If you suffer from burning arthritis flares, you could be making the pain worse by eating foods that cause inflammation. The sad truth is that many wildly popular foods aggravate the joints of people living with osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). If you add The Top Twelve Arthritis Healing Superfoods to your diet and eliminate the 10 worst “hurting” foods from your diet, you can get ahead of the game, and your pain.
This “hurting” food group consists of refined sugar and grain products such as commercial white breads, pastries, cookies and crackers, pasta, white rice and sugary breakfast cereals.
1. Why your morning muffin makes your joints hurt: Processed foods contain two problem ingredients: sugar and refined carbohydrates. Your body responds to refined carbs (white flour and refined grains) the same it responds to sugar. Both quickly generate spikes in glucose (blood sugar). Researchers tell us that glucose immediately causes inflammation and creates free radicals, which travel around the body attacking cells. So from the moment that muffin enters your mouth, your joints are under attack.
2. More bad news from processed foods. Those muffins, like most processed foods, also contain refined vegetable oils. I’m talking soy, corn, sunflower, “vegetable”, or cottonseed oils. They’re all chock full of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. When you eat processed foods, you’re giving your joints a triple slam from sugar, refined carbs and hurting oils.
How much inflammation are we getting from these oils? Scientists say that traditionally, the human diet had equal amounts of inflammatory omega-6’s to anti-inflammatory omega-3’s. Because of all the processed food we eat, Americans and Western Europeans now typically eat 20 times more omega-6’s, and some people eat up to 50 times more omega-6’s. That’s a walloping dose of inflammation!
Canola, another oil used in processed foods, is often touted as healthy because it has a better balance of omega oils. But it oxidizes so easily that it creates joint-damaging free radicals. So pass on the canola as well.
Top 10 Worst Refined Carbs in the US Diet
3. But we love these foods! Yes, but eating these foods makes our joints and backs hurt. Arthritis is a disease of inflammation, so anything we can do to reduce the body’s inflammation response will translate into more comfort, less pain and less medication.
4. Replace the bad stuff with the good stuff. It’s easier to add some scrumptious healing foods to your diet than to fight your cravings for the damaging ones. To ease your inflammation, build your diet around whole foods and fresh produce, such as fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes.
Check out our list of the top twelve arthritis healing foods. These delicious foods stop inflammation, fight joint-damaging free radicals, and rebuild healthy cartilage.
If you need some comfort carbs, stick to whole grains that won’t set your joints on fire. Check out our Guilt-Free Macaroni and Cheese.
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