10 Foods to Avoid If You Have Joint Pain

Joints are structures in the human body responsible for forming connections between bones, supporting the body and helping us move.  Any damage to the joints may interfere with our movements, causing soreness, pain, inflammation, and discomfort.  Joint pain is very common these days, affecting people of all ages.  According to a certain national survey, one-third of adults experience joint pain at a certain point.  The joint pain can range from irritating to debilitating, from acute (which may go away after weeks) to chronic (which lasts for several weeks or months).

The major causes of joint pain include gout and arthritis as well as dislocate bones, bursitis, leukemia, lupus, muscle strains, and fibromyalgia.

The good news is that alternative medicine, exercise, and healthy and well-balanced diet often help relieve joint pain.  While some foods like ginger, turmeric, and garlic, are found to combat joint pain, there are foods which are found to trigger pain.  Among them are:

1. Processed and Red Meat

Processed and red meats contain purines and nitrites, both of which increase inflammation and pain in the body.

Processed foods are packed with toxins called advance glycation end products ( AGEs), which are shown to increase inflammation in the body.  A 2014 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  glycan found in red meat increases the development of inflammation as well as cancer progression.

Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that there is a strong link between the consumption of red meat and inflammation.  It also suggests swapping processed and read meat for more fruit and veggies.

2. Artificial and Refined Sugar

Excessive sugar intake may increase the level of AGEs in the body and lead to inflammation.  Sugar triggers the release of potent inflammatory agents called cytokines. What`s more, sugar promotes weight gain,  which in turn puts additional pressure on the joints.

A 2014 study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that consuming sugary drinks on a daily basis increase rheumatoid arthritis in women. So, make sure you stay away from soft or fruit drinks, candies, snacks, punches, or pastries. Turn to honey, stevia, and blackstrap molasses instead.

3. Dairy Products

Casein found in dairy products is one of the strongest contributors to inflammation and pain. According to a report from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, this protein is capable of irritating the tissue around the joints.

Saturated fats found in products like milk, butter, and cheese may also increase the pain.  In case you suffer from joint pain, avoid milk or at least replace it with soy or almond milk.

4. Corn Oil

Corn oil is packed with omega-6 fatty acids, which are found to trigger inflammatory processed and diseases.  Foods high in omega-6 fats include safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut, and soy.  These fats are needed for proper development, so instead of removing them from your diet completely,  you should eat them in moderation.

5. Refined Flour and Grains

These products contain powerful inflammatory agents which may stimulate the production of AGEs. A study published in Nutrients, consuming wheat products and other cereal grains on a daily basis triggers the manifestation of autoimmune diseases. Everyday consumption of these grains increases the risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.  Therefore, it is highly recommended to swap pasta, white bread, and white rice for coconut or almond flour and brown rice.

6. Eggs

Eggs are found to increase swelling and pain in the joints,  particularly the yolk which contains arachidonic acid which produces inflammatory agents called prostaglandins.  Eggs contain yet another inflammation agent,  that is saturated fat.  It is recommended to remove the yolks when preparing a breakfast and eat the egg whites only.

7. Whey Protein

Casein and gluten found in whey protein may trigger inflammation and pain in the joints. Casein is responsible for production of uric acid in the body, which is found to trigger inflammation in the body when found in excessive amounts.

Those sensitive to gluten may also suffer from chronic inflammation.  A 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that gluten-free products can lower insulin resistance, adiposity, and inflammation.

8. Refined Salt

Refined salt, commonly known as table salt, is a big NO for those suffering from joint pain.  It doesn’t contain any nutrients, but is rather packed with chemicals and additives which may disrupt the balance of body fluids.

Limiting the intake of refined salt with reduce calcium loss from the bones, which in turn lowers the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.  Instead of reaching for table salt, use sea salt or Himalayan salt, both of which are much healthier.

9. Foods Containing Monosodium Glutamate

Monosodium glutamate, known as MSG,  is a popular additive used to flavor packaged foods like frozen snacks, frozen dinners, frozen Chinese food,  soups, potato chips, and various salad dressings.  This food additive may also cause inflammation and pain in the body, particularly in the joints.  Apart from MSG, foods which contain aspartame are also shown to cause inflammation.

10. Beer

Last but not least, consuming alcohol on a regular basis may negatively affect the joints, increasing the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and gout.  Purine and gluten found in beer are the ones that cause problem, hence people with joint pain should avoid them at all cost.

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