If you are interested in alternative approaches to arthritis, diet is a good start for improving the condition. Several foods aggravate arthritis, and usually a person will discover that at least one of them is an allergy or sensitivity issue. It may seem like an overwhelming task to eliminate all these foods from one’s diet, but a methodical approach can help you take charge and achieve success.
To simplify the concept of what foods to avoid, you mainly need to eat the type of healthy diet that people used to eat--centering around natural, whole foods. An increase in arthritis over the past 60 years correlates with the huge increase of refined sugar consumption in Western society, noticeably in soft drinks. It also correlates with the number of additives and artificial ingredients put into food. If you eliminate all soft drinks along with most of the refined sugar from your diet and avoid products with artificial additives, you should see an improvement in your arthritis.
Avoiding saturated fats along with hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils will likely improve your condition. These fats, as well as sugar, make a person’s internal environment more acidic, which aggravates inflammation. Margarine and shortening should never be used. Excessive salt should also be eliminated.
Beyond these recommendations, further alterations in diet become very individualistic. A large number of culprits appear to affect arthritis, and you will need to do your own experimentation with eliminating certain foods to see if your condition improves. It may also depend on the type of arthritis you have. For instance, research indicates that gout sufferers see some success by eliminating meat, beans and alcohol.
You’ll likely find that certain foods listed below will ring a bell, because perhaps your pain and inflammation become worse within a day or two after eating them.
The list can seem overwhelming, but if you tackle it one or two items at a time, especially with any that resonate with you immediately, you can manage this investigation for your health.
Additional foods and substances that can cause problems are caffeine, citrus products, corn, dairy products, eggs, nuts, red meat, wheat gluten, white flour products and foods in the nightshade family. The nightshade family includes bell peppers, cayenne, chili powder, eggplant, paprika, pimiento, tomatoes and white potatoes. If you want to eliminate the nightshade family, you’ll need to read labels carefully, as paprika and tomato are common additives.
The nightshade family also includes tobacco.
Eating whole-grain products is strongly recommended for people with arthritis, and that can be a challenge for someone with a gluten sensitivity. However, there are many whole-grain options available other than wheat, especially in health food stores or natural food sections in the supermarket.
Processed foods such as boxed casseroles and rice or microwave entrees should all be avoided. They usually contain far too much salt, along with various additives.
Again, natural, wholesome foods, like people used to eat before so much emphasis was put on convenience, are the keys to success. Fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products and fish are the best foundation for a diet to improve arthritis.