Foods to Avoid and to Include in Your Diet If You Have Arthritis


Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are 100 types of arthritis with different causes and treatments. The most common types are osteoarthritis that develops due to joint overuse and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. RA is commonly seen in adults over 65 years of age, but can also develop in children, teens and younger adults.

It has been found that diet can impact the severity of arthritis symptoms. There is no diet cure for arthritis, but having a wide range of healthy foods can fight inflammation, improve the immune system, and strengthen the bones. Likewise, when you have arthritis, your body is in an inflammatory state and eating certain foods can increase inflammation and also lead to other chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Avoiding such foods can ease the symptoms of arthritis by easing the inflammation in your body. Here are the foods to include and avoid if you have arthritis:

Foods to Include:

  • Oily fish and other Omega-3 rich foods: Oily fish contains plenty of healthful omega-3 fatty acids – polyunsaturated fats that have anti-inflammatory properties. People with osteoarthritis should include at least one portion of sardines, mackerel, salmon, and fresh tuna in their diet per week. People who don’t eat fish can include omega-3 rich items like walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseed oil in their diet.
  • Cherries: It has been found that cherries can reduce the frequency of gout attacks. Cherries contain an ingredient called anthocyanins that have an anti-inflammatory effect. It is also found in blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
  • Broccoli: This green vegetable contains a compound called sulforaphane. Researchers believe that it could slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Broccoli is also rich in calcium and Vitamin K and C.
  • Garlic: Studies have found that people who include foods like garlic, onion, and leeks show fewer signs of early osteoarthritis. Research has found that garlic has cancer-fighting properties, lowers risk of heart disease, and helps strengthen the immune system. According to a study published in Science Direct, diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound in garlic limits the effects of proinflammatory cytokines and helps fight the pain, inflammation, and cartilage damage of arthritis.
  • Spinach: Eating leafy greens can decrease inflammation. Spinach contains plenty of antioxidants and plant compounds that decrease the effect of the inflammatory agents associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Dairy: Low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese contain calcium, and vitamin D. Vitamin D helps in calcium absorption, which helps increase bone strength and boost the immune system. If dairy products don’t agree with you, eat green leafy vegetables rich in vitamin D and calcium.

Foods to Avoid

  • Highly-processed foods: Fast foods, breakfast cereal, and baked goods are high in refined grains, preservatives, added sugar, and other inflammatory ingredients. These items can worsen arthritis symptoms.
  • Alcohol: Drinking too much of alcohol affects liver functioning, interrupts multi-organ interactions, and causes inflammation. Studies have shown that alcohol consumption may increase the severity and frequency of gout attacks. People with arthritis should avoid alcohol or drink in moderation.
  • Foods with high salt content: Foods that are high in salt such as pizza, certain cheeses, canned soups, and other processed items should be avoided. Studies have found that a low salt diet decreased severity of rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers have also found that high sodium intake can lead to autoimmune diseases like inflammatory arthritis.
  • Processed sugar: The sugars that manufacturers added to sweetened beverages like soda, flavored coffees, and some juices are processed sugars that can give rise to cytokines. They act as inflammatory messengers in the body. Sugar goes by many names so look for the word that ends with “ose” on ingredient labels. For instance, fructose or sucrose.
  • Refined carbohydrates: Wheat flour products like breads, rolls, and crackers, white potatoes, white rice, and many cereals are refined carbohydrates that can fuel the production of AGE (Advanced Glycation End) oxidants. They can increase inflammation in the body.
  • Saturated fat: Foods such as pizza, red meat, full-fat dairy products, pasta dishes, and grain–based desserts etc. are high in saturated fat and can cause inflammation in the fat tissue. They increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and other health conditions, and can make arthritis inflammation worse.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids: These are essential fatty acids that your body needs for normal growth and development. They are present in oils such as sunflower, corn, grapeseed, peanut, vegetable, and soy. They are also present in mayonnaise and many salad dressings. Diets high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids can worsen arthritis symptoms. The body needs a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Mono-sodium glutamate: This is a flavor enhancing food additive commonly found in prepared Asian food and soy sauce. It is also found in fast food, prepared soups, and soup mixes. It can exacerbate chronic inflammation and affect liver health.

