If you have swollen, inflamed joints you may have realized certain foods create inflammation. If you avoid them, you may be able to reduce your pain without harsh medications.
Now, there can be a lot of reasons for aching joints.
In the case of osteoarthritis, the degeneration of cartilage at the joints is the main culprit. Bursitis is another condition that causes joint pain, in which the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion the bones at the joints become inflamed. There are also autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joint areas.
In autoimmune disorders, the body's immune system fails to tell the difference between healthy tissues and harmful substances in the body. This results to a hypersensitivity reaction that destroys even healthy body tissues.
One of the body's first responses to irritations of this sort is inflammation. This accounts for the swelling, redness, and pain in the joints felt by persons who suffer from autoimmune diseases. However, research has recently shown that swelling can be aggravated by foods that create inflammation.
Foods high in linoleic acid, a kind of omega-6 essential fatty acid, are known to increase have inflammatory effects. Examples of these are corn, peanut, and soy.
On the other hand, foods that are rich in omega-3 such as tuna and other coldwater fish, have a soothing effect on joint pains. Roughly 100 years ago, most Westerners had a well-balanced diet rich in both omega-6 and omega-3 food sources. However, now nutritionists agree that omega-6-rich foods that cause inflammation far outweigh omega-3 foods in the high-carbohydrates and low-protein diet that most Americans eat today.
Here is a list of some of the foods that can create inflammation and joint pains:
• Dairy products such as cow's milk and cheese contain lactose, a substance that can cause allergic reactions, which may trigger swelling of the bone junctions in the body.
• Refined sugars like white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and confectioner's sugar are also best avoided if you suffer from joint pains. Opt for natural sweeteners like honey instead.
• Grains with gluten like wheat, oats and rye can quickly trigger an inflammatory reaction.
• Polyunsaturated oils like sunflower, corn, soy, safflower and peanut oils are high in linoleic acid, which can have an inflammatory effect on the body.
• Caffeine, which is present in coffee, soda, or tea, is known to increase inflammation in cases of people who suffer from joint pains.
• Red meat such as beef, lamb and pork too can increase aches and pains in your joints. If you eat more chicken and fish you may notice less pain.
There are surely many foods that can create inflammation and result to joint pains. However, this doesn't mean that you have to eliminate these foods entirely from your diet.
You can experiment by avoiding them all at once, then slowly reintroducing each one back into your diet, just to see which foods would really trigger the inflammation and joint pain reactions in your body. Or, you can cut back gradually. Doctors say adding omega-3 fish oil supplements to your diet can help balance your fatty acids and relieve inflammation too.-By Jennifer P. April