Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joint/joints in the body. Patients feel stiffness, pain, swelling and inflammation in the joints and the pain feels like a burning sensation or dull ache. There are more than 100 types of arthritis but the most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Most people of more than 30 years get affected with arthritis and the main affected body parts are joints of foot and hands.
Arthritis is termed as “Amavata” in Ayurveda. It is mainly caused by vitiation of Vata dosha and accumulation of Ama (waste material) begins to happen in the joints. The improper digestive fire (Agni) is also responsible for formation of Ama which further starts to stick in the joints and give sensation of pain or inflammation in the joints.
Diet for Arthritis
- Early morning- Herbal tea/ Amla juice
- Breakfast– Green tea/ Egg sandwich/ Veg sandwich/ Vegetable soup/ Sprouts
- Mid-morning– Herbal tea/ Fruit/ Coconut water
Lunch- Chapati/ Curry/ Vegetables/ Veg Pulao/ Dal/ Low fat curd
- Evening– Herbal tea/ Black tea/ Green tea/ Toast
- Dinner– Chapati with vegetable/ dal + salad/ Veg curry/ Veg dalia/ Broken wheat upma (khichdi)
Foods To Have
- Cereals like Wheat, Kamut, Corn, Little millet, Oats, Brown rice, Buckwheat
- Consume fruits such as apricot, sapodilla, pomegranate, pear, peaches, avocado, cherry, banana and apple
- Vegetables like ginger, onion, broccoli, carrot, drumstick, potato, spinach, pumpkin, ridge gourd, turnips, zucchini, kale, bottle gourd, mushroom, round gourd, bitter gourd, beetroot and beans
- All pulses and legumes
- Dairy products including cow ghee, skimmed milk (by mixing turmeric) and low fat yogurt
- Oils like rice bran oil, mustard oil, olive oil, sunflower oil
- Spices including mustard seeds, curry leaves, peppers, fennel, ginger, coriander, cumin and turmeric
- Homemade juices, green tea, herbal tea, coconut water and vegetable soups, skimmed milk (occasionally)
- Eggs, fish, lean chicken (occasionally)
- Dry fruits including walnut, almonds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
- You can take honey as a sweetener
- These foods will help you in maintaining the balance in Vata dosha and relieve arthritis.
Foods To Avoid
- Cereals including White rice, Rye and Barley
- Fruits like kiwi, mango, strawberry, and all citrus fruits such as sweet lemon, oranges, lemon, etc.
- Vegetables such as radish, brinjal and tomatoes
- You can take pulses but in limited amounts only
- Avoid all the dairy products except those which are permissible
- Coconut oil, palm oil and canola oil
- Spices like red chilli and pimiento
- Alcoholic beverages, carbonated and sweetened drinks, canned drinks, full fat milk based drinks, cream based drinks
- Avoid flesh foods including prawns, red meat, pork and beef
- Dry fruits such as peanuts, pistachios and cashews
- Avoid all bakery products, processed and packed foods, refined sugar, vinegar, pickles, junk food and fried foods
- Don’t use sugar, jaggery or any other artificial sweeteners
- These foods are advised to be avoided as they are hard to digest and can worsen the Vata dosha
- Maintain your body weight at a healthy state as more weight can cause strain on hips, feet, knees and other joints.
- Do some light exercise like swimming, cycling and walking. It would also help you in managing weight.
- Mix castor oil with turmeric and massage it on a painful joint. Wrap the joint with a towel and place a hot bottle on it for at least 10 minutes. This will give you a pleasant feel.
- Practice Pranayama to relieve the arthritic pain
- Consume at least 8-10 glasses of water daily
- Avoid stress-inducing activities
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