In early times, food was the first medication. You will find hieroglyphs from the tombs of Egypt showing doctors healing patients with spices, herbs, honey and other foods. Back then, their food was not tainted with pesticides and chemicals like ours is now.
Food affects EVERYTHING on your body and for that reason must affect your arthritis symptoms. Consider It. Was there a time when you’re trying to become healthier or lose weight and you were following a strict eating plan? Lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, not lots of fat? And did not you feel excellent during that time? Your energy likely jumped, your GI tract functioned nicely, and you probably noticed things like your hair and skin seemed a little better. Low carb eating is the greatest meal plan to naturally reduce inflammation and improve your overall health. Let’s look at it as the ultimate arthritis diet.
Low Glycemic only means that these foods will not cause blood sugar levels to soar after you eat (which, in the event that you have type II diabetes will make your physician very happy). The main reason I recommend low glycemic eating as the perfect arthritis diet is because all food finally gets turned into blood glucose. High blood glucose levels cause inflammation. Since arthritis is inflammation of the joints, we would like to help your body naturally reduce inflammation so you get relief.
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When you eat bread (or pasta, or rice, or a donut, or a potato) your blood glucose spikes quickly. Your body releases insulin. Insulin’s job is to take that sugar OUT of your bloodstream and get it INTO your cells.
Here’s where it gets a bit technical… have you ever seen a vehicle rust since it is exposed to sea air or snow? That’s called “oxidation.” It’s a natural process brought on by oxygen reacting with a metal. When we eat, breathe, sleep, whatever – just by living – we always have “oxidation” going on inside us. It’s almost like rusting on the inside.
That blood sugar spike with that potato and the insulin release after rates up that oxidation and generates “free radicals”. (You’ve heard of these before, right?) Those free radicals wreak havoc in the human body; they damage cells, they harden arteries, and they cause inflammation (and arthritis symptoms are brought on by inflammation).
But in the event you’re able to slow down the blood sugar spike and the insulin release, you can slow down the oxidation (rusting on the inside) and the inflammation.
The glycemic index
It is a system which rates how quickly a food causes blood sugar levels (and insulin secretion) to grow. The greater the number, the quicker it causes blood glucose spikes. A glycemic index (GI) of 70 or more is deemed high, 56-69 is considered moderate, and 55 or under is reduced.
Some foods such as carrots have a high GI score because they have natural sugars. In cases such as this, where the food is inherently healthy (raw, natural, unprocessed, etc.) that the secret is to eat smaller portion sizes to stop them from affecting blood glucose. (In the case of carrots, have one large carrot or 10 baby carrots in a sitting – not 4 significant carrots or 40 baby carrots!)
I advise that you eat only low glycemic foods for your first month of your arthritis diet. This is your life and if arthritis is preventing you from being busy and doing the things you like, then 1 month’s time is a small price to pay. At the end of the month, you will have gotten rid of lots of your cravings anyway, and you may get the arthritis diet is simple and you enjoy it.
I’ve supplied lists of low, moderate, and high glycemic foods on my site, and there are lists available throughout the internet. Pasta, 100% whole wheat bread and brown rice are contained in the low glycemic list. They’re ONLY LOW GLYCEMIC IN THE PORTIONS INDICATED. You don’t need to worry about counting calories with this eating plan, but you DO need to watch your parts in regards to the grains.
- Carbohydrates – anything that originally grew in the ground. All of your grains, fruits, beans, and vegetables fall within this category. So do many nuts, but due to their fat content, nuts are considered fats (but HEALTHY fats!)
- Proteins – mostly animal products. Beef, chicken, pork, poultry, poultry, shellfish, fish, eggs, and dairy products (which also count as carbs, but dairy products often have low glycemic ratings).
- Fats – Butter, oils, nuts, avocados (also a carbohydrate but it counts as a fat). Fats break down to saturated (are solid at room temperature) and unsaturated (liquid at room temperature). The unsaturated fats are perfect in an arthritis diet. I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil almost exclusively in my cooking, and the organic fats found in certain fish are excellent for joint health. Try to eat fish two times a week because it is also a great protein source.