Managing OsteoArthritis pain can be challenging. And many factors contribute to successful treatment. Unfortunately, there is no specific OsteoArthritis diet plan. As a basic rule of thumb, you will want to stick to foods that relieve inflammation and avoid inflammatory ones. The following lists can give you some ideas for which foods to eat more of and which to avoid to manage your OA pain.
Foods that are Helpful for OsteoArthritis Pain
- Drink Green Tea
While its health benefits are widely known, have you considered green tea for OsteoArthritis pain? It is packed with polyphenols, meaning that it’s helpful in treating a multitude of inflammatory diseases, including OA.
If you are suffering from OsteoArthritis pain, you should definitely consider making cups of green tea a part of your regular routine. Don’t like the taste? Try adding a little bit of honey. Or, though research shows it is effective to a lesser extent, you can also try black tea to treat OA pain.
- Eat More Salmon
Salmon’s abundance of omega-3 fatty acids gives it anti-inflammatory properties, meaning—you guessed—it is another helpful food in the treatment of osteoarthritis pain.
Not sure about how to prepare salmon? There are tons of possibilities and there are plenty of great recipes on the internet (the smoked salmon pizza recipe is awesome). Plus, canned salmon and frozen salmon retain many of the same useful nutrients as fresh salmon.
- Speaking of Omega-3s …
… Many nuts like walnuts and seeds like pumpkin or hemp are also rich in those fatty acids. Almonds are a good source of Vitamin E (another vitamin shown to protect against oxidative stress). You will want to be sure to be very aware of portion size. Though they are nutrient-dense, many nuts and seeds are also relatively high in calories.
As a trick, try portioning them out ahead of time in reusable Tupperware containers or small plastic bags. When you have got those in your pantry, you will be in good shape when hunger strikes and you need a quick, nutritious snack. For nuts like almonds or walnuts, you will want the serving size to be about ¼ of a cup. For seeds (like pumpkin), you can go ahead and plan on eating ½ a cup at a time.
- Have a Glass of OJ …
… Or, really, any citrus. Not only is the high Vitamin C content in these fruits is helpful in boosting your immune system, it also helps your body generate collagen—an important building block for integral parts of your joints like cartilage and ligaments.
As a bonus, many popular brands of orange juice available at the grocery store are fortified with Vitamin D and calcium—a complementary duo of nutrients that work together to build strong bones.
- Get Spicy!
Certain spices you likely already know and love have similar anti-inflammatory properties to some of the other food recommendations mentioned above. To treat osteoarthritis pain, consider adding herbs and spices like turmeric, cinnamon or ginger. The range of flavors represented in this group are so diverse, you might even be able to sprinkle on a little of one or the other at every meal!
Foods that Worsen OsteoArthritis Pain
So, now that we have discussed some of the foods that can help treat OsteoArthritis pain, let’s examine which foods you should avoid. Here are five foods that can contribute to OA pain:
- Avoid Fried and Processed Foods
Who doesn’t love a good donut or french fry? Unfortunately, medical research indicates that you really can have too much of a good thing … Aside from the obvious ways these foods can interfere with weight management, it has been observed that the Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) in these foods are associated with increased inflammation—a huge concern for anyone suffering from an inflammatory disease like osteoarthritis. The AGEs “proliferate when foods are heated, pasteurized, dried, smoked, fried or grilled.”
If you (understandably) cannot eliminate these foods from your diet completely, at least consider cutting back on them. Find ways to substitute items like raw fruits and veggies instead.
- Don’t Eat Eggs!
Or at least don’t eat the yolks! While eggs are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, the yolk portion is full of saturated fats and cholesterol. Additionally, they are a source of arachidonic acid, a particular molecule that increases inflammation in the body. This molecule is also found in red meats and other animal fats.
- Don’t Pop that (Beer) Top
You probably know that drinking too much beer is bad for you. And not to be wet blankets, but researchers have found that beer consumption is also correlated with increased instances of OA.
But, fear not! The same study found that drinking wine actually decreased OA in its participants.
Before making any drastic changes to your diet, be sure to consult your doctor. As with any treatment, results will vary from individual to individual. To discuss your situation with an experienced practitioner, contact us today!