Osteoarthritis is considered one of the most prevalent forms of arthritis, characterized by damaged knees and joints of the hands, neck or lower back. Even though this is a degenerative disease that can reduce mobility over a period of time, doctors believe that its onset and progression might be curtailed by following a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Factors and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Commonly referred to as the wear-and-tear type of arthritis, osteoarthritis causes damage to the cartilage that typically protects the joints from friction and constant wear and tear.
Research shows that though this condition can occur in people of all ages, it is more prevalent in those over 65, especially women. Factors like weight, age, joint injury, weak thigh muscles and genetic disposition can increase the risk of osteoarthritis too.
The most common symptoms associated with the condition are:
- Tender joints
- Joint stiffness, especially in the mornings
- Decreased flexibility
- Joint pain after strenuous activity
- Development of bone spurs
- Grating or rubbing sensation in the impacted joints
Managing Osteoarthritis Knee Pain With a Healthy Diet
Though doctors do not have a miracle diet to help you cope with osteoarthritis knee, they do have some suggestions to modify your diet, manage a healthy weight, reduce inflammation and support your symptoms.
Recommended dietary changes to support osteoarthritis knee pain:
- Avoid cooking meats at a high temperature: It has been noticed that cooking meats at extreme temperatures, like on a grill, can produce inflammation-causing components called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These may increase the risk of diseases like diabetes, cancer and arthritis. It is also recommended to reduce the intake of processed, ready-to-eat meats, as they may also be cooked at high temperatures.
- Try to use more olive oil: Oleocanthal, a component in olive oil might reduce inflammation. It is said that 3 ½ tablespoons of olive oil may provide the same pain-relief as 200 milligrams of ibuprofen. But consuming that much olive oil is not recommended because it can pack a whopping 400 calories. You could, however, use it instead of other fats like butter or margarine.
- Up your vitamin C intake: Apart from supporting immunity, vitamin C is essential for maintaining healthy levels of collagen and connective tissues, which are required for healthy joints. Foods rich in vitamin C, like citrus varieties, strawberries and kale might help provide optimum amounts of the vitamin.
- Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet: Most vegetables and fruits come packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and doctors recommend incorporating them into every meal for the best benefits. Studies show that foods like onions, apples and some berries might help reduce inflammation.
- Include omega-3 fatty acids: These essential fatty acids are known to support joint health and might reduce joint inflammation and stiffness. You can increase your intake of omega-3s by including varieties of fish like mackerel, tuna and sardines or by taking supplements.
It is also essential to maintain a healthy weight as it can reduce the strain on your already impacted knees. So, follow a healthy diet, eat in moderation, track your calories, exercise regularly and help yourself deal with the painful conditions ensuing from osteoarthritis knee.
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Healthy Eating for Knee Osteoarthritis: Olive Oil, Fish, Vitamin C, and More. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/knee-pain-16/osteoarthritis-diet
What is Osteoarthritis? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoarthritis/what-is-osteoarthritis.php