By Nicole Visnic
Did you know arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States? It affects nearly 58.5 million people every year with over 100 different forms causing joint pain or joint disease due to inflammation.
With over 20 years’ experience, Nicole Visnic, CCN for LifeSpan Medicine, is an expert in nutrition. Visnic is dedicated to reducing joint pain and inflammation tailoring menus and providing recipes to each of her client’s needs. Foods that are proven to cause symptoms of arthritis are:
1. Dairy– the cause of many flare-ups due to a protein, Casein, found only in dairy products. Within the past decade an increase of alternatives to dairy have hit the market including soymilk, almond milk, dairy-free cheeses and ice cream.
2. Gluten– a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley causing the immune system to attack the healthy tissues in the body in those with sensitivity to gluten or Celiac Disease. People who eliminate gluten from their diet have found a drastic decrease of inflammatory episodes within weeks.
3. Processed Sugar– found in cookies, cakes, soda, white bread, white rice, and pasta according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition prompts the release of cytokines, a protein produced by our cells, causing inflammation in the joints.
4. Saturated Fats– found in animal fats, dairy, sugary foods and sodas according to The Arthritis Foundation, triggers inflammation in the fat tissue even if consumed in small amounts.
5. Trans Fats– a byproduct found mainly in fast food, processed foods, and fried foods was created from healthy fats turned into not-so-health fats to create a longer shelf life is found to irritate arthritis and increases inflammation according to a study by Harvard School of Public Health.
Removing these inflammation-causing offenders will decrease the pain of arthritis while adding these five foods to your diet will help heal your body and satisfy your palate.
1. Fish- a notoriously good source of omega-3 fatty acid your body doesn’t make but is necessary to decrease inflammation also found in chia seeds, walnuts and soybeans.
2. Dark Leafy Greens- spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens are rich in vitamins and mineral such as calcium, iron, disease-fighting phytochemicals, and Vitamin E protecting the body from cytokines.
3. Berries- all berries are low in calories and are packed with powerful antioxidant components which fight inflammation and cell damage.
4. Citrus fruits- oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are rich in vitamin C, a dietary component necessary for the synthesis of collagen which assists in building and repairing ligaments, and bones. These are also a key source of inflammation-fighting antioxidants.
5. Nuts- walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts are all high in omega-3 fatty acid and rich in fiber, calcium, and vitamin E which will assist your body to repair the damage caused by inflammation.