How to reduce your chances of suffering from arthritis

How to reduce your chances of suffering from arthritis

Author -  Good Health

If it’s a bit of a struggle to get up in the morning and you suffer from creaking joints and inflexibility then you’re not alone. Unfortunately, joint conditions are some of the most common health ailments that people experience. They’re often attributed to advancing age but the reality is that people of all ages can be affected.

Approximately 30% of the population of Western nations aged between 45 and 60 are afflicted with Osteoarthritis and approximately 63% to 85% of the population aged over 65 suffer Osteoarthritis. Arthritis occurs most commonly in people aged 40 and over whilst excessive stress or injuries from sport can cause arthritis in some people as young as 25. Obesity is also a contributing factor to the deterioration of arthritis due to the extra weight bearing down on the joints.

Healthy cartilage is vital for the smooth operation of joints. The end of each bone making up a joint is covered in a lubricated cartilage ‘cushion’ which acts as a shock-absorber. If cartilage deteriorates, movement may become painful and restricted, which can interfere with daily activities. Commonly affected joints include the knees, hips, fingers and spine.

Inflammation is also a major cause of the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis. Some foods are known to increase inflammation in our body which may lead to an increase in the severity of the symptoms associated with the disease. Therefore, it is really important to eat a well-balanced diet to support your body’s fight against inflammation.

Our top tips:

Limit foods that will worsen any inflammation

Foods that increase inflammation include red meat, alcohol and coffee. Try Green Tea for an uplifting energy burst without the acidity and inflammatory side effects of coffee. Also avoid foods from the nightshade family; potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums, eggplant and chilli. Excessive consumption of these foods can cause or exacerbate arthritis symptoms.

Limit your omega-6 fatty acid intake

Consuming too much omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation throughout the body, especially when they are not balanced with Omega 3. Omega-6 fatty acids occur in a variety of vegetable oils such as sunflower, grape seed, canola, safflower and soybean oil, which are found in a lot of processed foods including salad dressings and mayonnaise, fried foods and margarines. 

Increase your omega-3 intake

The richest sources of omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish, flaxseed and hempseed oil, and chia seeds. The modern diet trends towards having too much Omega 6 in comparison to Omega 3. In fact, compared to our ancestors the ratio between the consumption of Omega 6 to Omega 3 has risen dramatically. In comparison, it is thought that the hunter gatherer diet our ancestors ate was at a ratio of 1:1 of Omega 6 to Omega 3. It is estimated that the western diet today has inflated this ration to 10:1 or could be as high as 20:1 for those with an unhealthy diet. 

Eat spices with anti-inflammatory properties

Alternatively, increasing some naturally anti-inflammatory foods and spices in our diet can help. Common and accessible ones are turmeric and ginger whether it is fresh or dry; add to smoothies, curries and stir-fry meals in abundance and enjoy the earthy taste of turmeric and zingy freshness of ginger.

Take care of your joints the natural way

Joints are an engineering masterpiece, able to withstand impressive loads and perform a wide range of movements. The building blocks of cartilage (which is vital for the smooth operation of joints) include Glucosamine and Chondroitin, essential ingredients for its resilience. However, movement may become restricted and more difficult, when cartilage deteriorates.

In addition to the well researched Glucosamine and Chondroitin, there are other nutrients that can be utilised for optimal joint health. MSM, a natural sulphur compound, is essential to support optimal muscle health and joint function. Herbs such as White Willow and Devils Claw can increase the beneficial supportive and anti-inflammatory effects that the above ingredients have on joint health.

Glucosamine 1-a-day is a new, 1-a-day, high strength joint repair formula, featuring 1500mg of Glucosamine with Chondroitin, Turmeric, White Willow, Vitamin D3 Plus other key nutrients for bone, joint and muscle support.

Krill & Glucosamine is a new triple benefit formula designed to mobilise, repair and protect joints. The addition of Krill Oil & Fish Oil to Glucosamine supports joint comfort and mobility by promoting a healthy tissue response. (add link to product, once uploaded to website).

Joint zone™ contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin, the natural building blocks of healthy cartilage. The essential bone nutrient, Vitamin D, is also provided to support optimal bone and muscle health. Joint zone™ supports joint health, mobility and comfort, with additional support for the maintenance of bone health.

Painex™ contains MSM, a natural sulphur compound essential for joint and muscle health and supporting joint function. Magnesium, Vitamin C and White Willow are included to further enhance the benefits of MSM. Painex™ is an effective natural supplement to promote muscle relaxation and mobility.

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time.

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Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time