Nutrition Guide for Elderly Relatives with Arthritis
Did you know that your diet can have just as much of an effect on your arthritis relief as medication, physical therapy, or other types of treatment for pain? In fact, research studies confirm that the Mediterranean diet, specifically, helps curb arthritis inflammation.
At Phoenix Home Care & Hospice, home health aides can help your elderly loved one grocery shop and prepare meals that support a healthy lifestyle. If your elderly relative needs to make some positive changes in their diet to help curb inflammation and pain, here are the foods that should be on their grocery list. As always, check with your doctor before making dietary changes.
Healthy fats from sources like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil are necessary for an arthritic diet. To start, nuts and seeds are packed with inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat and they also promote weight loss because they are high in calories and satiating. About one ounce of nuts daily is recommended.
Similarly, olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats and oleocanthal, which has similar properties to NSAID drugs, which are frequently used to treat arthritis. As a result, optimal amounts of olive oil can reduce pain sensitivity. Although extra virgin olive oil is great, avocado, safflower, and walnut oil are also great healthy fats for an arthritic diet.
The American Heart Association recommends three to four ounces of fish, twice a week, but arthritis experts say even more is better! Why? Certain types of fish are loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce joint swelling and pain, the duration of morning stiffness, and disease activity among people who have rheumatoid arthritis. Coldwater fish like salmon and tuna are best, but if your loved one doesn’t prefer fish, fish oil supplements will provide the same benefits. Fish oil supplements also eliminate mercury from their products, whereas consuming fish on any level may mean increasing levels of mercury in your body.
Fruits and Vegetables
A good variety of fruits and vegetables is ideal for arthritic individuals because they are packed with antioxidants. Veggies that are high in vitamin K like broccoli, spinach, lettuce, kale, and cabbage all help reduce inflammation. In addition, the right amount of daily vitamin C helps prevent inflammatory arthritis and helps maintain healthy joints. Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C.
Beans contain fiber and phytonutrients, which fight inflammation, according to several studies. Beans are also an inexpensive source of protein and about one cup twice a week (or more) is a great amount.
Whole grains contain lots of healthy fiber, which studies show combats inflammation. Whole grains are ideal, but if your elderly relative has a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, it’s best to avoid certain grains.
Phoenix Home Health & Hospice can help your loved one maintain a healthy diet
Our individualized home health services can include dietary planning, grocery shopping, and meal prepping to help your loved one better manage their arthritis symptoms. Again, we cannot stress the importance of checking with your primary care physician or professional care team before making dietary changes. These experts will assess your medications and symptoms to see if any foods may actually be detrimental to your health.
Contact us for more information about our services or to arrange in-home care for a loved one.
Phoenix Home Care & Hospice
2945 SW Wanamaker Dr., Suite B
Topeka, KS 66614