Arthritis is real and it hurts. It can significantly impact your life. Chronic aches and pains also take a toll on your emotional health. There are several reasons behind your recent flare-up. What you eat or drink may be one of them. In this article, we are going to talk about 7 foods and beverages to avoid if you have arthritis.
1- Red meat
If you have arthritis, you might want to take a break from your favorite piece of beef. No doubt they’re delicious. But the negative health impact is far greater than its taste. Red and processed meats inflame your body, making you vulnerable to several diseases. Why does that happen? Well because red meats and processed meats have a high level of various inflammatory markers. These inflammatory markers worsen conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
This has been proven by science through various research. For instance, one study, involving people with arthritis, observed their symptoms and diet. It was reported eating red meat and processed meat had worsened their condition. There was also a study to determine the direct link between red meat and arthritis. In the end, it made it worse. So what should you eat instead? Fruits and veggies is the right answer. Experts recommend plant-based diets for people struggling with arthritis. You will notice a significant improvement in joint pain after you switch your diet to natural unprocessed plant-based foods. It definitely makes you healthier!
2- Gluten loaded foods
We keep hearing about gluten. While the jury is still out on this protein type, one thing is true… People with arthritis need to stay away from it. As far as they can! Gluten is bad news. This protein group found in grains, like wheat and barley, increases inflammation in your body. As a result, your arthritis becomes severe. If you have celiac disease, your risk of developing arthritis is far greater. People with autoimmune disorders are also at risk. This has been proven through studies as well. One particular study involving people struggling with rheumatoid arthritis made a startling discovery. These people were assigned gluten-free plant-based diets. The result was that their inflammation and disease activity reduced drastically.
Wondering what foods contain gluten? Well for starters, grains like rye, wheat, and barley are a big no-no. Most bread, crackers, and wraps have gluten as well. This means no white bread, tortillas, and bagels. Cakes, pastries, and cookies are off the list too. The only way to eat them is to order them from a place where they use gluten-free flour. There shouldn’t be cross-contamination either. Even condiments like soy sauce, salad dressings, and gravy mixes can have gluten. Make sure you read the labels properly before buying any food item. You never know what might be in it. So what should you eat instead? Rice, cassava, and corn are great options. They are gluten-free. Try tapioca porridge. It’s a delicious gluten-free snack for winter evenings. Soy, potato, and sorghum are also awesome. But the most surprising on this list is beans! They are gluten-free!
3- Sugar and Soda
Who doesn’t love ice cream and cake? They are the best part of every lavish dinner! But you need to keep your sweet tooth under control if you don’t want to have a bad arthritis flare-up. Believe me, sugar can significantly impact your quality of life. And not in a good way! Foods like soda, candy, and ice cream have lots of added sugar in them. If these foods and beverages are a part of your regular diet, your body’s inflammatory response will definitely increase. It will show up in the form of joint pains and aches. Not a pretty sight I tell you! A study involving rheumatoid arthritis patients found that sugary foods worsen arthritis symptoms.
There was another study involving healthy young adults and their eating habits. You will be shocked to learn the extent to which sugary foods damage a healthy body. This study observed healthy adults between the age of 20 and 30. It was found that those who drank fructose-sweetened beverages 5 times a week, were three times as likely to develop arthritis. This was in comparison to those within the same age group but drank few sugary beverages. If you’re a woman, you need to be especially aware.
Research involving 200,000 women has concluded that they’re far more likely to develop arthritis if they drink a lot of sugary beverages. So what should you drink instead? How about plain water? It’s the best beverage! Hydrates your body and gives you supple skin. If you don’t like plain water, you can spruce it up by adding mint leaves and cucumber slices. Coconut water is another delicious hydrating drink. I don’t need to introduce you to green tea and fruit teas as well. You’ve probably heard enough about them. They’re delicious and healthy! If you don’t like green tea, try lemon. It definitely lifts your mood.
I get it, when you’re feeling low, you want to down a whole bottle. But little did we know, this worsens both physical and emotional pain. People who have arthritis need to cut down on their alcohol intake as it increases inflammation in their bodies. This results in an arthritis flare-up. That’s not us saying that. Studies have proven it. For instance, this one particular study involving people with a specific type of arthritis made an important revelation. It found that those who drank alcohol frequently had increased spinal damage.
Experts recommend you stay completely off alcohol, as it increases gout attacks. Regular drinkers are at a very high risk of developing osteoarthritis. If you really want a drink with your meals, why not opt for healthy ones like coconut water. You can also go for fermented drinks. They are great for your body. Don’t like fermented drinks? Maybe you’ll like buttermilk. It helps digest food. Not to mention, it’s delicious. Add a pinch of black salt and roasted cumin seed powder to it. Trust me you’ll want to keep drinking it. It’s that good! Before we move ahead, here’s a video you might like. Watch and learn more about each and every vitamin your body needs.
5- Processed foods
Are you used to eating cereals for breakfast? Or maybe baked goods are your favorite. Bad news, folks! If you have arthritis, you need to stay away from highly processed foods. This includes your favorite fast foods as well. All of these foods increase inflammation in your body, which results in an arthritis flare-up. Highly processed foods have added flavors, preservatives, and other chemicals that cause inflammation in your body. Experts warn against these foods as they further increase your arthritis risk factor, causing obesity. One particular study found that people who ate a high amount of processed foods had a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes. All of these inflamed the body even more.
6- High sodium foods
If you’re a fan of canned foods or processed meats and cheese, you need to reconsider your choices. That’s because these foods are high in sodium, which increases inflammation in your body. High sodium diets are known to cause arthritis flare-ups. Experts have found high sodium diets increase the risk of getting autoimmune diseases like inflammatory arthritis. Another study involving 18 thousand people showed that same thing.
7- Certain vegetable oils
The type of oil used for cooking is directly related to your health. It can either reduce inflammation or cause a bad flare-up. Especially if you’re using vegetable oils that are high in omega 6 fatty acids but low in omega 3’s. Such oils worsen symptoms. You need both omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. But an imbalance between the two increases inflammation in your body. This is why it’s important to balance the ratio of both these types of omega fatty acids. Increase your intake of foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, like fatty fish. You’ll notice a significant improvement in your arthritis. Keeping inflammation in check is just one way to keep arthritis under control. But you can do more. You can strengthen your knees, cartilage, and ligaments.