Arthritis? The Right Diet Can Help
Apr 17, 2015
What can you do about Arthritis?
The first thing I always recommend is a dietary change. It’s not that the diet caused arthritis directly. Uric acid, a by-product of nucleic acid metabolism (the metabolism of DNA and RNA) can aggravate it. Uric acid crystals circulating in the bloodstream may damage the synovial membrane of the joints. When that happens the lubricating fluid can leak out and NOW you have arthritis.
There are certain foods to be minimized when you have arthritis. I am sure you have heard of the night shade vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers and eggplants. These could be eliminated from the diet. I would also suggest minimizing most nuts. Almonds and cashews are fine to eat, however the rest produce an “acid ash”, so you want to limit their consumption.
Arthritis has two main forms: rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease, causing chronic inflammation of the joints, and it can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. In some people with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation leads to the destruction of the cartilage, bone and ligaments, causing deformity of the joints.
Occurring mostly in older people, osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage, which can occur in joints throughout the body. In the aging process, the water content of the cartilage increases, while at the same time the protein makeup of cartilage degenerates.
Repetitive use of the joints over the years also plays a part. The constant movement combined with inadequate nutrition irritates and inflames the cartilage, causing joint pain, swelling and, eventually, degeneration.
The approach I recommend is not to address the arthritis, but to make an effort to support the normal function of the joints by providing the body with the nutrients that will help it attain and maintain flexible joints. In addition, herbs like alfalfa, yucca and Devil’s claw have been used for centuries in helping the joints be more flexible. Yucca contains saponins, which act to lubricate the joints.
Other nutrients to consider as part of your daily regimen:
Calcium helps the body to maintain an alkaline base. With arthritis you have high amounts of uric acid in the bloodstream and you do want to neutralize them.
Another important mineral is Magnesium. It aids in calcium assimilation and helps regulate the body’s acid-alkaline balance.
Potassium should also be considered as it regulates water balance and acid-alkaline balance in the blood.
L-Histidine is an amino acid that arthritics are deficient in. Histidine chelates heavy metals, and may act as a neurotransmitter and vasodilator.
- Michael Schwartz, N.M.D.