Although there is no diet cure for arthritis, eating the right foods and avoiding certain items can ease disease symptoms and keep your body function in good working order. It is important that you should know that lifestyle factors like your activity level, body weight, and smoking status also play a vital role in managing arthritis. Keep in mind that you should seek your doctor or dietitian’s advice before making any changes in your diet.

Wearing the Right Shoes Can Help Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Wearing Right ShoesAn ingrown toenail develops when the nails are not trimmed properly. The side of the nail digs into the skin and causes pain, swelling, and inflammation. Wearing shoes that do not fit are a common reason for this foot condition which can prove a major issue for people with diabetes or circulatory difficulties.

Cutting your nails straight across (instead of in a curve) can prevent ingrown nails and associated concerns. Here are some useful tips to buy shoes that fit:

  • When you’re buying shoes, take a tracing of your foot with you. Choose a pair that fits the tracing and is not shorter or narrower than it.
  • As your foot has a tendency to naturally expand with use during the day, shop for your shoes in the afternoon.
  • Make sure that you wear socks that fit your new shoes.
  • The measurement of your feet changes with age, and usually gets larger and wider. So have your feet measured before you buy a new pair.
  • To know if there is enough room for your feet in the new shoes, stand in the shoes and press gently on the top of the shoe. There should be at least half an inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
  • Walk around in the shoes to find out how they feel. Choose a pair that fits comfortably right at the start, not one you think will improve with use.
  • Don’t give much importance to the size marked on the model as it can vary among manufacturers. Your comfort level is the most important thing.
  • Make sure the soles are sturdy enough to offer protection from sharp objects. Try walking on soft surface like a carpet as well as a hard surface to make sure they are comfortable.

You should pay special attention when buying shoes if you spend a considerable amount of time on your feet or have conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. Ask a podiatrist for more advice on how to choose the right pair.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Enjoy These Amazing Benefits

Good Night's SleepA good night’s sleep is vital to refresh yourself and prepare well for the next day. You may be wondering how the quality of your night’s sleep can reflect on your next day. Here are some of the amazing benefits that come your way when investing in quality sleep.

  • First and foremost, it can help improve your memory. During your sleep, you are strengthening your memory power.
  • Good sleep keeps you away from health issues and this would eventually ensure you a longer and more rewarding life.
  • Adequate sleep helps curb inflammation. If this is not controlled, it may lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. So getting timely treatment for sleep disorders can help improve inflammation and blood pressure.
  • Sports persons can benefit from more stamina and less daytime fatigue if they get adequate hours of sleep during the weeks before the match. This in turn will result in increased wining potential too.
  • Sleep is important for students because it will enable them to be more attentive in their classes, improve their learning skills and this would in turn reflect positively on their grades.
  • Lack of sleep can make you put on weight as it may slow down your metabolism. So, in addition to good exercise and a healthy diet, try getting enough sleep hours if you are on a weight loss goal.
  • Lack of sleep can affect your mood as you will feel tired, irritating and heavy. This may affect your judgment, problem-solving skills and creativity. Quality sleep can help you get into a good mood when you wake up and this would reflect positively on whatever you do.
  • After a good night’s sleep, you would look healthier and more pleasant. Lack of sleep will make you look dull and tired.
  • Sleep is also essential for building muscles because it is during the night when you are sleeping that the body heals the damage done to the cells and tissues when you are awake and active.
  • You will drive safe if you’ve had a good night’s sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving results in almost 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths every year.

So develop a habit of getting enough sleep every day despite your busy schedules. Make the necessary changes in your lifestyle to ensure that you get good quality sleep.