Arthritis: 'No evidence' copper bracelets help says Dr Nighat
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More than nine million people in the UK suffer from some form of arthritis, where the cartilage and ligaments of the joints become damaged or degraded. This can cause pain and stiffness in the joints and limit your range of movement. A new study published in the journal Nutrients has analysed several diets with anti-inflammatory properties to assess their impact on the symptoms of arthritis. Mediterranean, vegetarian, vegan and ketogenic diets have all been associated with reduced inflammation.
A common trait of these anti-inflammatory diets is the preference for fruits and vegetables.
These foods are rich in antioxidants which reduce inflammation and provide a number of other health benefits.
Avoiding inflammatory foods, such as red and white meat are also beneficial.
Highly processed foods that contain sugar or salt can also worsen inflammation.
Osteoarthritis is more common in people who suffer from high cholesterol.
Lowering your cholesterol levels can ease the symptoms of this type of arthritis.
Some foods, such as oily fish, have both cholesterol lowering and anti-inflammatory properties.
The British Dietitians Association (BDA) recommends that people with arthritis consume oily fish once a week or take fish oil supplements.
Another dietary consideration that impacts arthritis is your overall body weight.
Excess fat can exacerbate inflammation and being overweight can increase the amount of pressure on the joints, worsening pain.
Changes in your eating habits may be able to help you lose weight.
The BDA recommends regular exercise with healthy eating can be the best way to reduce joint pain if you are overweight.
The NHS recommends that on top of maintaining a healthy diet you engage in regular exercise.
Too much or the wrong type of exercise can worsen symptoms, so they recommend you consult your GP to identifywhat type and level of exercise is appropriate.
It may also help to experiment with different methods of warming up and cooling down to ensure that you do not cause any injury to yourself.
Carrying out proper and frequent exercise can reduce pain, prevent stiffness and increase your range of movement.
Some aspects of an arthritis diet will differ depending on the type of arthritis a person has.
A doctor or dietitian can give more detailed advice specific to your circumstances.
They may also be able to diagnose any vitamin deficiencies that are worsening your symptoms.
Vitamin D is a common deficiency that impairs bone and cartilage health and can be treated with supplements.
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