If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from arthritis, you know how difficult and uncomfortable it can be. This can be especially scary if this is a new or recent diagnosis. Navigating your way through this condition can sometimes feel overwhelming or like a daunting task. Don’t worry! Our staff here at the best assisted living in Michigan has some information that could help. We will take a closer look at defining osteoarthritis as well as some foods that can assist with alleviating symptoms.
What is Osteoarthritis?
By definition, osteoarthritis is a chronic, degenerative medical condition where the cartilage in the joints deteriorates. It can even cause the bones in our bodies to rub against each other, which leads to chronic pain, loss of flexibility, or even the inability to use the affected joint. Due to this, it is no wonder that osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Osteoarthritis does require a diagnosis from a physician. If you think this is something you might have, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.
Diet and Exercise
Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. However, there are some things we can do to help manage the pain or symptoms.
One big way is to manage your weight by eating healthy and exercising. Keeping a regular workout routine is a huge benefit for senior health across the board. While we understand that exercise is difficult when you have a condition such as arthritis, there are some exercises that you can try that are low impact.
- Going for a short walk. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and keep a close eye on how you are feeling. You don’t want the pain to be unbearable.
- Exercising in a pool. Working out in water is actually really good for your joints as it is low resistance and low impact. Plus the buoyancy of water helps take the pressure off joints.
- Tai-chi or Yoga. This is another great low impact option that can even help to improve flexibility. You don’t have to get down on the mat or take an advanced course, as even chair yoga is a great choice
Just make sure you talk to your doctor prior to starting a new workout regime. They will have recommendations that will ensure that you are doing everything safely.
You can also eat a healthy diet free of simple carbs and greasy foods. Opt instead for anti-inflammatory foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. For a comprehensive list, keep reading!
Anti-Inflammatory Food Choices
Stiff and swollen joints are no joke! The key to helping to alleviate joint pain is by reducing inflammation around the joints. Putting the right food in your diet can help you achieve that.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
While it is common knowledge that omega 3 fatty acids are good for the heart, they may also be good for your joints as well. When looking for foods rich in omega 3, fish such as herring, rainbow trout, and salmon is usually a good resource. You can also find it present in chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts.
You aren’t a fan of orange juice? No worries! Vitamin C is actually abundant in many different types of foods and helps to promote collagen production in the body. The more collagen you have, the healthier your cartilage is. Reach for foods such as sweet potatoes, bell peppers, leafy greens, cauliflower, kiwi, strawberries, and oranges.
Even if you are not an avid tea drinker, you have probably heard of the health benefits of green tea. One of those benefits is that it actually can help with inflammation. Green tea is home to an antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG has the ability to block production of some of the body’s inflammatory chemicals. By doing so, it can actually prevent the further breakdown of cartilage. If green tea isn’t your favorite, try using it as a marinade for fish or using it as a salad dressing.
These are actually antioxidants that work to promote healthy connective tissue. They are primarily present in bright red-orange or violet-purple foods. Think along the lines of cherries, beets, raspberries, blueberries, plums, and red and green grapes. A lot of fresh fruit listed that would be simple to add to your breakfast plate!
Ginger has been around for centuries and has long been used for medicinal purposes. In fact, it is actually one of the ingredients in most arthritis medications today. Impressive little plant! It is an all-natural form of combating arthritis symptoms. Mix it into a hot cup of tea or add it into your favorite muffin mix. Many Korean dishes also feature ginger root as an ingredient as well.
Any of these foods would be excellent additions to your diet and would work to help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort brought on by arthritis. Remember to include these foods as well as avoid sugary treats, processed foods, and overly sweetened beverages such as sodas.
The Best Assisted Living in Michigan
Here at Oakleigh, we understand that diet and exercise is a big part of health. That is why we have a highly trained Chef and culinary staff who work every single day to bring the best meals for our residents. Our goal is to feature a menu that has a variety of healthy foods, including those mentioned above. All of our produce is locally selected by our team. You won’t have to worry about processed junk while staying at the best assisted living in Michigan!
Not only that, but we are proud of the resident activity calendar. As was mentioned above, exercise is vital to helping with symptoms of arthritis. We focus on the concept of RENEW, which stands for rehabilitation, education, nutrition, enrichment, and wellness. With these combined efforts, you are sure to be the happiest, healthiest version of yourself.
Interested in learning more about us? Head over to our website to request more information and we would be happy to assist!