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Food Choices and Arthritis

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While there is no food or diet that will cure arthritis, there are certain foods you should focus on consuming and others it would be best to avoid. NEBH registered dietitian Meredith Louko, RDN advises that as a general rule, those with arthritis should maintain a well-balanced diet. Overall good nutrition can bolster the immune system and deliver antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation.

A well-balanced diet includes:

  • Whole grains such as brown rice instead of refined grains like white rice.
  • Lean meats such as boneless, skinless chicken, turkey cutlets, round steaks and roasts. Also try to incorporate non-meat sources such as nuts, seeds and legumes into your diet.
  • Eat a variety of colorful fruits and veggies. These should make up half of your plate each meal.
  • Include inflammation fighting omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids found in found in walnuts, soybeans, and fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring.
  • Limit salt intake, and instead use herbs and spices to season your meals.
  • Avoid extra sweets and high calorie drinks such as soda.

It is also important to make sure to get enough calcium, which can help keep bones strong and healthy. Men and women ages 18 to 50 need about 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70. Good sources of calcium include:

  • Low-fat or skim milk
  • Low-fat cheese and cottage cheese
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens

Don’t forget about vitamin D, which improves your body's ability to absorb calcium. One natural way many people get an adequate amount of vitamin D is from sunlight. Additionally, milk, swordfish, salmon, and tuna are good sources of vitamin D.

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