Health Advice For U


Diet for Arthritis

Eat plenty of salmon, sardines and other fatty fish to counter inflammation. High-fibre, low-calorie foods to help control weight. Avoid any foods that provoke symptoms.

Top foods that fight arthritis:

Fish: Eat lots of salmon, sardines, and other cold-water fish, rich in omega-3 oils, three or more times a week.

Vegetables: Eat 5 to 10 servings everyday of dark green or bright orange vegetables to provide beta carotene, broccoli, peppers, cabbage, and brussels sprouts for vitamin C, and avocados for vitamin E.

Fruits: Eat daily yellow-orange-coloured fruits for beta carotene, citrus fruits, berries, melons and kiwi for vitamin C.

Nuts and whole grains: Eat nuts, seeds, and whole grains regularly for vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that helps relieve inflammation and stiffness.

Arthritis has many types, more than 100 disorders characterised by joint inflammation, stiffness, swelling, and pain. The most common types are osteoarthritis, a painful condition in which joint cartilage gradually breaks down, and rheumatoid arthritis, a systemic disease that can cause severe pain and crippling.


People with osteoarthritis may have inherently defective cartilage that makes it vulnerable to normal wear and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis develops when an overactive immune system attacks connective tissue in the joints and other organs, causing inflammation and pain.


The Omega-3 fats found in salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as in other cold-water fish have anti-inflammatory properties. Whereas, the more common omega-6 fats found in soy, corn, safflower, and sunflower oils are proinflammatory. For best results, reduce the omega-6 fats in diet and increase omega-3 fats so that they are consumed in roughly equal amounts.


Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is another type of fat with anti-inflammatory properties. The best sources are borage oil (up to 24 per cent GLA), evening primrose oil (8 to 10 per cent) and black current oil (15 to 17 per cent). Benefits in rheumatoid arthritis can be seen with a dose of about 500 mg of GLA per day. Both fish oils and GLA may have to be taken for months before improvement occurs. There appears to be no risk in increasing GLA intake, but excessive fish oil consumption can increase the risk of bleeding problems.

Eat more vitamin C rich foods:

Since vitamin C is important for the manufacture of collagen, eating C-rich foods may help slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Best food sources are citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, melons, broccoli, peppers, potatoes, and cabbage.

A small percentage of people with arthritis have food allergies that exacerbate joint symptoms. Common offenders include shellfish, soy, wheat, corn, alcohol, coffee, and possibly certain food additives. Removing the allergy-causing foods from the diet will result in less pain.


Obesity greatly increases the risk and severity of osteoarthritis. Even a little extra weight strains the knees and hips. Losing weight and increasing exercise often improves symptoms.


People with rheumatoid arthritis often have the opposite problem. They may be too thin due to a lack of appetite, chronic pain, or depression.


Following a strict vegetarian diet may bring about significant symptom relief for arthritis. However, a strict vegetarian diet requires professional supervision to ensure proper nutrition.