More than 50 million adults in the United States are suffering from arthritis. For many of them, trying to manage pain and inflammation is a daily battle. While medication might ease the pain, it doesn’t address the real problem. Getting rid of the inflammatory foods in your diet can help you reduce inflammation and manage arthritis pain naturally.
Here are nine foods to avoid if you have arthritis:
Both gluten and wheat cause an inflammatory response in many people, especially in those who are intolerant or suffering from a leaky gut. A leaky gut allows toxins and waste to enter your bloodstream through your intestines, causing the body to initiate an immune response. This immune response is what leads to inflammation.
The majority of dairy products contain casein, a type of protein that is known to cause inflammation. Studies have shown that casein protein can irritate the tissue that surrounds the joints, resulting in pain and inflammation.
3. Corn Oil
Corn oil contains omega-6 fatty acids. Any food that contains high doses of omega-6 fatty acids can upset the balance of omega-6 and omega-3, causing inflammation. This includes all oils derived from seeds, such as canola, grapeseed, soybean and sunflower oil.
4. Fried & Processed Foods
A study published in the 2009 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that fried foods contain toxins called advanced glycation end products. These products increase oxidation in the body’s cells and increase inflammation levels. Cutting out fried and processed foods can greatly reduce your levels of inflammation.
5. Table Salt
Too much salt upsets the balance of water in the body. It causes water retention, which increases the pressure on your blood vessels. The added pressure can aggravate arthritis, causing pain and inflammation. Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet can help balance your electrolyte levels and reduce inflammation.
Nightshades contain alkaloids. In some people, like those suffering from arthritis, these alkaloids have pro-inflammatory properties. If nightshades aggravate your pain and inflammation, it’s best to cut them out. Nightshades include tomatoes, white potatoes and eggplant as well as pepper and paprika.
Research has shown that processed sugar triggers the release of inflammatory messengers, known as cytokines. Sugar can hide under many different names on ingredient labels, including as fructose or sucrose. Skip the pastries, candy bars, sodas and processed fruit juices.
Both alcohol and tobacco use have been linked to the development of certain types of arthritis. Drinking alcohol places a burden on the liver. Excessive drinking weakens liver function and disrupts other organ interactions, which can lead to inflammation.
9. Refined Carbohydrates
Products made with white flour, such as bread, crackers, white rice or white potatoes are refined carbohydrates. These processed carbohydrates are high on the glycemic index. They have a habit of triggering inflammation. Don’t forget to watch out for cereals made with white flour!