Taking an NSAID such as Celebrex (Celecoxib) may reduce arthritic joint stiffness, inflammation, and pain. But rumors abound that your dietary choices also influence these symptoms. The Cleveland Clinic and the Arthritis Foundation explain five persistent unfounded myths about foods that can relieve or aggravate arthritis. They provide scientific facts so you can make the best food choices if you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or osteoarthritis (OA).
1. Gin-Soaked Raisins Aren’t the Answer
Many people believe that the sulfur content in raisins relieves inflammation and thus joint pain, but study results have been inconclusive. Typical servings are too small to have noticeable joint advantages. The supposed anti-inflammatory and healing powers of the juniper berries in gin are all hype. If gin-soaked raisins are helpful, the alcohol alone is numbing your pain. Noscientific research has found that this combination decreases arthritic swelling or soreness.
2. Gelatin Doesn’t Strengthen Joints
You may have heard that the animal gelatin product in sweet jiggly treats includes collagen, which helps repair damaged cartilage surrounding joints. In reality, your digestive system doesn’t transfer gelatin to a specific bodily area intact. Instead, various enzymes, tissues, and biological processes use its components including amino acids. So the chance that collagen could reach your joints is exceedingly low. Likewise, gelatin supplement studies have been very limited with debatable results.
3. Avoiding High-Acid Foods Won’t Stop Flare-ups
Another popular theory involves avoiding acidic choices like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and their juices to minimize stiffness, discomfort, and painful flare-ups. But your digestive system balances everything you consume. Your stomach neutralizes the acid, so skipping these foods and beverages is unnecessary and even detrimental because vitamin C provides anti-inflammatory effects. A study found that daily vitamin C consumption reduced OA progression by over 50 percent and helped prevent knee pain.
4. Nightshade Vegetables Aren’t Your Enemies
Eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and other nightshade vegetables have gained an unearned bad reputation among arthritis patients. No significant evidence suggests that nightshades worsen arthritic flare-ups. Some research connects food allergies with rheumatoid arthritis, but certain foods might affect various people differently. If you’re avoiding these foods because you fear the rumors are true, you can resume eating them.
5. Don’t Drop Dairy from Your Diet
Studies don’t support the assumption that removing dairy products will decrease your odds of arthritis developing or worsening. If you feel better when you limit your dairy intake, you may be lactose intolerant. But eliminating dairy from your daily diet may be harmful by reducing two important nutrients. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, which is crucial for inflammation prevention while also promoting bone strength and reducing your osteoporosis risk.