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How Does Diet Affect Arthritis?

Quoted in a Q&A for Our Health. My thoughts on how diet may affect arthritis are included below. For the full newsletter, click here.

Food impacts the gastrointestinal tract in the same way that viruses affect the immune system. As such, we should be cautious of what we eat and avoid the “bad stuff.”

Although there is no evidence that an “anti-inflammatory diet” improves autoimmune inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or degenerative osteoarthritis, I do believe that watching what you eat can have a positive influence on arthritis.

The Mediterranean diet is likely the healthiest diet for anyone. It includes vegetables, legumes, grains, fruits, beans, fish, non-animal fats such as olive oil, and spices and herbs rather than salt. Frozen vegetables and fruits are healthier than canned ones, due to the additives and preservatives in canned foods. Processed foods as well as animal and polyunsaturated fats should be avoided. Fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and cause clinical improvements in RA.

Here’s some food for thought: If there is a particular food that makes your joints hurt, talk to your doctor and consider avoiding future consumption.

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