Millions of people battle with the disease every day, according to Arthritis Research UK. It says that the condition is caused by a variety of factors including previous injury, infection, smoking and having a physically demanding occupation.
The Arthritis Foundation says that one of the “most common” questions it gets is, “‘Is there an arthritis diet?’ or more to the point, ‘What can I eat to help my joints?’”
There are many different foods that you can consume to help with this, including papaya, fish and olive oil.
However, one of the best may be nuts.
“Multiple studies confirm the role of nuts in an anti-inflammatory diet,” said Jose M. Ordovas, PhD, Director of nutrition and genomics at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Centre on Aging, based in Boston.
Eating nuts can help reduce the pain in joints associated with arthritis.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating more buts reduced the risk of mortality.
Similarly, the Foundation highlights a 2011 study from the same journal which found that over a 15-year period, people who ate more nuts had a 51 per cent lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease like arthritis, when compared to those who ate fewer nuts.
Nuts are excellent for arthritis sufferers as they are packed with inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat, which will help to reduce pain for people with arthritis.
As they are also full of protein and fibre they may help you lose weight.
The Foundation suggests that they will help you feel full quicker, which may stop overeating meaning you will lose weight.
A few types of nut are particularly effective at combating arthritis: Walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds.
Walnuts are a great choice as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that helps reduce inflammation, according to livestrong.com. They recommend eating a quarter cup of walnuts a day to get 94.6 per cent of the bodies recommended daily intake of the fatty acid.
The Foundation adds that walnuts “head the nut pack” for their omega-3 content, and also suggests they could lower cholesterol and relax blood vessels, reducing the risk of a heart attack.
The Central Asian Pistachio nut is also good for arthritis sufferers as it contains copious amounts of potassium and antioxidants, including vitamins A and E and lutein.
“Dealing with the shell slows down consumption, which is good for people with arthritis trying to lose a few pounds to take pressure off joints,” says Marisa Moore, an Atlanta-based dietitian-nutritionist.
You should eat around one and a half handfuls of nuts a day, according to the Foundation, to take advantage of their beneficial health effects.
Nuts are available from most supermarkets based in the UK including Aldi, Tesco and Morrisons.
These ‘shelled fruits’ are also recommended as part of the widely acclaimed ‘Mediterranean diet’ to help reduce the pain associated with arthritis.
Other foods in this diet and recommended by the Foundation include fish, fruits and vegetables and beans.