Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints of chronic degenerative nature when the cartilage tissue of their surface is damaged. This term combines a group of diseases, in which the entire joint suffers (not only articular cartilage but also ligaments, capsule, periarticular muscles, synovial membrane, and subchondral bone).
Causes of Osteoarthritis
The most common cause of this disease is various injuries. Joint dysplasia (congenital changes in the joints) can also cause osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis provokes an inflammatory process that can occur against the background of autoimmune system diseases.
Osteoarthritis can also appear because of the following:
- Genetic predisposition
- Problems with weight
- Old age
- Workers of a certain industry
- Malfunction of the endocrine system
- Lack of microelements in the body
- Various diseases of bones and joints of acquired character
- Frequent hypothermia
- A bad ecological situation
- Surgeries on the joints
- A lot of physical activity
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Cracks in joints
- Articular pain after physical exercises
- Swelling in the area of the affected joint
- The appearance of build-up and nodules on the joints
- Disorders of locomotor functions
Importance of Weight Loss When Treating Osteoarthritis
Regardless of the form of the disease, adherence to a therapeutic diet for osteoarthritis is a prerequisite for delaying deformity. If you continue eating unhealthy food, then complete destruction of the joint can occur, and the limb will no longer move.
Only rational nutrition along with exercises will help you reduce your body weight. A decrease in body weight for 1.5 kg leads to an improvement in well-being in 20–25% of people with knee joint damage. Weight reduction for 5 kg contributes to slowing the progression of the disease by 50%. At the same time, pain decreases and the physical activity of patients increases.
To lose excess weight, you can take the following measures:
- Try to cook at home more often, using fresh natural products
- Stop using semi-finished products that contain a lot of salt, sugar, and transgenic fats
- Eat in small portions
- Lead a more active lifestyle – walk more often, exercise, and do gymnastics
Foods You Should Avoid When Suffering from Osteoarthritis
Here is the list of foods you should avoid if you’re suffering from osteoarthritis:
#1 Wheat products
Wheat products stimulate the inflammatory response of your body. Eating a lot of pasta and grain products may make your arthritis pain wore. Try to eat whole grain products. Avoid yeast additives and whole grains containing gluten.
#2 Fried food
Eating food high in saturated fats such as donuts and French fries can increase inflammation in the body and worsen your arthritis pain. The oils you use to cook food can raise your levels of cholesterol. Thus, when cooking, try to use avocado or olive oil.
#3 Omega-6 fatty acids
Foods containing omega-6 fatty acids like red meat and egg yolks should also be avoided as saturated fats can increase inflammation in the body, making the arthritis pain worse. Instead, choose the foods rich in omega-3s.
Salty food causes your cells to keep water, which means that they swell up. Eating too much sodium can lead to inflammation. Instead of salt try to use such spices as garlic pepper, flavored peppers, or lemon zest.
According to some studies, eating processed cakes, cookies, and other bakery products may change the immune-response of your body to disease. Eating sugar-rich carbohydrates can result in worse inflammation. Try to use natural substitutes such as honey and maple syrup.
Healthy Eating for Osteoarthritis
People who suffer from osteoarthritis tend to be overweight, which is an additional burden on the damaged joints. Therefore, the purpose of the diet in the treatment of this disease is a full, balanced diet, aimed at reducing body weight.
Foods you should eat
The basic rule in the development of a diet menu is its balance. Your body needs to receive all the necessary nutrients while you are on a diet.
- Animal and vegetable proteins. In addition to meat and fish, the sources of animal and vegetable proteins are dairy, lactic acid products (preferably with a low-fat content), lentils, beans, nuts, and eggs. Moreover, vegetable proteins can fully replace animal proteins without causing any harm to the body.
- Fats. Fats are useful in small amounts, especially if their sources are unrefined vegetable oils – sunflower, linseed, and sesame, as well as butter and fish fat. Without fats, metabolic processes will be disrupted in the body, which does not help lose weight.
- Carbohydrates. You need to consume not fast carbs but complex carbohydrates. They take a while to digest and fill the body with energy for a long time. The sources of carbohydrates are fruit, vegetables, and whole wheat products.
- Vitamins (especially, of a B group). They are found in legumes, whole grain bread, baked potatoes, eggs, dairy products, and nuts.
Most Useful Products
Some products are especially useful for the treatment and prevention of osteoarthritis.
- Oranges and bell peppers. They contain a variety of antioxidants that prevent the aging of tissues and joints.
- Pomegranates. They remove inflammation and help prevent the deterioration of cartilaginous tissues.
- Pineapples. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect.