Osteoarthritis: Elaine reveals her experience of the condition
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Arthritis is one of the most common conditions in the UK, affecting more than ten million people. Studies have consistently highlighted the importance of lifestyle changes to reduce symptoms, with diet playing an invaluable protective role against the condition. The juice of one fruit has been hailed an antidote for arthritis, with some studies showing it can reverse inflammation.
Pineapple is a good source of vitamin C and the enzyme bromelain, which has been shown to decrease pain and swelling in rheumatoid arthritis.
A line of research has suggested that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory effect derives from its ability to promote the production of two crucial compounds which reverse inflammation.
Derivatives from the enzyme have been used in supplements to treat acute inflammation and sports injuries.
Among the different ways to enhance dietary consumption of bromelain for alleviation of joint pain, eating fresh pineapple or drinking its juice has been proven more beneficial than consuming it in supplements.
READ MORE: Arthritis exercise: The four best forms of exercise to ease arthritis symptoms
The organic compounds known as polyphenols found in the pineapple are other fruits that can also help alleviate pain from osteoarthritis.
These compounds have also been shown to improve joint flexibility and overall mobility.
One 2006 review in the journal Arthritis Research in Therapy which analysed studies on alternative remedies for arthritis, found that bromelain was more effective than over-the-counter pain relievers.
While studies have demonstrated the benefits of the compound for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, the effects on osteoarthritis are better understood.
One 2016 Biomedical Report stated: “Bromelain has been recognised as a safe and successful type of therapeutic agent, and is being used by individuals worldwide for a number of ailments, such as bronchitic, sinusitis and inflammation.”
Studies have also shown that due to its high fibre content, pineapple could lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Other fruits which have protective effects against arthritis are grapes, which can reverse cartilage degradation in men.
Onions are also a popular choice for arthritis patients, for their anti-inflammatory properties.
They also contain a type of sulphur that has been shown to reduce joint inflammation, as does garlic, asparagus, and cabbage.
The NHS states: “It’s very important to eat a healthy, balanced diet if you have arthritis. Eating healthily will give you all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy weight.
“Your diet should consist of a variety of foods from all five good groups, these are fruits and vegetables, starchy foods, meat fish, eggs and beans and milk and dairy foods.
“If you’re overweight, losing weight can really help you cope with arthritis. Too much weight places excess pressure on the joints in your hips, knees, ankles and feet, leading to increased pain and mobility problems.”
Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis in the UK, occurs when the tissue between the joints becomes worn.
“Osteoarthritis is the most common type in the UK, affecting nine million people alone. It is also most common in women and people with a family history of the condition,” says the NHS.
“But it can occur at any age as a result of an injury or be associated with other joint-related conditions, such as gout of rheumatoid arthritis.
“Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. This makes the movement more difficult, leading to pain and stiffness.”
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