Arthritis may progress more quickly when the body is lacking certain vitamins and minerals. Like many people with arthritis joint pain, you may have considered taking vitamins and supplements that promise to ease joint pain. Taking vitamins and minerals is also helpful in building the body’s resilience against ailments or dealing with existing problems. While supplements such as vitamins and minerals may relieve symptoms associated with diseases, they may not be able to treat illness and diseases. Understanding this distinction is important to appreciate the role of supplements with regards to arthritis pain relief and overall treatment.
Most of the time, it is best to get the vitamins and minerals you need from food instead of supplements. Vitamin and mineral supplements cannot replace whole foods, our whole food vegetarian diet supplies a vast range of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that you cannot find in a supplement tablet. Vitamin and mineral supplements contain only a handful of these essential nutrients, so it is best to eat a wide variety of foods prepared in such a way as to preserve the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. It is equally important to avoid potential chemical excesses and imbalances by over consuming supplements. The most important natural sources of vitamins and minerals to think about if you have arthritis are highlighted below.
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS FOR ARTHRITIS RELIEF
Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin C lead to an increased risk of RA. However, too-high levels of vitamin C may contribute to OA pain and the formulation of bone spurs. Vitamin C is an important part of making collagen protein in building healthy cartilage, joints, and blood vessels. It helps maintaining a healthy immune system, neutralizing pollutants, and increasing the absorption of nutrients. Poor vitamin C intake has been linked with arthritis. However, if you make sure you have your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day; you’re unlikely to have a problem with vitamin C and shouldn’t need supplements. According to Arthritis Today, the recommended daily vitamin C intake of 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg per day for men will help fight off the increased risk for RA without increasing risk for OA.
Natural Sources of Vitamin C
Fruits that are pack with vitamin C are: Cantaloupe, Plums, Black Currant, kiwi, orange, melon, berries, banana, avocado, guava and Citrus fruits. And vegetables are tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red and green bell peppers, cabbage, and spinach. Sweet Red peppers have more than three times the vitamin C of orange juice.
The Vitamin C helps to boost the effectiveness of type II collagen. Collagen is a necessary amino acid that plays an important role in the building of joint cartilage and it may have anti-inflammatory effects. If you suffer from joint pain caused by aging or injuries, taking collagen is one beneficial treatment that can reduce joint pain and arthritis symptoms by 50 percent or more. This surprisingly effective ingredient has been shown in research studies to work better and faster than many of the leading treatment options for arthritis and joint pain. Collagen comes in several different forms. Your body makes collagen on its own, but with time, the amount of collagen that your body produces is lessened. You can increase collagen levels in your body through the following sources:
Animal bones are one of the best sources of collagen. Animal bones contain high levels of type II collagen which is responsible for fighting inflammation and reducing overall joint pain. One of the easiest ways to reap the benefits of animal bone collagen is by making bone broth. Bone broth is produced by boiling animal bones for about 24 hours. Bones are also an excellent source of other beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Gelatin is actually a natural source of collagen. When bones are boiled, then create gelatin. Gelatin contains high levels of collagen which can help boost joint health and restore elasticity to the connective tissues around joints and bones. You can make your own gelatin by boiling high-collagen animal bones, which include hooves, feet, bone joints, chicken combs, and beaks
Low vitamin D may also play a role in developing rheumatoid arthritis. Among people who have R.A, those with low vitamin D levels tend to have more active R.A symptoms. Vitamin D is also a key in strengthening bones and helps the body absorb calcium and is important for keeping bones healthy and preventing osteoporosis. Without enough vitamin D, one can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin D”). This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet. In this situation, the body must take calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone. The general recommendations for vitamin D are 600 international units (IU) per day for adults under 70 and 800 to 1000 IU for people 70 and older.
Natural Sources of Vitamin D
You can get vitamin D from two natural sources: through the skin, and from the diet. Natural sources include saltwater and fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and fish liver oil. Other sources are shrimps, liver, orange juice, egg yolks, cheese, soy and rice beverages, fortified margarine and milk with vitamin D.
