World Arthritis Day takes place in October and here at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we’d like to take this opportunity to explore the relationship between food and joint health. Overall, we know that maintaining an appropriate weight greatly reduces the strain on your joints (and the rest of your feet), lowering your risk for arthritis and other foot problems. Below are some foods to choose or stay away from if you suffer from arthritis or other joint conditions:
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. These include salmon, sardines, tuna, anchovies, scallops and other cold-water fish. Omega 3’s have inflammation-fighting properties and research has shown that people who consume the highest amounts of them have the lowest levels of two inflammatory proteins in their bodies. If you can’t stand fish, take a fish oil supplement. A recent study found that 600-1,000 mg per day could ease joint swelling and pain and reduce the duration of morning stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
Fruits and Vegetables. Eating a rainbow of produce will give you many nutrients and antioxidants. Among the heavy hitters for reducing inflammation are: citrus fruits, red and purple fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and cherries and dark greens like spinach, kale and broccoli.
Good oils. Of course, all oil should be used in moderation but 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil a day can help reduce joint pain because it contains a compound that has properties similar to that of nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medications. Other “good oils” include safflower and avocado oil and also walnut oil which is high in omega 3’s.
Sugar. Foods with processed sugars (cakes, cookies, candy bars, sodas and fruit juices) release messengers called cytokines that actually create an inflammatory response in the body. Read labels because sugar has many names. Anything ending in “ose” is usually a sugar.
Saturated and Trans Fats. These trigger fat tissue inflammation which not only worsens arthritis but is an indicator of heart disease too.
Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG). Although most often found in prepared Asian foods and soy sauce, MSG is also added to many fast foods, soup mixes, salad dressings and deli meats. MSG opens 2 pathways to chronic inflammation.
Food is just one way to help control arthritis. If you are experiencing pain, stiffness and/or swelling of the joints in your feet and ankles, contact our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas will examine your feet and help develop a plan to best deal with your joint issues.