The Connection between Diet and Joint Health

179322994We’ve all heard the saying “garbage in, garbage out,” and most of us have also experienced the unfortunate effects of a junk food hangover. However, the reverse of this saying is true as well: when you give your body the things it needs to stay healthy, you look and feel better. This is an important attitude to have if diagnosed with a chronic health condition like arthritis. Here are a few ways that your diet can be an important contribution to your overall arthritis treatment.

Handling Inflammatory Response
Normally, inflammation helps promote healing by repairing damage and protecting against infection. Yet, in inflammatory diseases like arthritis, the process causes harm rather than good. The painful symptoms associated with this degenerative joint disease may be lessened with anti-inflammatory elements.

The mildest form of treatment could include physical therapy and stretching exercises to improve mobility to the area. Anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or more serious prescriptions such as corticosteroid injections also help reduce irritation. Even hand surgery reduces the painful symptoms associated with arthritis.

Certain foods can also help; for example, one arthritis study shows that omega-3s help limit the body’s inflammatory response. High levels of omega-3s are found naturally in foods like salmon, flax seeds and walnuts.

The Importance of Clean Fuel
While some foods may reduce inflammation, others may worsen the way we feel physically. Our bodies simply aren’t equipped to handle the large amounts of sodium, refined sugars and simple carbs that are so prevalent in today’s typical diet. Focusing instead on eating fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins and plenty of whole grains gives your body the necessary nutrients it needs, which is important for the optimal health that may help improve your arthritis symptoms.

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