10 Arthritis Food Myths

Here are common arthritis food myths that are said to relieve pain and inflammation.

1. Home Remedies
Your mom, a neighbor or a coworker has likely told you about some food that can make your arthritis pain better or worse. Get the facts about foods commonly touted to cause or relieve pain and inflammation.
2. Gelatin and Collagen
Gelatin is made from collagen. But there’s no proof that eating Jell-O (or drinking a gelatin solution) eases joint pain. Study results about taking collagen hydrolysate or undenatured collagen for osteoarthritis pain are mixed but look promising. Remember that supplements aren’t FDA approved, so shop wisely.
3. Pectin
Some people dissolve fruit pectin (a gelatin-like substance used in jams and jellies) in grape juice. But there’s no scientific evidence that this solution relieves arthritis pain. Pectin is a type of dietary fiber, which has health benefits. But adding it to sugary grape juice can hinder weight loss.
4. Alkaline Diet
Acidic foods – like meat and processed foods – are blamed for inflammation. Some claim that eating “alkalizing” foods like fruits, vegetables and specific grains will restore the body’s proper pH balance. But many factors affect pH like how your kidneys work. But you can’t go wrong with eating fewer processed foods and more fruits and veggies.
5. Citrus
Citrus is also blamed for inflammation because of acidity. But they are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits. Remember that grapefruit juice can interact with certain arthritis medicines though.
6. Dairy
Some people report feeling better when they ditch dairy. But studies show that it can be pro- or anti-inflammatory for different people, and may lower gout risk. Unless you’re lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy, these products don’t have to be off limits– but choose skim and low-fat options.
7. Cider Vinegar
Some people say drink it diluted. Others say to combine with honey or baking soda. However, it’s anti-inflammatory benefits aren’t backed by science. It’s good sprinkled on salad, though. And it’s being studied for weight loss and lowering blood sugar.
8. Coffee
Several years ago, a well-publicized study found that decaffeinated coffee could increase the risk of developing RA. Other studies found no association. And growing research shows coffee’s potential for lowering heart disease, diabetes and gout risk as well as muscle tissue loss.
9. Raw Diet
Some people claim that eating only raw fruits and vegetables has cured their arthritis. In one study, participants reported pain relief, but half of them quit because of nausea and diarrhea. But eating a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables has proven health benefits.
10. Nightshade Vegetables
Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers contain the chemical solanine, which some blame for arthritis pain. No research backs this claim. Veggies are good for overall health. But no harm in eliminating these foods for a bit and adding back to see if you’re allergic.
11. Gin-Soaked Raisins
Grapes have the well-known antioxidant resveratrol. But it’s undetectable in raisins according to the USDA. But raisins are fiber-rich with a low to moderate glycemic index. Sulfur dioxide used to preserve raisins and berries used to make gin only have small amounts of anti-inflammatory chemicals. Arthritis pain relief: not backed by science.
12. Balance is Key
Balanced nutrition that includes anti-inflammatory foods is an important part of managing arthritis pain and maintaining a healthy weight.

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