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Nutrition Tips | October 10, 2013 | By Jonita Dixon

Top Four Nutrition Tips for Elderly Arthritis Patients

Top Four Nutrition Tips for Elderly Arthritis PatientsAlthough there is no specific food or diet that can cure arthritis, some of its symptoms may be relieved by maintaining a nutrient-rich diet and avoiding certain foods. That’s why a healthy nutrition plan is especially important for elderly arthritis patients. Caregivers can find out the best foods recommended for improving the various types of arthritis common in seniors. For instance, inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis may be relieved by consuming plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Before making any dietary changes, however, it is important that you consult your doctor and confirm that the new diet is safe for you.

Maintaining a well-balanced diet is recommended for overall health, so even an arthritis-friendly diet should be enriched with the daily nutrition requirements of an individual. Here are some of the top tips to help you manage arthritis through proper nutrition:

1.) Some forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis are known to result in inflammation. People with this condition can greatly benefit from increasing their intake of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This includes walnuts, canola, linseeds, linseed oil, fish oil supplements, and oily fish such as sardines and salmon. Note that fish oil should not be confused with fish liver oil, which contains vitamin A and may be damaging for someone with arthritis. Although the positive effects of omega-3 fatty acids on inflammation may not be as noticeable as the effects of medication, there are no side effects associated with the former. Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids are known to promote a number of other health benefits, which is ideal for the elderly.

2.) Seniors living with arthritis can get their daily supply of calcium by consuming plenty of dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese. Seeds, nuts, and fish such as whitebait or sardines are also known for their high calcium content. Maintaining your daily calcium needs can promote bone strength, further strengthening the support on your joints. This can be beneficial for preventing pain and soreness that can result from arthritis.

3.) Seniors with arthritis should also consider starting a weight loss program if they are overweight or obese. This is because extra weight means excess load on the joints, which can worsen the symptoms of arthritis especially if your condition affects the joints around the spine, knee, or hip. Consult a dietitian about a healthy diet plan that can promote weight loss. You should also consider taking up a healthy form of exercise and perform it regularly, so that you can speed up the process of losing weight.

4.) It is also recommended that you avoid alcoholic drinks, but increase your non-alcoholic fluid intake. Keeping your body hydrated is essential for managing the symptoms of arthritis such as stiffness, soreness, and pain.

Many patients of arthritis notice that their condition gets aggravated whenever they eat certain foods. If you experience something similar, make a note of it and start a food diary to help you remember what to eat and what not to eat. However, make sure you consult your doctor before avoiding an entire food group because you may end up missing out on important nutrients.