Sometimes the easiest way to improve your health with conditions like arthritis is by modifying lifestyle choices like diet and exercise. Arthritis causes pain and stiffness in joints and muscle,s which can stop people from doing every day tasks. No diets can cure arthritis, but by making small changes, like eating more fruits and vegetables, arthritis symptoms can be improved to manage pain. A Mediterranean diet has been known to help ease chronic pain associated with arthritis. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes: eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Replacing butter when cooking with healthy fats such as olive oil or canola oil. Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.
Arthritis is a debilitating condition that causes pain and disability. It causes pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles, stopping you from doing simple things many take for granted – walking, moving, lifting and standing. Although there are no diets or dietary supplements that will cure arthritis, some people do find that a change in diet can improve symptoms and help to manage pain, and the difficulties of everyday living.
If you are overweight, losing some weight will reduce the strain on your joints so you may find you don’t need to take painkillers quite so often. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to change the way you eat and the amount of exercise you do. You need to balance your food intake against the energy you burn. Because of the way our joints work, the pressure on our knee joints is five-six times our body weight when walking, so even a small weight loss can make a big difference if you have arthritis.
Eat more fruit and vegetables
The World Health Organization recommends that you eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. This is to make sure your body receives the important nutrients that it needs to maintain good health and to protect it during the stress of disease. It has been suggested that antioxidants may help to protect the joints by mopping up some of the chemicals that cause inflammation. Choose more vegetables or salad to help fill your plate but lower your calorie intake. Fruit and vegetables are good sources of fibre and choosing fruit and vegetables of different colors will give you a variety of vitamins and minerals. Brightly colored vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants, as are leafy green vegetables.
Exercise not only burns calories that would otherwise end up as fat, it also increases your strength and suppleness. It’s important to find something you can manage and enjoy as this will encourage you to do it regularly.
Calcium, along with nutrients like vitamin D and magnesium, is important for maintaining healthy bones. Calcium deficiency increases your risk of osteoporosis, which is even more of a risk for women after the menopause. Many people with arthritis also have a risk of developing osteoporosis.