Sunday, September 24, 2023

Healthy diet for osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting the knee. It damages the cartilage, which causes pain and mobility problem in the joints.

Research has failed to identify a single factor as the cause of osteoarthritis. Most likely, it is the combination of multiple lifestyle factors that lead to osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is linked to increasing age, gender, family history, as well as previous knee injury. None of these factors are modifiable for us.

What we can change are factors such as obesity and our diet.

Losing weight helps to reduce pressure on the knee joints. However, it is not clear whether it is that excess weight, or something else that comes with obesity that causes osteoarthritis. Obesity is an inflammatory disease, and so is osteoarthritis. Perhaps, there is a link in there.

It is also likely that people who are obese, are sedentary, in general. And sedentary lifestyle is shown to lead to osteoarthritis.

Read on this website: Why obesity worsens osteoarthritis.

However, when we are talking about healthy diet for osteoarthritis, we will not talk about the diet to lose weight, which in a way would also help osteoarthritis.

We would look at a proper diet and a good set of supplements that may helps ease knee pain.

Foods that help in knee pain

Here are some ideas on diet and exercise that help in knee pain:

Omega–3 fish oil is very useful for arthritis. But many omega-3 rich fish have mercury contamination, which leads to nerve and brain damage. Here is a detailed article on this website about omega–3 fatty acids and fish oils.

Fruits such as watermelon, grapes (watch out for sugar in them, though), and strawberries are high in anti-oxidants that help reduce swelling or inflammation (pain means there is some inflammation, whether you see it or not).

Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, mustard, olives, and pepper are useful, too.

Turmeric (active ingredient: curcumin), ginger (active ingredient: gingerol) and pineapple (active ingredient: bromelain) are excellent pain-reducing, or anti–inflammatory agents.

Supplements that help in knee pain

Amongst supplements, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, SAMe help. Since none of these are medical products, it takes a long time for them to show effect. For example, glucosamine takes at least 6 months before its effect can be felt.

The foods as well as supplements mentioned above may be needed lifelong since osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease. That is, it is a disease that gets progressively worse with age, unless continuously treated. There is no permanent cure for it in any medical science.

In conclusion

Take diet of full of fruits, green leafy vegetables, and certain foods as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

Take supplements of fish oil, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and SAMe.

First published on: 30th May, 2016


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