Arthritis comes in many forms but the most common in the UK is osteoarthritis, which affects nearly nine million people. Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. This makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness. Thankfully, the foods one eats could help ease the symptoms with one being particularly helpful.
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Not many people are aware how different foods and what you eat can affect their arthritis pain and symptoms.
Inflammation, a major cause of arthritis, is often made worse or better because of one’s diet.
According to leading health experts, eating more kale could help ease your pain in the joints. How?
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Like other leafy green vegetables, kale is rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants and vitamins K and C, and it’s also high in fibre, making it a great arthritis superfood.
It can be cooked, eaten raw in a salad, or baked into crispy kale chips for a healthy on-the-go snack.
Kale, and other dark leafy green vegetables, are rich in nutrients which are directly linked to joint health.
Kale contains high levels of antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin C and are also excellent sources of calcium which helps keep the bones strong.
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Arthritis Foundation added: “Energy production and other metabolic processes in the body produce harmful by-products called free radicals.
“Not only do free radicals damage cells, but they also have been linked to rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation.
“Green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, Swiss chard and bok choy are packed with antioxidants like vitamin A, C and K, which protect cells from free-radical damage.
“These foods are also high in bone-preserving calcium.”
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Eating dark, leafy vegetables along with fish and fruits – similar to the Mediterranean diet – is one of the best ways to eat to help reduce symptoms of arthritis.
Dr Lex Mauger, co-author of the study and Director for BSc Sports Science at the University of Kent, said: “The Mediterranean diet has previously been associated with a number of health benefits, but the exciting finding with this study is that specific guidance on adhering to this type of diet can change eating behaviour and result in a number of beneficial physiological changes, relevant to osteoarthritis, in a relatively short period of time.
“As osteoarthritis is a chronic disease, treatment is primarily about managing the symptoms, and this study shows that eating healthily may help form part of that treatment strategy.
“Benefits from the intervention in this study were evident after only four months, so it is possible that an even greater benefit could be seen in people who make longer-term improvements to their normal diet.”
Common arthritis symptoms include joint pain, inflammation, and restricted movement.
There are two key types of arthritis in the UK: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to be diagnosed in the UK – around nine million people are believed to have osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis, meanwhile, is an auto-immune disease that has been diagnosed in about 400,000 individuals.
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