If you eat foods that increase inflammation, you’re probably aggravating your arthritis. Not only that, inflammation and foods that cause it can increase the risk of other serious conditions, including heart disease and cancer. You need a certain amount of inflammation to help fight infection and heal injuries. Inflammation protects the body. If you have chronic inflammation, however, that can create a problem. Chronic inflammation can cause damage to the body with painful joints and deformities. You can prevent some chronic inflammation by watching your diet and eliminating inflammatory foods.
You automatically know sugar and products with added sugar are on the list.
It’s one of the reasons sugar is bad for your health. Not only does it increase inflammation, but it also causes weight gain, another way to aggravate an already painful condition. Most processed foods contain added sugar, including pizza sauce. If you think you’re giving your health a benefit by choosing low fat yogurt, read the label. When they take the fat out, it doesn’t taste as good, so most manufacturers add sugar. The sugar spikes insulin levels, causing the body to store excess insulin in the fat cells, which causes inflammation and weight gain. Another addition to processed baked goods, pastries and crackers is trans fats, which also cause weight gain and chronic inflammation.
Speaking of processed foods, processed meats are high in inflammatory properties.
Do you love that salty, cured, smoked, fermented and processed meat, like bacon? A lot of people do. Unfortunately, it can cause your arthritis to act up and become inflamed and painful. Even red meat that isn’t processed can create inflammation that can trigger arthritis. It’s also important to balance the fatty acids in your diet. Too much omega-6 and too little omega-3, can also cause a flare up.
If you have arthritis, check these foods off your list and add other selections.
Besides red meat, sugars of all types, including high fructose corn syrup, grilled and fried foods should be removed from your diet. Avoid oils like corn, safflower, peanut, sunflower and soy. Skip Happy Hour or switch to water or coffee, since alcohol can also exacerbate arthritis. Of course, all refined carbs, like white bread and pasta, can also trigger a reaction. Instead, opt for choices like mushrooms, fresh greens, fatty fish like salmon, berries, bananas, unsweetened cocoa, beans, skinless chicken, nuts green tea, broccoli, cherries and citrus fruits.
- Switching to virgin olive oil can help reduce inflammation. Adding certain spices to your cooking, like turmeric, paprika, ginger and garlic can help prevent the inflammatory response.
- Some foods you might not realize are refined carbs include white rice and even French fries. Foods high in sodium should be avoided for two reasons, increased inflammation and interaction with corticosteroids, a medication for arthritis that can cause retention of salt.
- Cheese and several dairy products may increase inflammation. Most cheese is higher in saturated fats that can cause inflammation. Dairy, particularly for people that have a hard time digesting it (approximately 60% of the population) can lead to inflammation throughout the body.
- While most vegetables and fruit can help improve arthritis, those from the nightshade family can make it worse. They contain solanine that is linked to aggravating arthritis inflammation. These include tomatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers, potatoes and eggplant.
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