Four ‘inflammatory’ foods to avoid if you have arthritis

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Arthritis is common in the UK, affecting millions of people.

Depending on the type you have it can cause joint pain, inflammation, stiffness and difficulty with movement.

While there are a number of factors that can increase the risk of arthritis there are also ways to lower your risk or ease symptoms.

Corrective Exercise and High-performance Kinesiology practitioner and founder of Boostball, Steve Bessant, spoke exclusively to about foods to avoid if you have or are concerned about developing arthritis.

He said: “When it comes to easing painful joints through a holistic diet and exercise, there are several recommendations that can be beneficial.

“Foodwise it is mainly reducing the consumption of pro-inflammatory foods and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods can play a significant role in promoting joint health.”

He advised minimising your intake of four types of “pro-inflammatory” food:

  • Sugar
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Processed foods
  • Unhealthy fats and seed oils.

He said: “Cut back on foods known to promote inflammation, such as sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and unhealthy fats and seed oils.

“These foods can contribute to increased joint pain and inflammation as they oxidise quickly and become rancid.”

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Refined carbohydrates are one of two main types of carbohydrates and refer to sugars (such as glucose, fructose, sucrose) or anything made from grains that have had the fibrous wheatgerm and bran removed from them.

These include white pasta, white bread, white rice, fizzy drinks, crisps, cakes and sugar-sweetened cereals.

Unhealthy fats are saturated or trans fats and include things like processed meats, hard cheeses, fried food, biscuits and cakes.

Mr Bessant also recommended limiting gluten products.

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“For individuals who are sensitive to gluten, reducing or eliminating gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye may help alleviate joint pain,” he said.

“Gluten sensitivity can exacerbate inflammation in some people.”

There are also plenty of foods you should up your intake of to help your arthritis symptoms.

“Embrace anti-inflammatory foods,” he commented.

“Incorporate plenty of foods known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

“Turmeric, ginger, green leafy vegetables, berries, fatty fish (such as salmon and mackerel), walnuts, and flaxseeds are examples of anti-inflammatory foods that can support joint health.”

He added: “Include foods rich in antioxidants to combat oxidative stress, which can contribute to joint inflammation.

“Colourful fruits and vegetables like berries, oranges, spinach, kale, and broccoli are excellent sources of antioxidants.”
Common symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
  • Inflammation in and around the joints
  • Restricted movement of the joints
  • Warm red skin over the affected joint
  • Weakness and muscle wasting.

If you think you have arthritis you should speak to your GP.Head: Four ‘inflammatory’ foods to avoid if you have arthritis.

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