Arthritis is a painful condition that is characterized by the inflammation of joints. The pain and discomfort caused by arthritis can severely affect an individual’s daily life and disrupt their daily activities. This is why managing this condition and its symptoms is essential. An effective way to do so is by managing the food regimen and avoiding certain foods and beverages that can worsen the arthritis symptoms. Here are a few such foods and beverages:
1. Sugary foods and drinks like pastries
Consuming foods or beverages with high amounts of added sugar can be severely detrimental to individuals with arthritis. This is because a high sugar intake has been known to cause inflammation. Hence, indulging in snacks with added sugars, such as pastries, candies, jams, etc., must be avoided, as it can increase inflammation and exacerbate arthritis symptoms. For the same reason, one must also avoid sugary beverages such as sodas, soft drinks, and fruit juices, as they contain high amounts of added sugar.
2. Gluten-rich foods like bread
Gluten is a protein mainly found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. Some studies and research have found that gluten intake may also increase inflammation in the body, which can then worsen the symptoms of arthritis. However, this may not hold true for individuals not sensitive to gluten. A safer approach would be to avoid gluten-containing foods like bread, cakes, and noodles for a few days and check if the intensity of arthritis symptoms is reduced. If so, one can avoid gluten and switch to plant-based gluten-free alternatives.
3. Foods with high amounts of salt, like chips
A high salt intake has also been associated with increased inflammation in the body. Additionally, studies have shown that consuming high amounts of salt increases the risk of developing autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Hence, individuals with arthritis must limit their salt intake and avoid foods that contain high amounts of it, such as chips, processed meat, and other types of canned and packaged foods.
4. Refined carbs like white bread
Refined carbs, after consumption, are known to break down into sugar and eventually increase blood sugar levels. This further leads to inflammation in the body, which can exacerbate the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis. Hence, individuals with arthritis must avoid foods that have refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, pastries, etc.
5. Processed foods like frozen pizzas
Highly processed foods, which include fast food, frozen meals like pizzas, and packaged snacks, must also be avoided by individuals with arthritis. This is because most processed foods contain several things mentioned above, such as refined carbohydrates, high amounts of salt, and added sugar, all of which can severely worsen arthritis symptoms. Apart from these, some processed foods may also contain trans fats, which can increase inflammation, further increasing the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis.
6. Red meat
Individuals with arthritis must also avoid highly processed foods, which include fast food, frozen meals like pizzas, and packaged snacks. This is because most processed foods contain several ingredients, such as refined carbohydrates, high amounts of salt, and added sugar, all of which can severely worsen arthritis symptoms. Some processed foods may also contain trans fats, which can increase inflammation, further increasing the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis.
7. Omega-6 fatty acid-rich ingredients like corn oil
Omega-6 fatty acids are found in many commonly used oils, such as sunflower, corn, and vegetable oils. While consuming these in moderation is fine, one must not consume a lot of them, as omega-6 fatty acids have also been known to increase inflammation in the body. Hence, individuals with arthritis must limit their intake of fried foods. Besides these, fried foods also contain saturated fats, which increase inflammation and worsen the pain and swelling of joints caused by arthritis. Omega-6 fatty acids are also present in cheese, so it is best consumed in moderation. To improve the condition and reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis, individuals can switch to olive oil, which is rich in monosaturated fats, which are known to reduce inflammation.
8. Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes
Vegetables that contain a compound called solanine are called nightshade vegetables. These include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Some studies have shown that the compound solanine present in these vegetables may increase inflammation in the body, which can then worsen the symptoms of arthritis. However, there is currently not enough evidence to support these claims. A safer approach for individuals is to avoid consuming nightshade vegetables for a while and check if that improves their condition. If it does, one can avoid or reduce the intake of these vegetables.
While coffee offers antioxidants, some studies have shown that it can increase the risk of arthritis. Since there have been no clear results till now, individuals with arthritis should consume coffee in moderation. It is also advisable for them to monitor their body’s reaction to consuming and avoiding coffee to make an informed decision. They must also avoid adding too much sugar to their coffee to steer clear of the risk of inflammation.
10. Foods with AGE like margarine
Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) are compounds formed when proteins or fats combine with sugars in the bloodstream. These compounds are known to increase inflammation in the body, exacerbating pain and joint damage. Some foods that contain AGEs include fried foods, especially margarine, fried meats, mayonnaise, American cheese, etc. Hence, individuals with arthritis should avoid these foods.
Choosing the right foods plays a big role in managing arthritis. Along with avoiding these foods, individuals can also increase their intake of foods that reduce inflammation, such as berries and olive oil. Moreover, by avoiding sugary, gluten-heavy, or highly processed foods, one not only supports their joint health but also improves their overall well-being.