When compared to other forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis is unique; it is mostly related to a person's lifestyle choices. If you exercise, watch your diet and weight, then you can effectively manage your symptoms without the use of prescription drugs. One of the easiest ways to manage osteoarthritis symptoms is to change your diet. Along with a treatment plan, nutrient-rich foods can help you fight osteoarthritis.
Preliminary research has found that the following nutrients can benefit people who have osteoarthritis:
Vitamin C helps stop the progression of osteoarthritis in its tracks. Vitamin C is essential for the development of proteoglycans and collagen; these two components of cartilage help cushion your joints. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, helps control free radicals in your body. Free radicals have been known to cause joint damage.
Citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and potatoes are all good sources of Vitamin C. Most adults need about 80 mg of Vitamin C daily; osteoarthritis sufferers should try to consume about 200 mg a day.
Beta-carotene, another antioxidant, helps your body fight inflammation and osteoarthritis. This antioxidant can be found in red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene is found in many dark leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach and lettuce.
Most adults need 2,300 International Units of beta-carotene daily; experts recommend that people who suffer from osteoarthritis should consume about 9,000 International Units a day. Beta-carotene is non-toxic; if you consume too much, your body will expel it.
Vitamin D reduces osteoporotic fragility by helping your body and bones absorb calcium; calcium is crucial for healthy joints. If you aren't getting enough calcium, you will end up losing cartilage in your joints. Eventually, this loss of cartilage leads to osteoarthritis.
The easiest way to get a good dose of Vitamin D is to go outside on a sunny day. When your skin is exposed to UV rays, your body manufactures the vitamin itself. Typically, 15 minutes in the sun is enough; try to get outside three or four times a week.
If you can't get outside, fortified milk, cereal, tuna and fish oils all contain Vitamin D. The recommended intake for osteoarthritis sufferers is 600 International Units a day.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s suppress inflammation; they can work just as well as drugs like Strontium Ranelate without the side effects. Essential fatty acids are used by the body to form the outer membrane of your joint cells; this combined with their anti-inflammatory properties make Omega-3s crucial to fighting the pain and stiffness that osteoarthritis sufferers experience.
Omega-3s are not the same as Omega-6s; Omega-6s are likely to increase inflammation in the body. Avoid oils that are made of corn, cottonseed and safflower; try to stick to extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
Omega-3s can be found in salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines; they are also found in soy foods, pecans, walnuts, and flaxseed. Nutrition experts agree that omega-3 fatty acids are healthy, but they have yet to establish a recommended daily intake. As an osteoarthritis sufferer, you should probably try to consume at least three grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day.
When you switch your diet and start eating healthy, you will notice that you will start to lose weight. Experts agree that weight loss combined with healthy nutrients can help fight osteoarthritis. A few simple food substitutions can help you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to fight off your symptoms. Scientists are currently studying many nutrients for osteoarthritis prevention. So far, they have found that Vitamin C, Vitamin D, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids are the most promising.