The food we eat has a direct impact on our health. You must have heard about a well-known saying, “You are what you eat”. If we are suffering from any kind of medical health condition, we need to refrain from getting exposed to their triggers. In winter, arthritis usually gets worsened due to a dip in temperature and stiffness of joints. The foods you consume can have a direct impact on your arthritis condition, and some of them may flare up the symptoms also. Inflammation, which plays a major role in the pathogenesis of arthritis, is often influenced by a person’s diet.
Making simple modifications to your diet can help a long way in preventing the worsening of your condition. Avoiding triggers can aid in managing arthritis even in winter.
Foods that trigger arthritis
- Fried and processed foods contain trans fats. Trans fats are added to them to preserve them. Trans fats trigger inflammation and the amount is always mentioned in the nutritional content box. Reducing such foods in your diet can reduce inflammation and actually boost the body’s defense mechanisms.
- Omega 6 fatty acids are helpful in avoiding arthritis if consumed moderately. Excess consumption results in inflammatory chemicals.
- Sugars increase the levels of AGEs. Foods that are high in sugar such as pastries, candy, chocolate, and soda trigger the release of cytokines which play a significant role in inflammation. However, sugar alternatives are to be avoided too as they are found in diet sodas, sugar-free candy, low-fat yogurt, and gum.
- Advanced Glycosylation End-products or AGEs are toxins that appear when food is heated at high temperatures. Thus, avoid heated, pasteurized, grilled, or fried food.
- Refined carbohydrates increase blood sugar levels which in turn increases inflammation in the body. People who are gluten sensitive may have joint pains and inflammation in consuming wheat products.
- Red meat is high in saturated fats, which increases body cholesterol and further increases inflammation. Meat, particularly when grilled, broiled, roasted, or fried contains high levels of AGEs.
- The protein found in dairy products can irritate the tissue around joints.
- Excessive consumption of eggs has to be avoided.
- Cutting down on tobacco and alcohol consumption may help in healthy living and decrease the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Fresh fruits such as apples, apricots, berries, kiwis, grapes, and bananas.
- Oils like flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and olive oil.
- Nuts like almonds and walnuts
- Dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli
- Spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric
- Green tea, dark chocolates, and mineral water are anti-inflammatory in nature.
- Whole grains like millet, barley, quinoa, and wheat.
(Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other health professionals for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.)