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FOOD SUPPLEMENTS84

The value and knowledge of nutrients can help reduce osetoarthritic symptoms and decrease the requirement of daily medication in the case of osteoarthritis. Dietary guidelines for people with arthritis include foods rich in natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and joint-supporting nutrients, while avoiding pro-inflammatory foods that are high on sugar, saturated fats, and trans-fatty acids is also important. No special diet or ‘miracle food’ can cure arthritis, but some conditions may be helped by  regularly assuming healthy food and supplements. The best advice is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and stay close to your ideal body weight. This way affected joints have less extra weight to carry around.

General dietary recommendations for a person suffering from arthritis include:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet. This will help to maintain general good health, and a healthy weight.
  • Avoid crash dieting or fasting.
  • Increase dietary calcium to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.
  • Keep your weight within the normal range. Excess bodyweight increases the stress on joints, especially weight-bearing joints such as the knee and hips.

Foods that contain omega-3 fats have been found to help reduce the inflammation associated with some forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. These effects are modest compared with medications, however they do not have side effects, and may also have other health benefits, such as reduced heart disease.

Foods rich in omega-3 fats include:

  • Fish – oily fish such as salmon and sardines, have greater amounts of omega-3 fats
  • Linseeds and linseed (flaxseed) oil
  • Canola (rapeseed) oil
  • Walnuts
  • Foods fortified with omega-3, such as margarines and eggs
  • Some fish oil supplements.

It is important not to confuse fish oils with fish liver oils (such as cod liver oil and halibut liver oil). Fish liver oils also contain vitamin A. Large amounts of vitamin A can cause serious side effects. Ask your doctor before taking any supplements, to ensure the correct dosage.

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