Support Your Arthritis Treatment With These Diet Changes

Support Your Arthritis Treatment With These Diet Changes

If you’re one of the over 53 million Americans who live with osteoarthritis, the most common form of the arthritis, you understand fully how painful and life-limiting the joint inflammation that defines it can be. 

It seems there’s not a place on your body that arthritis misses. It can affect your wrists, hands, ankles, hips, knees, and even your spine, which can lead to chronic neck and back pain.

Physical therapy can provide significant pain relief and help to restore your mobility. 

At Empire Physical & Athletic Rehabilitation, physical therapists Billy Reilly, MS, PT, and Paul LaRosa, MS, PT, are committed to establishing long-term relationships with their patients and partnering with them in their care. 

They’re also dedicated to educating patients about steps they can take to support their health that also mitigate the painful symptoms of arthritis. 

Arthritis is progressive

If you suffer from arthritis, we want to help you do all you can to slow the advance of the disease. Fortunately, care from a health care provider and consciousness about self-care can go a long way toward easing arthritis pain and movement problems.

It’s worth doing all you can to address your arthritis since, in addition to pain, it also causes uncomfortable swelling, sensitivity, long-lasting stiffness, and irritation to joints that manifests as redness and skin that’s warm to the touch. 

You are what you eat: How to improve arthritis symptoms

Your diet plays a major role in healing and supporting your wellness. As with so many conditions, from heart disease to diabetes, what you eat significantly affects arthritis.

We’ve put together nutrition tips that can help your reduce arthritis pain and get you moving more comfortably again.

Go Mediterranean

You may have read and heard a lot about different health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy fats like olive oil, and sparing use of meat. 

The Mediterranean diet is high in anti-inflammatory properties, high in antioxidants (substances that safeguard cells from damage), and high in fiber, so you feel full and satisfied longer.

In addition to combating arthritis, the Mediterranean diet has been shown to lower cancer risk, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Fill up on the green — and blue, orange, and purple stuff

You may have heard of the “rainbow plate,” meaning one that’s filled with colorful produce like red onions, greens, carrots, and berries. 

Foods rich in vitamin K — like broccoli, kale, and spinach — fight inflammation and reduce joint pain. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits contain plenty of vitamin C, which fights inflammation and keeps your joints healthy.

Not only is a plate of many colors good for you, it’s more fun and appealing to eat.

Think seafood

Omega-3 fatty acids lower inflammation. Good sources of omega-3 include salmon, sardines, tuna, and scallops.

Taco Tuesday it is

Fiber-rich beans are filled with anti-inflammatory compounds, and they’re plentiful in protein, too, to keep your muscles strong. 

Don’t stick to the same old kind of bean, though. Mix it up by trying navy beans, pinto beans, or black beans, or whip up a batch of hummus, made from chickpeas.

Good fats

Olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains oleocanthal, which has a lot in common with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), often used to ease arthritis symptoms. 

Wholly nutritious

Whole grains are another nutritional powerhouse that help keep arthritis pain and stiffness away. They’re high in fiber and known to lower levels of the inflammatory marker CRP.

Opt for whole grain breads, quinoa, brown rice, or a comforting bowl of oatmeal for breakfast with a little maple syrup and sliced apples.

It’s OK … go nuts!

Nuts and seeds are filled with monounsaturated fat, which really does a job on inflammation, in addition to being high in protein and fiber. 

Grab a handful of almonds, walnuts, or pistachios for a snack, or throw some on your salad for added crunch.

There are so many ways that a diet like this benefits your body, but if you have arthritis, you’ll definitely notice a difference. 

Combining a stellar diet like this one with customized physical therapy for your arthritis can transform how you feel, strengthen your muscles, and greatly improve your mobility. 

If you struggle with extra pounds, which also fuel arthritis progression and exacerbate symptoms, this diet can help you lose weight.

We’re here to help you live a pain-free and active life, despite arthritis. Contact us at 607-602-1330 to book an appointment at our New York City facility in Manhattan’s Midtown East neighborhood.

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