartilage.

Beta-cryptoxanthin is a carotenoid that is coverted to vitamin A in the body. Researchers have found that those whose diets are high in this nutrient were almost half as likely to suffer from arthritis.

Foods rich in eta-cryptoxanthin are: pumpkins, papaya, mango, peaches, oranges, tangerines, bell peppers, corn, watermelon and egg yolks.


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