In the United States alone, an estimated 50 million adults are afflicted with arthritis and to relieve the severe discomfort that comes with the disease, many resort to over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication. This provides short term and immediate relief but a healthier and more proactive intervention would be diet modification since arthritis is a disease with symptoms that flare up when certain foods are taken.
When it comes to food preparation for people with arthritis, there are two main things that need consideration – the actual food preparation and the diet components. While a person with arthritic hands can ask someone to do the food prep for her, she may still want to do the actual cooking herself. If that is the case, then she will need an automatic hands free pot stirrer to make the job easier for her.
As for the diet components for someone with arthritis, it’s important to make sure an arthritic’s diet has certain foods vital to the relief of joint inflammation and weakening of the bones, which are the two main symptoms of arthritis.
Important Diet Components for People with Arthritis
There are some types of fish that contain fatty acids that have been found to decrease inflammation related to arthritis. In particular, the intake of these fatty acids seems to be helpful for those who are afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis. In lieu of commercially prepared fish oil tablets, research shows that it is more beneficial to eat fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel a few times each week. One of the most important cooking tips for people with arthritis is comes from one of the newest diet trends, the anti-inflammatory diet, which specifically recommends eating fish from 2 to 3 times a week.
Fruits and Vegetables
People with arthritis should make sure that their diet contains plenty of fruits and vegetables in order to help decrease the pain that comes with arthritis. Some studies point to the possibility that the fiber and antioxidants found in vegetables and fruits help to relieve joint stiffness and pain. The antioxidants in both of these foods are seen to prevent some of the damage caused by free radicals that results in a lessening of the effects of the disease. People with arthritis should take at least five servings daily of fruits and vegetables.
Some studies show that refined grains such as what is found in pasta and white bread actually worsen the symptoms that come with arthritis while whole grains such as brown rice have no such undesirable effect. This is partly due to the fiber contained in whole grains, which helps relieve joint stiffness. Proceeding from the results of these studies, it would make sense to say that one of the most valuable cooking tips for people with arthritis would be to shift from white bread to whole grain bread; from plain pasta to whole-wheat pasta and from white to brown rice.
Foods to Avoid
Perhaps one of the most important things to remember for people with arthritis would be to avoid using as ingredients foods that increase pain and swelling. These would include refined sugars as well as fruits and vegetables that belong to the nightshade family: bell pepper, Italian pepper, chili pepper, eggplant, potato, tomato, tomatillo, cayenne, and paprika.
With these diet components that must be integrated in an arthritic’s food preparation and a handy kitchen tool to make cooking easier, life will be so much better, healthier, and tastier for a person with arthritis.