Osteoarthritis: Diet and Nutrition


[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, my name is Sue Yu. I’m a registered
dietitian at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Today I’ll be talking
about dietary intake to manage osteoarthritis,
the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight, and
how certain foods can affect inflammation
related to osteoarthritis. OA can cause pain, stiffness,
swelling, and decrease in mobility. By making some
modifications to your diet, you can take charge
of the symptoms. Eating a healthy diet that
consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein,
low-fat dairy products, beans, and legumes is important
for everyday health, not just for OA. Optimum nutrition can help
with maintaining a healthy body weight. Obesity has been linked
to worsening symptoms and progression
of osteoarthritis. If you’re overweight,
losing weight reduces inflammation
and, therefore, pain. It also alleviates the
stress and pressure on the affected joints,
leading to better mobility. For every pound
you lose, 4 pounds of pressure on your
knees is relieved. Choosing optimal foods to eat
is important to manage your OA symptoms. Examples of high
antioxidant foods include blueberries,
strawberries, kale, and spinach. Try reducing your
consumption of saturated fats by limiting fatty meats, butter,
and whole-fat milk products. This leads to decrease
in inflammation. Less inflammation
equals less pain. Omega 3 fatty acids contain
a natural anti-inflammatory agent, which helps to decrease
inflammation in joints. The best sources of
omega 3’s are usually found in fatty fish
and specific oils. Some examples are salmon,
anchovies, tuna, sardines, walnut or walnut oil, olive
oil, flaxseeds or flaxseed oil, cod liver oil, wheat germs
or wheat germ oil, avocado or avocado oil. Try to incorporate these foods
into your diet two to three times a week. For example, try adding
flaxseeds or walnuts to your morning cereals
or use olive oil for salads and cooking. Plant-based foods that have
disease-fighting properties and protect the health benefits
are called phytochemicals. They are found in fruits,
vegetables, grains, and beans. If you enjoy
cooking, it might be helpful to include spices
such as turmeric, ginger, and red chili pepper. They contain active ingredients
such as curcumin, capsaicin– that help to reduce
pain, inflammation, and stiffness related to OA. Cloves, cumin,
anise, fennel, basil, they contain compounds
that act like antioxidants and help to reduce inflammation. Rosemary is known in folk
medicine as pain reliever. Preliminary studies support
its pain relief benefits and suggest that it may be more
effective than acetaminophen. A compound found in
garlic helps to limit cartilage-damaging enzymes. All of these spices help to
alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Maintaining hydration
is important for all of your joints. When your body is dehydrated,
it must work harder to perform physical activity. Water helps to
moisten joints, which can lead to less stiffness. Be sure to drink 8
to 10 cups a day. Fiber is important to help
to regulate your GI tract. It eliminates unwanted
waste, and it’s found in fruits and vegetables. Certain medications
you take, especially pain medications such
as NSAIDs and narcotics, can cause constipation. It is recommended that you
take 30 to 35 grams a day. If you have OA, managing
your diet by including different fruits and vegetables
and eating foods high in omega 3 fatty acids can help
to reduce OA pain. Maintaining a healthy weight
with regular physical activity is just as important
and beneficial. Remember to talk to your doctor
first before starting any diet. Remember, healthy eating
equals a healthier you. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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