Inflammation is the root cause of joint pain, including arthritis. By paying attention to what foods trigger a flare-up and what foods make you feel better, you can curb your painful symptoms and find relief. Here are 10 foods that could make your joint pain worse.
Cytokines trigger inflammation in the body and are naturally found in processed sugars. On food labels, processed sugars hide under the -ose suffix. Dextrose and fructoseare two examples of things you'll wantto avoid.
2. Saturated Fats
Healthy fats are unsaturated; they include fish, nuts, and olive oil. Saturated fats (found in cheese and meat) provoke inflammation. By following a Mediterranean diet and eating red meat as a treat, you can lower your joint stiffness.
3. Trans Fats
Trans fats got a bad rap as far back as the 1990s, when researchers discovered they triggered inflammation. Trans fats hide in processed foods, fast foods, and fried foods. Avoid fried foods, margarine, and foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils.
4. White Flour
White flour is a refined carbohydrate, which means the healthy compounds have been stripped out. The body digests refined carbs quickly and converts them to sugar. A diet rich in refined carbohydrates leads to obesity and inflammation and may set you up for other chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Substitute whole grain flour for white flour.
5. White Potatoes
Just like white flour, white potatoes are refined carbohydrates. Whether mashed or fried, white potatoes drive up obesity and trigger inflammation, which leads to joint pain. Switch to sweet potatoes for a starchy treat that's rich in vitamins and minerals and won't lead to a flare-up of joint pain.
While small amounts of alcohol are easily digested by the liver, too much alcohol can overwhelm the liver, which can compromise your body's systems and cause inflammation. Reduce or eliminate alcohol if you experience joint pain.
Too muchsalt dehydrates you and causes inflammation. Salt hides in processed foods, so look for low-salt products or cook from scratch and season to taste. Use fresh herbs or spices to flavor your food without consuming a lot of salt.
Nightshade vegetables, which include tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, may aggravate joint pain because they containsolanine, a compound that can trigger pain for some individuals.
Whether you're drinking tea, coffee, or soda, caffeine can dehydrate you, deplete your body's stores of vitamins and minerals, and exacerbate inflammation. Balance out your caffeine intake with plenty of water to nourish your body, and cut back on the amount of caffeine you consume to reduce symptoms.
For some arthritis sufferers, dairy proteins increase inflammation. Other people can drink milk and eat yogurt and feel fine. If you've cut out these other foods and still experience stiff joints, try giving up dairy for two weeks to see whether you feel better.
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