Be it any form, degenerative type osteoarthritis or inflammatory type rheumatoid arthritis, the common factor is the pain. What if your pain could reduce? Yes, studies have shown that shedding even a few pounds can greatly reduce your arthritis pain or prevent your risk from suffering from arthritis. People suffering from arthritis are generally overweight. Additionally, the pain and immobility makes you more physically inactive and then the vicious circle continues. You therefore need to follow a diet plan that focuses on weight loss and also improves your bone health.
Some nutrients and foods are popular for having a greater effect on bone health and can possibly help to improve your condition.
- Proteins: Proteins are essential amino acids and their intake can help in regeneration of your damaged tissues. You need a protein rich diet so as to maintain the optimum level of nutrients to help the joints and also lose weight in a healthy way.
Food sources: Milk and milk products, fish, meat, eggs, soy, legumes and beans etc.
- Calcium and vitamin D: They are essential for maintaining healthy bones.
Food sources: Milk and milk products, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, oranges, almonds, walnuts.
- Vitamin C: This is required for growth and maintenance of body tissues like bones and joints. They play an important role in repair of the inflamed or damaged tissue.
Food sources: Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, leafy vegetables, green grams.
- Vitamin E: This is necessary for cellular functions and it improves circulation of blood, thereby relieving painful joints.
Food sources: Wheat or cereal germ, whole grains, leafy vegetables, sprouted seeds and eggs.
- Fish: They contain polyunsaturated fatty acids that help to improve bone health and also reduce inflammations. They are also good carriers of calcium and vitamin D that are important for bones.
Examples: Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and cod liver oil.
Food to avoid:
As a part of weight loss diet plan and aiming at reducing the risk of arthritis, there are some foods that you need to stay away from:
- Highly processed foods or simple carbohydrates like cakes, cookies, ice creams, jams etc as they are high in calories – Choose complex carbohydrates and whole grain products instead.
- Foods rich in saturated fat – Opt for low fat products or skimmed milk, lean cuts of meat, fish etc.
- Look out for any particular food in your diet that could be aggravating your arthritis symptoms and avoid them.
Sample meal plan
- 2 egg whites
- 1 plain toast
- 1 glass of low fat milk
- 1 apple
- 1 slice of lean chicken breast
- 1 bowl sprouts and vegetable salad with added olive oil
- 1 glass soymilk
- 1- 2 walnuts
- 1 steamed fish
- ½ cup brown rice
- 1 bowl salad of carrot and cucumber rings.
- ½ bowl mixed fruit salad
Regular exercise is important in addition to any weight loss plan. It will also improve blood circulation to your joints and keep them healthy. However, this depends on your health condition. Exercise should be slowly and carefully included in your lifestyle, so as to avoid any harm to your health. To begin with simple walking for 15 minutes should be aimed at. Gradually you can increase the time and add some strengthening exercises also.