Q. I am overweight and am suffering from osteoarthritis. What foods should I eat and what should I avoid to keep knee pain at bay?
A. If you are overweight, reducing weight by 5-7 lbs will greatly help your osteoarthritis. Being overweight puts extra burden on weight bearing joints such as of the back, hips, knees, ankles and feet, which are already under strain due to osteoarthritis. Even a small amount of weight loss will make a big difference to your joints.
Eat a well balanced diet with foods from all food groups including cereals, pulses, milk, green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, fruits and fats. Follow the half plate rule. Half of your plate should be filled with starches (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes) and proteins (yogurt, cheese, fish, eggs, chicken, legumes). The remaining half should be vegetables and fruits.
Use whole wheat, brown rice and whole grains which provide greater fiber. Healthier cooking methods such as boiling, grilling, roasting and steaming should be used. Avoid fried food, red meat, organ meats and pork. Try to eliminate sugar from the diet to the maximum extent possible. This includes sodas, juices and other sugary beverages. Cut down on processed food and fast food. Keep healthy snacks handy and include foods rich in calcium and iron.
Try being out in the sun for at least half an hour each day. Sunlight produces vitamin D in our skin which helps our body to absorb and use up calcium from food. Similarly, fatty fish, pulses, dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron.
Exercise regularly. Walking for 30 minutes a day at a reasonable pace five times a week and 20 minutes of yoga 2 or 3 times a week will help ease joints. A very good exercise for osteoarthritis sufferers is swimming which provides full body exercise with no jarring impact.
Herbs such as Boswellia and herbal blends such as Rumalaya Forte and Rumalaya Gel can also provide pain relief and increased fluidity of motion.