Having a balanced, nutritious diet is an important part of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. That’s good news for your joints, not just your wardrobe.
Experts have long known that milk is good for bones, but its effects on joints were less clear. A study reported in 2015 showed that women with knee OA who drank milk regularly had less OA progression than those who didn’t. But high cheese consumption appeared to make OA worse.
An earlier study published in 2013, revealed that a compound called sulforaphane, found in Brussels sprouts and cabbage but especially in broccoli, could be key in slowing the progress of OA and the destruction of joint cartilage.
A 2010 study reported that people who regularly eat foods from the alium family – like garlic, onions and leeks, showed fewer signs of early OA. Researchers think the compound diallyl disulphine found in these foods may limit cartilage-damaging enzymes in human cells – making it a great choice if you have OA.
Of all the forms of arthritis, gout has the most obvious dietary link. When the body breaks down purine, a substance found in many foods, uric acid forms. People who have gout have trouble eliminating uric acid or they produce too much uric acid cause inflammation and severe pain in the joints.
A study published in 2012 showed that a Mediterranean diet decreased uric acid levels and the risk of getting gout. But there have been studies on a few key foods as well. Researchers suspect the anthocyanins in cherries have an anti-inflammatory effect and may help reduce the frequency of gout attacks. Anthocyanins are found in other red and purple fruits, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries (some of the best low-sugar fruits). However, tart cherries have higher levels.
Coffee (but not tea) and low-fat dairy product consumption is associated with lower uric acid levels.
Avoiding foods that contain high levels of purines is a critical part of managing gout. These foods include meats (particulary beef and lamb), most seafood (both fish and shellfish) and meat-based broths and gravies. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks and food with fructose also increase uric acid levels.
Protect bone health with calcium-rich foods, including low-fat dairy products; green, leafy vegetables; shellfish; and calcium-fortified foods. Vitamin D-rich foods, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, cheese and egg yolks, are equally important since Vitamin D help your body absorb calcium from food.
Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to get all of the vitamin D your body needs from food sources. On the plus side, the body can make 10,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D in just 15 minutes of unprotected exposure to sunshine. A staple of the Mediterranean diet, virgin olive oil, when combined with vitamin D, may protect against bone loss .
Main Image & Article Courtesy: Athritis Foundation National