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Why the Mediterranean diet is good for arthritis


olives - paul downey - flickrOlives and olive oil contain Omega-3, which help reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis. Photograph by Paul Downey/Flickr

Arthritis is a painful condition that affects the joints and is caused by inflammation and swelling of these joints. Degenration and corrosion of various joints is also a common affliction caused by arthritis. While there is no known cure for the ailment, Tanya Munipalli, clinical dietician with Wellspring chain of clinics, says that a Mediterranean diet helps to bring down the inflammation and pain caused by arthritis.

Here are some of the foods that are commonly included in the Meditarranean diet

Low fat dairy products such as yoghurt and milk are good for arthritis.

Olive oil, which contains a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids and olives are beneficial. “If you’re looking for a local variant, groundnut oil also helps patients of arthritis,” says the dietician.

“Since bringing down inflammation is key to controlling arthritis, foods that prevent inflammation should be part of the diet,” says Munipalli, “Broccoli and cabbage are powerfoods that contain a high amount of sulfurophane, which is especially helpful for arthritis.”

cabbage for arthritis - brian auerIt may not be your favourite vegetable, but cabbage contains sulfurophane, a compound that helps alleviate the pain caused by arthritis. Photograph by Brian Auer/Flickr

Sunflower seeds and flax seeds also contain a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids and should be made part of the diet.

“Avocados contain a high amount of MUFA (mono-saturated fatty acids), which is converted to Omega-3, which are good to check inflammation,” says Munipalli.

Citrus fruits such as oranges and berries such as gooseberries that contain a lot of Vitamin C are also helpful.

Whole grains such as wheat, jowar, bajra and oats are also good for patients of arthritis.

“For non-vegetarians, fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel provide Omega-3 fatty acids,” says Munipalli.