Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative joint disease and is the commonest form of arthritis. It progresses slowly, the usual signs and symptoms being pain, enlarged and deformed joints as well as limitation of range of motion. According to the ancient Ayurvedic sage Acharya Charaka, this condition is described as sandhigata vata. In sandhigata vata, vata dosha aggravated in the joints (sandhi) causes a lack of movement or painful movement of the joints.
No specific diet has been written in the classical Ayurvedic texts to prevent osteoarthritis. However food prescribed for diseases caused by Vata (Vata Roga) can be taken. Those include milk, ghee, drumstick, goose berry, castor oil (one tablespoon in any beverage), spices like ginger, long pepper, turmeric and carom or ajwain seed.
Certain foods have been associated with a reduced risk of osteoarthritis or its severity.
Fish oil, nut oils like walnut oil as well as canola, ghee, soybean, flaxseed, linseed and olive oil are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, shown to reduce joint inflammation.
Green peppers, citrus fruits and their juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes and cantaloupe are good source of vitamin C which reduces the risk of osteoarthritis progression. Vitamin C is one of the nutrients most responsible for the health of collagen, a major component of cartilage of bones and joints.
Fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines checks osteoarthritis progression.
Ginger is a medicinal herb with strong heat activating and anti-inflammatory qualities. It reduces muscle pain and joint inflammation. Ginger can be used in cooking and hot beverages like tea.
The compounds known as allium found in garlic and onions inhibit the enzymes that cause joints to degenerate.
Fruit such as cherries, apples, plums and peaches contain antioxidants that decrease inflammation.
Spinach is rich in vitamin K. Lack of sufficient vitamin K may contribute to osteoarthritis of the knee.
Almonds are a good source of vitamin E which is known for its strong antioxidant powers.
Turmeric is rich in a chemical called curcumin. Curcumin extract works similar to ibuprofen at easing knee aches and pains.
Whole grains like oatmeal are linked to lower levels of inflammation which is beneficial for those suffering with arthritis.
Broccoli is rich in vitamins K and C and contains a compound called sulforaphane, which prevents or slows the progression of osteoarthritis. Broccoli is also rich in calcium, which is known for its bone-building benefits.
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