When you have arthritis, your pain and stiffness may be worse after you eat certain foods and beverages. Arthritis is an umbrella term for more than 100 different diseases that cause joint inflammation and pain. The condition most commonly affects the hands, knees, and hips, although it can strike anywhere in the body. Although there’s no cure for arthritis, you can manage its symptoms with medication and other treatments.
Reducing stress and staying active can also help ease the pain of arthritis. You should avoid certain foods when you have arthritis because they cause inflammation or are hard to digest. This can make your symptoms worse. Talk to your doctor about whether or not these foods are safe for you to eat if you have arthritis.
Foods that cause inflammation
Certain foods contain compounds that can increase inflammation in the body. If you already have inflammation in your joints, eating these foods can make your symptoms worse. They include: –
Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can increase inflammation and pain in your joints. Research shows that it can worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Caffeine: Caffeine can increase your risk of joint pain and other symptoms associated with arthritis. It is most harmful when consumed in high amounts, such as 10 or more cups of coffee a day.
Trans fats: Trans fats increase inflammation and are linked to higher rates of arthritis. You can find these fats in processed foods like cookies, crackers, and frozen meals.
Saturated fats: Eating a lot of saturated fats can increase the risk of developing any type of arthritis. The best way to avoid this is to eat a balanced diet and limit portion sizes.
You may be able to eat starchy foods when you have arthritis. However, your doctor may advise against them if you have joint damage from diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Starchy foods are hard to digest and can cause digestive issues. This may make your arthritis symptoms worse. There is also some evidence that eating foods high in starch may increase your risk of developing arthritis.
Starchy foods include:
– Bread and pasta: These grains are easy to digest and can be part of a healthy diet. If you have joint damage, however, you may want to avoid them since they are harder to digest.
– Corn: Corn is a starchy vegetable that may exacerbate symptoms of arthritis.
– Potatoes: Potatoes are a starchy tuber that may exacerbate symptoms of arthritis.
Sugar and sweets
There is a link between sugar and joint pain. It is unclear whether sugar causes arthritis or if people who eat more sugar have more joint pain. Sugar can increase inflammation in the body. People with arthritis often have higher levels of inflammation, which may be why sugar exacerbates joint pain. If you have arthritis, you should reduce your sugar consumption as much as possible.
Sugary foods include:
– Candy: It is easy to eat too many calories with just one piece of candy. This can lead to weight gain and joint pain.
– Cookies and cakes: These baked goods often have high sugar content. They can also be high in fat and salt.
– Fruit juice: Although fruit juice is healthier than soda, it is still high in sugar. You should eat whole fruits instead.
Eating large amounts of fatty foods can increase joint pain and inflammation. This is because fat is metabolized into chemicals that can increase inflammation. Some research shows that monounsaturated fats may be helpful for people with arthritis. You can get these fats in foods like nuts and avocados.
Fats to avoid when you have arthritis include:
– Butter: This dairy product is high in saturated fat. You can find it in baked goods, soups, and sauces.
– Dairy: Dairy products like milk and cheese are high in fat. You should avoid them if you have arthritis.
– Fried foods: These are high in unhealthy fats. You should avoid them if you have arthritis.
Nuts and grains
Nuts and grains like wheat and rye contain compounds that can damage your joints. This may make your symptoms worse. Avoid eating too many nuts and grains if you have arthritis. There is some evidence that eating small amounts of nuts may be helpful for people with arthritis.
Nuts you should avoid include:
– Cashews: People with arthritis should avoid cashews. They are high in a compound called uric acid, which can worsen joint pain.
– Peanuts: These nuts are high in fat and salt, which can make arthritis worse. They are also one of the most common allergens. Grains you should avoid include:
– Wheat: Research shows that eating a lot of wheat can damage your joints. It is best to eat small amounts of whole grains if you have arthritis.
– Rye: Rye is another grain that is best avoided if you have arthritis. It is also common in rye bread.
Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are healthy foods that are rich in fiber. However, they also contain compounds that can cause joint pain. These compounds are called lectins, which can damage your joints. You should avoid eating beans and legumes if you have arthritis.
Beans and legumes to avoid include:
– Black beans: Black beans have a high lectin content and should be avoided if you have arthritis.
– Soybeans: People with arthritis should avoid soybeans. They have a high lectin content and can worsen joint pain.
Baked goods like pastries and cookies are hard to digest. They take longer for your body to break down and metabolize than whole grains. This leads to bloating and nausea which can make joint pain worse. You should avoid baked goods if you have arthritis.
Baked goods to avoid include:
– Pies: Pie crusts are often made with unhealthy fats. These baked goods may exacerbate joint pain.
– Cookies: You can find cookies made with a variety of different ingredients. Cookies are hard to digest and can make your arthritis symptoms worse.
You should avoid certain beverages when you have arthritis because they can trigger inflammation.
– Alcohol: Alcoholic drinks like beer and wine are high in sugar and can exacerbate joint pain. – Soda: Soda is high in sugar and can also exacerbate joint pain.
– Coffee: Coffee is high in caffeine, which can exacerbate joint pain. This is particularly true if you drink too much of it.
These beverages are healthy to drink if you have arthritis:
– Water: Many people don’t drink enough water, which can lead to joint pain. Make sure you drink plenty of water.
– Tea: Tea is a healthy drink that can help you relax. It is also void of caffeine and sugar. Make sure you choose herbal tea if you have arthritis.
When you have arthritis, it is important to avoid certain foods and beverages. These include alcohol, caffeine, sugar and sweets, fatty foods, nuts and grains, beans and legumes, baked goods, and beverages high in sugar. Instead, you should eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. You may also want to take supplements like fish oil and vitamin D to stay healthy.