There are approximately 350 million arthritis sufferers worldwide, some 40 million in the United States alone, including a quarter of a million children. Although there are many different types of arthritis, the two main and chronic conditions are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Twenty-one million Americans suffer from Osteoarthritis, and 2.1 million suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis.
What’s the difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Osteoarthritis seems to be caused by the overuse of joints and is aggravated by obesity and a bad diet. Although seen in some younger people, it is generally associated with the elderly. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune disease. Symptoms for both are pain and stiffness in the joints. This pain can lead to other problems, such as muscle weakness and lack of function in limbs due to the avoidance of use. Of course, with constant pain, there is always the chance of mood changes, including depression.
There are a few differences in symptoms between the two. One is that, with Rheumatoid Arthritis, you have a symmetry with the pain. If one shoulder has pain, then they both will. Asymmetry is the case with Osteoarthritis. As you might expect with the overuse of a limb, it’s repetitive actions that are responsible for the wear and tear in that particular joint.
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Diets to help with pain and inflammation
Once diagnosed and with the help and advice of your medical professional, you can be proactive with changes to your diet. Here are some foods that are shown to be bad for sufferers, as well as a few that are helpful with relieving symptoms.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, and sufferers need to add to this advice themselves. There are also ways of preparing your favorite foods that minimize the bad effects. With a little research, you don’t have to miss out on your favorite dishes.
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Foods that have a high gluten content (bagels, bread, pasta, etc.) are considered no-nos for arthritis. This is because your body processes these into sugar. The same thing is true for foods like french fries and other products that have a lot of trans fatty acids in them. These other products include soy bean, corn, peanut, and sunflower oils (these are rich in Omega-6).
Blackened foods, including the much loved BBQ, are also on the list. These foods, cooked at high temperatures, lead to the production of advanced glycatin end products, which are highly inflammatory to sufferers of arthritis.
Then we have some vegetables, ones known as nightshade vegetables, which include potatoes and tomatoes, as well as eggplant. These are known to produce calcium deposits, which aggravate the joints.
Some foods that are good for arthritis include cherries, papayas, mangoes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and onions. Many different seed types seem to have properties that help, such as, celery seeds, flax seeds, and sesame seeds.
There are some so-called super foods that also need a mention like salmon (which contain Omega-3), bananas (because of the potassium, which helps with bone growth). Green tea is known for its anti-oxidants, which help get rid of some free radicals.
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Other known items that help, include turmeric, rosemary, ginger, and garlic. Garlic has been known to help with arthritis for centuries and recent research has backed this up.
What allicin does for sufferers
A certain substance called allicin is the active ingredient involved in benefiting sufferers of arthritis. Allicin this is not found in aged garlic. So, always use the fresh stuff and at least one clove per day. Eating a clove daily has been shown to benefit a lot of people who suffer from arthritis. A poultice of garlic applied to a painful, swollen joint, may also help reduce symptoms.
Garlic presses suitable for arthritis sufferers
Although there are companies that produce equipment of all kinds to aid the sufferers of arthritis, none I have found make garlic presses specifically for them. However, I’ve done a little research and have come up with some recommendations for you. The following are those I consider to be the most suitable for arthritis sufferers.
The Chef’n Garlic Chopper
This item is a brilliant garlic crusher. The dimensions are 6.13 x 5x 2.5 inches, so not huge but a size that is easily to grasp. This is a mostly plastic, dishwasher-friendly item shaped like a wheeled dome. You pop the clove inside and roll the chopper along your worktop until it is finely chopped.
Chef’n also has different options for sizes. As neither are going to take up much space, the larger one is the obvious choice.
Oxo Garlic Slicer
This option is more of a general chopping device. It offers that extra versatility that you can’t find with a single-use appliance. It’s a mostly plastic and features a large plunger that does the damage to your chosen item. The only drawback is this is not dishwasher safe.
Other enclosed choppers are available, but the large, easy to use plunger made me think this is more suitable for those with limited use of finger and wrist joints.
Alpha Grillers Press and Peeler Set
Be sure to seek medical advice if you have any of the symptoms of arthritis. Hopefully, these presses will reduce your symptoms so that you can get back to doing what you love!
Garlic, bane of arthritis (and vampires)!
For more of my reviews of handy kitchen appliances, check out my article on the best microwaves for senior citizens and microwaves for people with dementia. You might also like this post on the best kitchen mats to reduce discomfort and improve posture, even if you have hard, tile floors. Make opening cans easier with this review of the best electric can opener for large cans.
Don’t forget to check out some of my other articles for foods that can help with discomfort. See this post for foods great for improving digestion. If you have a sore throat, these soup recipes should get you feeling better in no time!