Eating for Relief
Arthritis is a complex illness that causes joint pain, stiffness, and eventually damages joints. While professional medical care is essential, taking drug therapy to suppress symptoms does not cure the disease, and when used over the long-term medications can have an adverse affect on health. While drug therapy may still be necessary to some degree, using a healthy diet for arthritis sufferers can be used as well to help control the pain and swelling naturally while at the same time promoting a healthy regeneration of tissue and increased well-being.
The key to eating well if you have arthritis is to include cleansing foods — fresh fruits and vegetables, purified water, fresh juices and whole grains — nutrient-rich foods, balancing foods, and to reduce fat intake. It is also important to avoid potential trigger foods and junk food in general. Sugary, salty, fried, and processed foods should be eliminated, or at least slowly phased out of the diet. For some people following a healthy cleansing, nourishing diet can over time yield remarkable results. Diet is not a cure for arthritis but it is a solution for controlling symptoms.
Fruits and Vegetables
If suffering from arthritis, try using fresh fruits and vegetables for a significant part of the diet. Rich in nutrients, they will help the body heal. The high concentration of antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables will help to protect cells and reduce inflammation. These foods are also cleansing, supplying both fiber and water to the body. Fruits and vegetables to include regularly for the most benefits are:
- Dark red cherries
- Fresh pineapple
- Green leafy vegetables
Other great fruits and veggies for arthritis sufferers include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Mushrooms, especially shiitake
Fruits and vegetables to avoid as they can aggravate symptoms include citrus fruits and the nightshade vegetables — eggplant, green peppers, white potatoes, and tomatoes.
Choosing the right grains is also important for managing arthritis symptoms. Whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, and quinoa help to
balance the acid/alkaline balance in the body. They are also excellent sources of fiber. Whole grains are also rich in beneficial amino acids such as histidine, which helps to remove excess metals from the body. Try substituting white flour products and white rice for whole grains and brown rice. For some people corn, wheat, and rye may be foods that aggravate arthritis.
Shifting your protein consumption from high-fat and animal-based products to leaner or vegetable sources of protein will help the body reach a state of well-being even while suffering from arthritis. Try minimizing beef, pork, and dairy products. Instead, eat plenty of tofu, soymilk, seafood, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Eggs, which are rich in sulfur and other important nutrients are healthy sources of protein as well.
Following these tips for a healthy diet for arthritis sufferers can help to reduce the swelling and pain of this disease, but it can also cleanse, strengthen, and nourish the body. An optimal diet is so important when facing a chronic illness. Changing your diet and eating for well-being can be a great opportunity to control your health no matter what your condition.
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition." (The Penguin Group, 2006).
Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
photo by Kyle McDonald
photo by Rob and Dani