When you put together a plan with your Louisiana orthopedic specialists to tackle your knee osteoarthritis, don’t overlook the power of food. There’s no specific diet that treats your problem, but you can get some big health benefits if you eat smart. And by doing so, you’ll keep your weight under control, build strong cartilage, and reduce inflammation.
You don’t have to make a major overhaul to your diet. Follow these simple steps from your Louisiana orthopedic specialists to keep your joints happy.
1. Cut out the extra calories. Your knees will feel better if you keep your waistline trim. And when you drop those extra pounds, you’ll be putting less stress on your joints. A good way to lower your calorie count is to take and eat smaller portions, avoid sugary foods and drinks, and eat foods that are mostly plant-based.
2. Consumer more fruits and veggies. Feel free to eat plenty of these, as many of them are packed full with antioxidants, which are substances that can help protect your cells from damage. Some antioxidants, such as those found in fruits and veggies like apples, onions, shallots, and strawberries, may also help reduce joint inflammation and pain.
3. Add Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Omega-3s may help provide relieve from your joint pain and decrease morning stiffness. According to your Louisiana orthopedic surgeons, they work by reducing inflammation in your body. One easy way to add them to your diet is to eat two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish each week. Some of the best sources of omega-3s are trout, salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, and sardines.
4. Use olive oil in place of butter and other fats. One study shows that a compound in olive oil, called oleocanthal, helps prevent inflammation by working in much the same way that NSAIDs do. Olive oils with the strongest flavor have the highest amount. Approximately 3-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil offers the same relief as 200 milligrams of ibuprofen, but keep in mind that this amount oil also adds about 400 calories. To add olive oil to your diet without extra calories, use it in place of other fats, such as butter.
5. Be sure you’re getting enough vitamin C in your diet. A key element for joint health, vitamin C helps build collagen and connective tissue. A lot of tasty foods can provide you with this nutrient. Try consuming more citrus fruits, red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Aim for the recommended amount of 75 milligrams a day for women or 90 milligrams a day for men.
6. Beware of high cooking temperatures. Meat cooked at high temperatures makes compounds that can cause inflammation in your body. They’re called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and they’re linked to diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. You can decrease your levels of AGEs if you cut back on grilled, fried, broiled, and microwaved meats. It’s also helpful to limit processed foods, as they are often cooked at high temperatures.
If you would like more information regarding ways to treat – or even prevent – knee osteoarthritis, call your Louisiana orthopedic specialists today to schedule a consultation. Prevention is key!