Vitamin D is sometimes called the sunshine vitamin because your body produces a critical form of vitamin D — vitamin D3 — when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun stimulates production of vitamin D in human skin, and just a few minutes (15 minutes a day is generally enough) of exposure to sunlight each day (without sunscreen) will insure your body is producing adequate amounts of vitamin D.
Vitamin F consists of a group of polyunsaturated fats called Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), they are also referred to as polyunsaturates. Essentially, there are two main types of EFAs: omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 fatty acids GLA (gamma linolenic acid). The human body cannot produce its own EFAs; they must be obtained through the diet means regularly. New research is suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids can help inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis). — A fat that plays a vital role in maintaining healthy cells throughout the body, including the joints. They also encourage the production of chemicals that help control inflammation in the joints, bloodstream, and tissues. Omega-3 fish oil supplements may help with rheumatoid arthritis. Multiple studies have reported improvements in morning stiffness and joint tenderness with the regular intake of fish oil supplements for up to three months. fish oils and fish liver oil or cod liver oil are not the same. Fish liver oils can be dangerous in large amounts. Talk to your doctor about how much omega-3 fatty acids you should be getting.
Natural Sources of Vitamin F
Vitamin F can be found in sea food coldwater fish like salmon, herring, anchovies, trout, sardines and mackerel, In healthy vegetable oils like sunflower seeds, olive, safflower, canola, and grape seed, In nuts particularly hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, Pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pistachios peanuts, almonds and walnuts. In Legumes, flax seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds and avocado. EFAs are also available in supplement form – such as fish oil capsules or evening primrose oil. To ensure that you’re getting enough omega-3 and omega-6, take daily supplements in the form of fish oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, primrose oil, blackcurrant oil, or borage oil. An often-suggested dose is 1 to 2 grams of GLA per day.
Vitamin K prevents osteoporosis, which is the disease that weakens the bones and may help prevent bone fractures. Vitamin K plays a prominent role in the maintenance of healthy bones by helping to create a positive calcium balance and working synergistically with vitamin D to build bone mass. Vitamin D and vitamin K work together to strengthen your bones and to help them develop properly. Vitamin K also helps produce osteocalcin, a key protein used in bone remodeling. It blocks substances that speed the breakdown of bone and it helps regulate calcium excretion from the body in urine. When too much calcium is excreted, the body draws what it needs from bones. Vitamin K is important in making sure that the calcium you get from foods or supplements is used in your bones.
Natural Sources of Vitamin K
K1, which is involved in photosynthesis, is produced by plants and algae, its highest concentrations found in green leafy vegetables. Primary dietary sources of K1 are leafy greens, such as parsley, Swiss chard, collards greens, watercress, Mustard Greens, Lettuce, Endive, Escarole and kale; and vegetables in the cabbage family; spinach, cabbage, turnip green, Brussels sprout, alfalfa, broccoli and cauliflower.
K2 is produced by bacteria and also via the conversion of K1 to K2 by beneficial bacteria in the intestines of animals, including humans. Natto (fermented soybeans) is the richest dietary source of vitamin K2. Dairy products (milk, butter, cottage cheese, cheese) Liver, olive and canola and soybean oils, green tea and egg yolk also provide small amounts.
ESSENTIAL MINERALS FOR ARTHRITIS RELIEF
Minerals are as important as vitamins because they are the building blocks of enzymes that are necessary in the utilization of vitamins. Learn the benefits of various minerals which are beneficial to bone and joint health and where you can find them in certain foods.
Being active is important in keeping up bone strength, but RA can make it feel more difficult. Calcium is important for keeping your bones healthy. Calcium deficiency increases your risk of osteoporosis, which is particularly common in women after the menopause. You may also be at risk of developing osteoporosis if you’re taking steroids on a long-term basis. People with arthritis can be at higher risk for osteoporosis and should be sure to meet their calcium needs. Most adults need a daily intake of calcium of 1,000 milligrams (mg), with added vitamin D if you’re over 60. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you need 1500 mg of calcium per day. Recently there have been worries that taking calcium supplements (but not vitamin D) might have a negative effect on heart health. This seems to apply only to calcium tablets, not calcium from food.
