By Rick Halle-Podell, Licensed Massage Therapist, Founder of Massage Therapy of Oak Park

Many researchers believe that the presence or absence of certain foods in the diet may be a contributing factor to osteoarthritis (OA).

Can Vegetables Be Bad for You?

Vegetables in the nightshade family (e.g., green peppers, eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes) contain solanine, which may irritate the joints. Red meat and egg yokes may also irritate joints. Consult a nutrition-oriented physician who specializes in osteoarthritis for additional detail.

Which Vitamin Is the Best Ally in the Fight Against OA?

Vitamin C, especially the Ester C, can be very effective against arthritis. Vitamin C increases the body’s immune response. It also supports joints by helping create sunovial fluids that lubricate joints and prevent the proliferation of viruses and bacteria between joints, which can cause inflammation and pain. Vitamins A and E, working together synergistically with Vitamin C, provide additional protection.

Pychnogenol is a powerful antioxidant isolated from pine bark. Research indicates that it has an impressive ability to fight free radicals, which cause diseases of the circulatory system leading to heart disease and stroke. It is readily available at health food stores and from nutritional supplement catalogs.

Glucosamine has been called nature’s answer to OA. It helps all joints function properly and aids in the repair and growth of cartilage, discs and connective tissue.

Flucosamine is necessary for the body to produce synovial fluids that lubricate and protect joints, all while maintaining their integrity. Clinical studies indicate that flucosamine sulfate decreases pain while maintaining joint stability. Some doctors are recommending flucosamine, while others are urging caution because they feel there is not yet enough scientific evidence.

From a Plant’s Immune System to Yours

Phytochemicals are chemicals within plants that act as the plants’ own immune system. They are very powerful when taken into our bodies and utilized by our immune systems. A growing body of scientific evidence shows using these phytochemicals from fruits and vegetables can prevent diseases such as arthritis and cancer by activating our immune systems, thus preventing diseases from developing.

Certainly obesity is a huge stressor to the joints and a risk factor for OA, but good nutrition certainly provides food for thought.

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