Arthritis diet: Eight foods that could promote gut health and reduce painful symptoms

Arthritis diet: Eight foods that could promote gut health and reduce painful symptoms

Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms

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There is currently no cure for arthritis, instead there are a number of treatments available to help alleviate symptoms including lifestyle changes, medication and supportive physiotherapy. Experts highlight the importance of good gut health which in turn helps to reduce arthritis symptoms. What are the best foods for this?

Diet influences the gut microbiome.

The gut microbiome refers to the trillions of bacteria and other microbiota that naturally live along the digestive tract.

A gut microbiome’s diversity and balance of species are influenced by diet.

The gut microbiome affects overall health.

“An imbalance in the gut microbiome is associated with chronic inflammatory disease, such as arthritis as well as other conditions, such as ulcerative colitis,” reports Arthritis Health.

It added: “The best way to maintain a healthy gut microbiome is to maintain a healthy diet.

“A dietary change can cause a temporary shift in the gut microbiome relatively quickly, but establishing a permanent shift is difficult and uncertain.

“People who want to reduce arthritis symptoms are advised to make a long-term commitment to eating a healthy diet that emphasizes plant-based whole foods.”

Microbes or microorganisms interact with the immune system.

The trillions of microbes that live in our bodies are collectively called the microbiome.

The ones in the GI tract help digest food, make important vitamins and control the growth of cells that line our lungs, intestine and other organs.

They also help teach our immune system the difference between harmless bacteria and germs that can make us sick, according to Dr Sarkis Mazmanian, a professor of microbiology at the California Institute of Technology.

“Certain microbes activate immune T cells that promote or suppress inflammation. In a healthy microbiome, this means the immune system does what it’s supposed to: Pathogens are destroyed, and harmless cells are free to go about their business,” said the Arthritis Foundation.

The health charity continued: “But things go awry when there are too many pro-inflammatory T cells or not enough anti-inflammatory ones to rein them in.

“That’s why researchers think a problem with the microbiome might play a major – even an inciting – role in inflammatory types of arthritis, where the body attacks healthy tissue instead of invading organisms.”

Best foods for a healthy gut to reduce arthritis symptoms include:

  • Yoghurt
  • Kefir
  • Miso
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Sourdough
  • Almonds
  • Olive oil.

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