Inflammation is a natural response of your immune system to injury, sickness, or disease. However, in the case of arthritis, inflammation of the joints may cause irreparable damage and severe pain. Traditional medical treatments for arthritis involve different types of prescription drugs, corticosteroid injections, and sometimes surgery. Often these treatments, especially drugs, have adverse side effects that cause more problems for the sufferer. Common over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil), cause severe stomach problems, forcing the user to discontinue its use. Because of this issues, many have turned to alternative ways to treat their arthritis. These include dietary changes that add foods that are anti inflammatory and avoiding foods that cause inflammation.
Making dietary changes has been shown to drastically reduce the swelling and pain caused by different types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Because many foods tend to aggravate the symptoms of arthritis, hundreds of sufferers have found it beneficial to remove certain foods from their diets. Conversely, it has also been proven that if you eat foods that are anti inflammatory in nature, they can help decrease and sometimes eliminate the pain and swelling all together.
It is not surprising that foods high in saturated fat and processed sugars can actually increase inflammation in your body. According to Scott Zashin, MD, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center,"They cause over-activity in the immune system, which can lead to joint pain, fatigue, and damage to the blood vessels." Taking these types of food out of your diet may help reduce inflammation, as well as improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Here is a list of additional foods that can induce inflammation:
1. Dairy - Exceptions include kefir and low/no fat yogurts.
2. Processed and red meats - Full of hormones and antibiotics.
3. Alcohol - Increase of the body's inflammatory response ten-fold.
4. Refined grains - Including white bread, white rice.
5. Artificial food additives - Include sulphites, nitrites and artificial food dyes.
6. Commonly used cooking oils - Such as sunflower, corn, safflower, soy, and cottonseed.
7. Trans fats - Present in fast foods, fried foods, commercially prepared baked goods, and in partially hydrogenated oil, margarine and vegetable oil.
8. Salt - Also a contributor to hypertension.
Adjusting your diet does not only mean eliminating "bad" foods, but also adding foods that are anti inflammatory in nature. Eating these foods will not only help reduce the inflammation throughout your body, but will also help decrease your cholesterol level, lower high blood pressure and improve blood sugar levels. Adding foods that have anti inflammatory properties can often lead to less dependence on drugs and other medical treatments. Here is a short list of foods that are anti inflammatory:
1. Fatty fish, such as wild salmon, tuna, sardines, and trout.
2. Whole grains, such as barley, oats, quinoa, wild rice, and buckwheat.
3. Dark leafy greens, such as turnip, collard and kale.
4. Nuts, such as almonds, pecans and Brazil nuts.
5. Soy foods, such as tofu, edamame, and soy milk.
6. Organic vegetables, such as beets, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
7. Organic fruits, such as berries, apples, avocados, cherries, and melons.
8. Spices, such as turmeric, ginger, and garlic.
By eliminating inflammation-causing foods and replacing them with foods that are anti inflammatory will significantly lower your pain level, reduce the inflammation in your entire body, and vastly improve your overall health.
The most important step to a healthier life is the change to a healthy diet. Get more information from the free copy of my e-book to make better choices!