Managing arthritis can be a full-time job. There are certain activities and medication to be avoided to keep pain levels low, but there are also a number of foods that affect your joints and tissue. These are the worst FIVE foods to avoid for arthritis causing unnecessary pain.
1. ANYTHING with Gluten
Sorry, my carb-loving friends, but you may have to say goodbye to traditional pastas and breads.
Aside from the fact that these foods pack a ton of carbohydrates, gluten can cause an incredible amount of inflammation.
Not everyone will have adverse reactions to gluten: current estimates say that around 13% of the population has some form of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and around 1% of the population has full-blown celiac disease.
Unfortunately, around 40% of the population is a carrier for the gene that causes celiac disease. Environmental factors that could trigger the gene to ‘turn on’ range from pregnancy, illness, menopause, antibiotic use, prolonged use of ibuprofen, gastrointestinal infections to a simple stomach flu. If you have arthritis, it’s really best (and healthier for your waistline) not to chance it.
2. Nightshade Vegetables
If you’ve ever heard of New England Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady, then you probably know about his super strict diet and how it’s kept him playing football for so long.
One of the foods he avoids completely are nightshade vegetables, as they are known to cause inflammation. Examples include eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers (both hot and sweet).
Nightshade vegetables contain alkaloids, which alter the way calcium is metabolized in the body. In higher concentrations, alkaloids cause calcium to deposit in the soft tissues of the body, causing joint pain and inflammation.
3. Processed Fast Foods
Yes, this includes French fries. Fast foods joints love to cook and fry their foods in oils full of trans-fat oils, which have an abundance of Omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-6 in low moderation is good for you, but in the amounts you’d consume with just one serving of fast food Omega-6’s increase inflammation in the body by triggering fibrin build-up in your joints over time.
Normally, fibrin is a healing protein utilized by the body for a short amount of time to heal injuries – partially by causing inflammation to bring in white blood cell. When fibrin doesn’t know when to call it quits, or it builds up when it’s not needed (arthritis), pain is inevitable.
4. Barbecued and Blackened Foods
Grilling alone doesn’t necessarily cause problems.
It’s when you go for that pretty charred look on meats and vegetables that things start to go wrong. Cooking foods (meats in particular) at high temperatures over an open flame releases a byproduct called Advanced Glycation End (AGEs).
AGEs are well-known in the medical world to cause inflammation of not only the joints, but of your entire vascular system.
Studies also show that diabetics are more affected than most by AGEs, increasing inflammation and accelerating heart disease.
5. Processed Sugar (Especially Soda)
It’s no secret that soda is bad for you. Full-sugar soda is laden with more sweeteners and artificial flavoring in one bottle than a person should ingest in a week!
Processed sugar – like that found in your favorite carbonated beverages – trigger your body to release pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are released by the immune system to send healing cells to sites of injury, infection, or trauma.
This is all well and good when you actually have something wrong, but it will cause unnecessary inflammation and pain in your joints if the healing cells have nowhere else to go.
Diet soda may cut out the sugar, but artificial sweeteners are their own version of evil for your body.