Inflammation is a root cause of cancer, heart disease, and obesity – health conditions that impact millions in the US and around the world. Inflammation is also the direct cause of arthritis, so those with arthritis should be concerned that its underlying issue is shared with some of the deadliest diseases.
As noted by the Arthritis Foundation (AF), since inflammation is recognized as a threat to optimal health, an anti-inflammatory diet is a wise choice for anyone – especially those experiencing arthritic symptoms. The AF’s website recently featured a guide on the best foods to eat and to avoid if you are suffering from an inflammatory condition.
Know your Omega fatty acids
COX-1 and COX-2 are shorthand names for two enzymes that are primary sources of inflammatory action in the joints. Studies have shown that COX-2 enzymes get more animated and cause more of an inflammatory response when you have a high ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids in your body. Omega 3s are common in cold water fish including sardines and salmon, as well as in flaxseeds. Fish, though, are a minor part of the American diet compared to grains, which contain large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids (as do egg yolks, meats, and many oils).
Two dietary tactics can be helpful to reducing the inflammation that fuels arthritis. One is avoidance of three primary foods:
- processed foods
- fried foods
- refined grains (as are used in almost all processed items).
The other is inclusion of several foods that are anti-inflammatory:
- fresh vegetables and fruits
- nuts and seeds
- tea, especially white or green
- small quantities of dark chocolate
- wild cold water fish.
Notice that many of the items listed in the positive category above are based in plants, which means they are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants – compounds thought to deter the COX-2 enzyme, minimizing inflammation.
A report was published in 2011 in Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America that discussed numerous studies on arthritis and nutrition. One study that was particularly compelling had participants eat a Mediterranean diet – incorporating lean protein such as poultry and fish, along with high amounts of beans, vegetables, and olive oil. Those who ate the diet reduced the pain in their joints and rated their quality of life more positively than those in the control group.
Finding a pain-alleviation partner
Diet is, of course, just one aspect of a robust pain healing strategy. Your best chance at a full recovery is through a multidisciplinary pain management clinic, offering responsible solutions that avoid surgery and lifelong reliance on prescription medication: Pain Stop Clinics. Get a free consultation today, along with a free X-ray and hydromassage.