Although there are foods and diets that are touted as being anti-inflammatory, there is little research in this area to make specific recommendations thus far. It is a fascinating area of study, but much work needs to be done. Maintaining a healthy weight will minimize stress on joints, and clearly nutrition has much to do with body weight and body composition. I generally recommend avoiding processed foods, and I emphasize whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein. Protein is important to maintain muscle mass, which in autoimmune/inflammatory diseases can decrease over time (and this has been demonstrated in RA). We hope to explore many of the questions of optimum nutrition and supplementation in RA in future research being conducted at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center.
Diet and Excercise For Arthritis Q & A
Calcium and vitamin D are important nutritional supplements for patients with arthritis, particularly women. Some medications, namely corticosteroids, used to treat arthritis can be detrimental to your bone health in the long run and calcium and vitamin D can help combat those side effects. We usually recommend calcium intake be between 1000-1500mg per day (in divided dosed) and vitamin D be between 800-1000 units daily. However, your requirements may be more or less based on your inflammatory disease, medication regimen, and tolerability of the supplements so be sure to check with your doctor about exactly how much is right for you.
It is very likely that weight loss (however it is done) will improve symptoms from osteoarthritis in the knees. By decreasing the load, there is less stress on the affected joints. We have a large section on this topic on our website:
There are no foods that have been shown in rigorous studies to improve or worsen any type of arthritis– the only exception is gout where foods high in purines can trigger a gout flare.
When you want to lose weight the best thing to focus on is your diet (how much energy you take in). Exercise can help with weight loss and, more importantly, with maintaining a weight loss but the majority of the loss will come from cutting your calories. For example, it takes about 40 minutes of brisk walking to burn off the equivalent of a small bag of potato chips. It’s easier just to avoid eating the chips in the first place. Count your calories and focus on eating healthier and you can reach your weight loss goal.
There is none.