Arthritis comes in many forms but the most common in the UK is osteoarthritis, which affects nearly nine million people. By following a Mediterranean diet, symptoms of the condition could be reduced. How?
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Arthritis Foundation said: “While there is no specific diet that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) should follow, researchers have identified certain foods that can help control inflammation.
“Many of them are found in the so-called Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fish, vegetables and olive oil, among other staples.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans but low processed foods and saturated fat, is not only great for overall health, but can also help manage disease activity.
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What is the Mediterranean diet?
A Mediterranean diet incorporates the traditional healthy living habits of people from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including France, Greece, Italy and Spain.
The NHS explained: “The Mediterranean diet varies by country and region, so it has a range of definitions.
“But in general, it’s high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil.
“It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods.
“The Mediterranean diet has been linked with good health, including heart health.”
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Due to its low portions of meat, the Mediterranean diet has been touted as an inflammation-fighting diet.
Many people believe that avoiding animal products makes for an even healthier diet.
As a result, those with inflammatory types of arthritis may be tempted to follow this diet or a more vegetarian diet in the hope that doing so will help them better manage their disease.
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How foods affect inflammation in the body
Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.
On one hand, it’s the body’s natural way of protecting itself when sick or injured.
It can help the body defend itself from illness and stimulate healing.
On the other hand, chronic, sustained inflammation is linked to an increased risk of diseases and worsen the symptoms of arthritis.
Interestingly, the foods you eat can significantly affect inflammation in the body.
What are the worst foods which increase inflammation in the body?
Sugar and fructose should be avoided to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Added sugars and fructose have been described as harmful to the body due to the increase in inflammation it causes which leads to several diseases.
Other foods to avoid include:
- Trans fat
- Refined carbohydrates
- Excessive alcohol
- Processed meat
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