Natural Sources of Calcium
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt – low-fat ones are best, and it doesn’t matter if they come from cows or other animals, for example goats
Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk contains more calcium than full-fat milk.
Fortified products such as cereals, orange juice, tofu, soya, rice or oats milks
Fish that are eaten with the bones (such as tinned sardines and salmon)
Calcium is present in leafy green vegetables watercress, beans and chickpeas, some dark green leafy vegetables (especially spinach, turnip and mustard greens, kale, Chinese cabbage, and broccoli). Calcium is found in some nuts, seeds and dried fruits.
Iron needed to transport oxygen to all parts of the body via the red blood cells and for making amino acids, collagen. Many people with arthritis are anemic which means they do not have enough hemoglobin or red blood cells. This is sometimes caused by arthritis medication. To help maintain the health of red blood cells and prevent anemia, it is important to get enough iron Younger people, especially premenopausal women, need the full amount of iron, but older men and women should be okay with 10 mg or less daily. Your body absorbs iron better if you take it with vitamin C, so have fruit juice or a good portion of fruit or vegetables with your meal. It’s best not to drink tea with your meal as this reduces the amount of iron that your body can absorb. However, more isn’t better; you do not want too much iron. Iron is a powerful oxidizer that can damage vitamin E, and possibly even oxidize LDL cholesterol, which may damage arteries.
Natural Sources of Iron
The iron that your body absorbs the best and is found in high amounts in red meat
In moderate amounts in prunes, apricots, blackstrap molasses, nutritional yeast, and wheat germ
Oily fish, for example sardines
Pulses, for example lentils and haricot beans
Dark green vegetables, spinach, kale and watercress.
Leafy green vegetables, beans, shellfish,
Eggs, poultry, soy foods, fortified bread and grain products
Copper is the third most abundant trace mineral in the body, Plays an important role in iron metabolism and helps make red blood cells and helps protect the skeletal systems. Copper is an important trace element that your body needs in order to form collagen in the bones which builds our connective tissues. Approximately 50 percent of the body’s total copper content is found in the bones and muscles. Copper is a common treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis—because it helps promote healthy collagen in the body, copper may relieve aching joints and minimize loss in mineral bone density. An old folk remedy for arthritis calls for wearing a copper bracelet to reduce pain and inflammation. The theory behind this remedy is that copper from this bracelet is thus absorbed through the skin.
Natural Sources of Copper
Organ meats seafood, shellfish, nuts, seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole-grain products, beans, prunes, cashews, cocoa products are all foods that are high in copper. More than half of the copper in foods is absorbed.
Boron is a unique trace mineral that that helps keep bones strong and certain arthritis symptoms at bay and reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis. The researchers noted that high levels of boron in the diet reduced the chances of getting arthritis from a maximum of 70 percent to a maximum of 10 percent. A daily intake of 3 to 10 mg is the most beneficial for fighting arthritis and joint pain, according to the study.
To ensure you have enough boron in your diet consume a variety from among the following food sources: almonds, walnuts, avocados, broccoli, potatoes, pears, prunes, honey, oranges, onions, chick peas, carrots, beans, bananas, Dates, Peanut Butter, Hazel Nuts, Lentils, Olive, Cashew Nuts (raw), Beans (red kidney),Bran (wheat),Brazil Nuts, Celery, red grapes, red apples and raisins.
Selenium is a mineral that helps the body absorb Vitamin E. Mild selenium deficiency is quite common and may be linked with arthritis progressing more quickly.
Natural Sources of Selenium
Selenium is found naturally in foods like crab, shrimp, and other seafood salmon, halibut, Chicken, Liver, Yeast, brown rice wheat germ and garlic are all great sources of selenium. The richest natural source of selenium is Brazil nuts.
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