By - Uduak Andrew-Bassey
The term arthritis is used to describe over 200 conditions that affect the joints, the tissues that surround the joint and other connective tissues. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Other common rheumatic conditions related to arthritis include gout, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Arthritis is common among adults aged 65 years or older, but it can affect people of all ages, including children. Symptoms generally include joint pain, stiffness, redness, swelling and decreased range of motion.
Treatment for arthritis aims to control pain, minimize joint damage and improve or maintain function and quality of life. A range of medications and lifestyle strategies can help achieve this and protect joints from further damage.
Foods that help reduce arthritis pain
Although there is no diet cure for arthritis, certain foods have been shown to fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost the immune system. Find out how the following foods can help ease arthritis symptoms.
1. Fish: This is great for rheumatoid arthritis; Omega-3-rich fish include salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, and herring. Certain types of fish are packed with inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, experts recommend at least 3 to 4 ounces of fish, twice a week.
2. Soybeans: If you are not a fan of fish but have rheumatoid arthritis, you have another option; Soybeans are low in fat, high in protein and fiber and an all-around healthy food for the body. It helps in inflammation-busting of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Natural Oils: Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats and oleocanthal which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. Avocado and safflower oils have shown cholesterol-lowering properties. Walnut oil also has 10 times the omega-3s that olive oil has. Natural oils are best for reducing pain in cases of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
4. Low Dairy Products: Examples include milk, yogurt, and cheese; they are packed with calcium and vitamin D, both found to increase bone strength. They are great for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and it has been shown to boost the immune system.
5. Green Tea: Green tea is packed with polyphenols, antioxidants which helps in reducing inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. It is great for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis.
6. Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and limes are rich in vitamin C. Researchers have discovered that getting the right amount of vitamin aids in preventing inflammatory arthritis and maintaining healthy joints with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
7. Ginger and Garlic: Ginger and garlic are wildly used as spices; they have also been discovered to have anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing arthritis symptoms.
Remember, diet and nutrition can play a role in managing arthritis and the risk of arthritis; foods that increase inflammation, particularly animal-derived foods and diets high in refined sugar can make symptoms worse.
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