It should be no surprise at this point that the foods you eat influence your overall health. Your diet affects energy levels, digestion, stress hormones, skin appearance, and joint mobility. If you have arthritis, you understand that certain foods can worsen symptoms. These foods are inflammatory and tend to be rich in saturated fats and sugars.
Joint pain can stem from several causes, including a hard workout, physical injury, arthritis, or general inflammation. If your joints are not sore from physical activity, then your diet may be the root cause of the issue. Joint pain can easily be the result of a food sensitivity, and you can test that via a food sensitivity test or an elimination diet. You can click here to learn more about the process of an elimination diet, which can be time-consuming and frustrating at times.
If you want to skip testing and are into the idea of eliminating certain foods from your diet, we suggest avoiding the common foods below. They tend to be very inflammatory, impairing range of motion and increasing stiffness. Avoid the following foods and you may find that you improve mobility and experience less joint pain.
The best of all the snacks, right? Well, too much salt has a negative affect on both blood pressure and inflammation in the joints. Additionally, it’s common for salty foods to contribute to fluid retention, which can decrease range of motion. Table salt isn’t the only salt source that limits your mobility, though. Chips, pretzels, frozen pizza, TV dinners, canned soups, and other processed foods are loaded with sodium. This is why many Americans exceed the recommended daily intake of sodium by more than 40%. Avoid prepackaged foods and opt for natural foods that are low in sodium, and you may find that joint pain decreases.
This group of produce has one thing in common: they contain the compound solanine. According to several studies, nightshades trigger arthritic pain and experts believe that removing it from the diet may improve symptoms. Nightshades include bell peppers, potatoes, eggplant, chili peppers, and tomatoes. Nightshades may worsen symptoms of arthritis, so a great first step is to exclude them from your diet for a couple weeks. One by one, reintroduce these foods to see if you experience joint pain after consumption. It can beneficial to keep a food journal during this process.
Refined Cooking Oils And Flours
If a sensitivity test isn’t easily accessible, take initiative and consider swapping the cooking oil that you use. Many people cook with refined oils that easily cause inflammation. Instead of using vegetable oils, opt for avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil to reduce your intake of omega-6 fatty acids. Using healthier oils helps to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which work to reduce inflammation. Additionally, the types of flour that you cook or bake with can affect your joint health. Not all flour is created equal, though. Consider experimenting with coconut flour, almond flour, buckwheat flour, whole wheat flour, or quinoa flour.
Foods High In Purines
People with gout tend to be the most susceptible to foods that are high in purines. A low purine diet may decrease uric acid in joints, helping to reduce stiffness and pain. The body converts purines into uric acid, which can accumulate in the bloodstream and cause a gout attack. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that alcoholic beverages, cured meats (bacon or lunch meats), red meat, organ meat, and certain seafood products are high in purines. Eliminate these foods from your diet and see if your joints feel better. If you have gout, you may notice that avoiding these foods improves the condition.
As you know by now, many foods can trigger inflammation in the body. There are several types of fats that increase inflammatory markers, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Should you experience inflammatory joint pain, eliminate omega-6 fatty acids, trans fats, and saturated fats from your diet. Omega-6s are in vegetable oils, including corn, sunflower, vegetable, and safflower oils. Many Americans consume omega-6s in excess, which is why many people deal with inflammation. Meat, butter, and cheese contain saturated fat, which should only account for less than 10% of a person’s total caloric intake per day. Trans fats should be avoided whenever possible. These fats can increase cholesterol and inflammation levels. Removing trans fats from your diet can help lower inflammation and improve heart health, according to research.