food myth arthritis

Common Food Myths about Arthritis

There is a lot of misinformation about certain foods that are believed to help relieve arthritis symptoms, when there is no evidence of any benefit. There’s often a lot of confusion about arthritis, from causes to treatment – and especially about nutrition.  Here we give you the truth about five of the most common myths about arthritis

You may have heard that following a special diet such as going vegetarian or vegan, avoiding nightshade vegetables, or eliminating dairy products can reduce arthritis symptoms. Unfortunately, there is very little evidence to suggest that following any of these diets is helpful in managing arthritis.

A vegetarian diet is good for your health but probably won’t do much to improve arthritis pain. The studies that have looked at vegan diets and arthritis symptoms show unclear results. For people with active rheumatoid arthritis, vegan diets are not recommended as they can result in malnutrition and too much weight loss. If you wish to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, speak to a Registered Dietitian to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need.

The nightshade family of foods includes potatoes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. Some people believe that people with rheumatoid arthritis may have allergic reactions to these foods, which is what causes their joint pain. So far, there is no research to suggest that eliminating foods from the nightshade family can help arthritis pain. Instead, by not eating any foods from the nightshade family, you’d be missing out on tasty and nutritious vegetables and fruit.

There is some evidence to suggest that milk and milk products may contribute to rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis because of the leaky gut theory. However, there is not enough proof to suggest that people with arthritis should stop eating dairy products. And in fact, because people with rheumatoid arthritis are at an increased risk for osteoporosis, a dairy-free diet is not recommended.

If you do choose to follow a dairy-free diet, make sure to speak with your doctor or Registered Dietitian about getting enough calcium and vitamin D.

It is possible that fasting can bring relief to people with arthritis. However, when the fast is over, symptoms always return and sometimes come back worse than before. Fasting is not recommended as a way to manage arthritis pain.

Following are the 4 most common food myths about Arthritis:

#1. Raw Food Diet

While it is beneficial to eat more fruits and vegetables, it is not clear that eating more raw fruits and vegetables brings RA relief. It’s important to go slowly if you plan to increase your consumption of raw foods so that the additional fiber will not cause nausea or diarrhea.

#2. Excessive Consumption of Red Wine

It is true that red wine contains resveratrol, which has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. One study found that resveratrol stops the formation of inflammatory factors associated with cancer, heart disease and chronic inflammatory diseases. However, that doesn’t mean more red wine is better. There is evidence that excessive drinking, even red wine, increases the production of inflammatory proteins in the body called cytokines.

#3. Gin Soaked Rasins

There is a popular folk remedy due to the sulfur dioxide that raisins are often treated with, and the juniper berries used to make gin. While both have been explored for their potential to improve joint health and alleviate inflammation, there is no study that shows any benefit for people with Arthritis.

#4. Consumption of Vinegar

Some people believe that drinking cider vinegar will help alleviate Arthritis pain, but there is no known benefit for reducing joint pain.