5 of the best beverages to ease arthritis
Arthritis is a debilitating disease that causes inflammation and stiffness of the joints. According to the NHS, arthritis affects over 10 million people in the UK. It affects individuals of all ages, including children. The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is more widespread in people aged 40 or over.
Symptoms of arthritis are extremely uncomfortable, with joint pain, inflammation, tenderness, restricted movement, weakness, and wasting all common amongst sufferers.
Currently there is no cure for the disease. Treatments focus on slowing its development and relieving symptoms. In addition to using surgery, medication and physiotherapy to treat both of the main types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, lifestyle changes offer significant relief of symptoms.
Living with arthritis isn’t easy. Even the simplest daily tasks are made more difficult due to the condition. Making changes to your diet and exercising more can help you maintain a healthy weight so you don’t put extra strain on painful joints. It’s not just what you eat and how much exercise you do that matters. Certain beverages can ease the symptoms of arthritis. Here are the top five beverages that make living with arthritis easier.
The disadvantages of drinking too much caffeine are heavily publicised, but that daily brew could actually be beneficial for sufferers of arthritis. Whether your choice of tea is green, black, or white – all are rich in antioxidant polyphenols.
Polyphenols have super strong anti-inflammatory effects which help to protect bone and cartilage. The amount of polyphenols in your average cup of tea have been proven to be 100 times stronger than vitamin C and E.
If you’re not a huge tea drinker, then don’t despair. The same great anti-inflammatory effects can be found in a cup of coffee too. Coffee is also thought to protect sufferers from another troublesome type of arthritis, gout.
Gout is caused by the formation of small crystals in and around the joints resulting in severe pain and swelling. In most cases, gout comes and goes but no matter how long an episode is, it is extremely painful and incapacitating. Relief for gout, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be found with coffee. Drink it in moderation however, as too much can increase the risk of symptoms.
Packed full of essential nutrients and a great, energising dose of natural sugar, fruit juice is also high in vitamin C. This antioxidant is said to counteract the free radicals that cause painful inflammation. Orange, tomato, carrot, and pineapple juice all count, whilst opting for cherry juice can also reduce other gout and osteoarthritis symptoms.
Looking to get more of your five a day into one delicious drink? Smoothies are brimming with the fruits and vegetables that reduce inflammation. Depending on your chosen recipe, your smoothie may be high in fibre, so your digestive health is covered too. Those containing a low-sugar yogurt, zero sugar yogurt or kefir also have inflammation-fighting probiotic power.
Looking after your bones and joints with a diet rich in dairy is recommended by some experts. Drinking milk has even been linked with slowing the progression of osteoarthritis. If you’re watching your weight, the same symptom-relieving goodness can be found in low-fat milk varieties.
Water is well known for its joint lubricating qualities. It’s vital for flushing toxins out of the body to pave the way for a better defence against inflammation. When it comes to using water to relieve arthritis symptoms, it seems you can never drink too much. Nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer explains more:
“Your joints thrive on the same healthy diet as your heart and brain, with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oily fish. [One of my] golden rules is to drink two to three litres of fluids per day, including water, soups, tea, juices. [It] maintains good hydration and flow of nutrients to your joints.”