By Dt. Khushboo Sahijwani Matta, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The inflammation of joint which causes a loss of mobility, pain and stiffness are known as arthritis. Arthritis is a very common musculoskeletal condition that affects both men and women. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and damages the patient’s cartilage and bones.
Although this disease cannot be treated and cured, a few changes to your diet can help slow down the wear and tear process and can help alleviate the pain associated with it.
Here are a few food items you should begin including in your diet.
- Green tea: Green tea is rich in a natural antioxidant known as epigallocatechin 3 gallate. This is not found in most other teas. This antioxidant helps fight toxins in the body and reduces the production of inflammatory chemicals associated with arthritis. It is also said to have the ability to prevent the cartilage damage. Green tea also aids in weight losswhich in turn reduces the pressure on joints and lowers pain.
- Omega 3 fats: Not all fats are unhealthy. Omega 3 fats help lower the production of enzymes responsible for cartilage erosion. It also helps strengthen bones and joints and reduces joint swelling and stiffness. Omega 3 fats are also associated with increasing energy levels and can help fight fatigue. Some of the foods rich in this fat are sardines, salmon, flaxseeds and walnuts.
- Anthocyanins: This is a potent antioxidant responsible for the reddish colour of fruits and vegetables such as cherries, strawberries, black grapes, plums and eggplant. By lowering the production of inflammatory chemicals, this antioxidant helps reduce inflammation in the joints. It is also rich in vitamin Cand strengthens the connective tissue in the body.
- Turmeric and ginger: These spices are rich in certain phytonutrients that have an anti-inflammatory effect. They can also help relieve pain associated with arthritis. While turmeric is usually used in its dry and powdered form, ginger is best used when fresh. To benefit from it, grate a little fresh ginger into your tea or add it to your salad dressings.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C not only helps fight arthritis, it can also prevent osteoarthritis. This is because vitamin C is largely responsible for collagen production which is a major component of cartilage. However, high doses may aggravate the symptoms of this disease and hence it is best to choose a dietary source of vitamin C rather than supplements. Citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, pineapple etc are a few fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C.