Osteoarthritis and Your Diet
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OA affects more than 30 million adults in the United States. This degenerative joint disease develops when the joints begin breaking down, changing the underlying bone and causing severe joint pain and swelling.
Because OA is an inflammatory condition, diet can negatively and positively affect symptom severity. Here are a list of foods to limit or reduce and a list of foods to incorporate or eat on a daily basis that may reduce inflammation and pain associated with OA:
Foods to Limit or Reduce (not eat on a regular basis)
Salt: Eating foods with high salt-content causes your cells to retain water and swell; This will lead to additional inflammation and discomfort (pressure) on your joints. Try to consume less than 2,000mg daily or around 600mg per meal.
Sugar: Processed and added sugars found in sodas, sweet teas, juices, candy, flavored syrups, and jelly can trigger the release of proinflammatory cytokines, which can worsen inflammation and pain.
Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbs such as white bread, chips, baked goods, and white rice can aid in the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which can cause inflammation.
Foods to Incorporate on a daily basis
Fish or ground flaxseed: Salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate the swelling associated with osteoarthritis. Not a fan of any of those fish? Try adding ground flaxseed to your oatmeal in the morning for these benefits!
Low-fat dairy: Low-fat Milk and low-fat yogurt are sources of vitamin D, calcium, and protein. These vitamins, minerals, and nutrients promote bone strength and can help build muscle, which can alleviate pain. Low-fat dairy also generally has anti-inflammatory effects.
Dark leafy greens and mushrooms: Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, and collard greens are rich in antioxidants. Mushrooms are a source of vitamin D which aids in calcium absorption. Both foods help to boost the body’s immune system as well as decrease inflammation.
Nuts: Nuts are an excellent source of zinc, vitamin E, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which all help to boost the immune system. Stick with ¼ cup serving to avoid excess sodium and calories from fat.
It is important and often comforting to understand everything you can when it comes to living with osteoarthritis and pain management. At Kirby Medical Center, our team of orthopedic specialists create treatments customized for your specific needs to provide personalized bone and joint services. We are dedicated to helping patients with conditions related to osteoarthritis live more comfortably. Call (217) 876-6600 for more on our orthopedic