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Using Food to Combat Inflammation

By Stephen R. Farris

Did you know that what you eat can affect you if you suffer from arthritis? Recent long-period studies indicate that by eating healthier, and certain types of foods, can help reduce inflammation in arthritis sufferers.

There are many forms of arthritis with the most common type known as osteoarthritis. In addition to osteoarthritis, there are other forms such as rheumatoid, psoriatic, juvenile idiopathic, gout, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis.

At any given time, inflammation can occur and cause pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles, leaving you with a helpless feeling. Even though it's the body's natural form of defense against bacteria and assists in the healing process of wounds, long periods of inflammation can produce chronic symptoms that have an adverse effect, especially in the case of the nearly 23 percent of Americans that suffer from arthritis.

Medication is usually prescribed to help fight against inflammation when it reaches that level, however, pills or liquid medicine can become addictive. The good news is there are natural ways that can help bring relief, and one way is from our diet.

What Can Food Do?

  • Number one, food can -- as pointed out above -- reduce inflammation levels in the body
  • Help with weight management and maintenance
  • Help tissue become more healthy and help in the healing process

Foods You Can Eat

  • Unsaturated fats - Such as avocado oil, olive oil, and oil from nuts and seeds.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids - Those include oily fish, sardines, salmon, and herring to name a few.
  • Fruits and vegetables - Green leafy veggies, onions, garlic, squash, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, such as oranges, strawberries, kiwis, etc.

Foods You Should Avoid

  • Inflammatory fats - Omega-6 fatty acids, saturated fats, trans fats. While not harmful in small amounts, it has been noted through research that Americans consume more than they should in these types of fats.
  • Sugars - Soft drinks, breakfast cereals, and sauces usually have higher sugar content than other types of foods. Always check the labels to see how much they have.
  • Nightshades - These are vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers, potatoes, and eggplant; they contain a compound called solanine, which can trigger arthritis pain, according to research.

If you suffer from arthritis and have frequent inflammation that lingers for long periods, check with your doctor or chiropractor to find out about the nutritional benefits in combating it through healthy eating.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lake Mary, Fla.

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