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A Vegetable Juicing Diet for Arthritis

By Rachel Venokur-Clark

Arthritis affects over 46 million Americans. Arthritis may be caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection of joints. Arthritis can also occur due to an inherited defect or an injury, or it may be caused by an immune response in the body. In autoimmune-related arthritis, the body mistakenly identifies the synovial membrane as foreign and begins to attack it. The synovial membrane is the connective tissue that lines the joints. Some forms of arthritis are reversible and can be controlled with proper diet and lifestyle choices.

Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis causes the inflammation of one or more joints in the body. Common side effects include pain, stiffness, swelling and a diminished range of motion. Joints may crack, pop or make noise when they move. Some arthritic conditions can affect bones, muscles or internal organs. Undiagnosed or untreated arthritis can lead to irreversible joint damage. Joints may become weak or deformed over time. Arthritis symptoms can come on gradually or appear quickly.

Arthritis Treatment

A variety of food items, food sensitivities and food allergies may increase symptoms of arthritis. Eliminating trigger foods may help reduce joint pain. Diet, lifestyle changes and alternative medicine can accompany traditional courses of treatment. Prescription medications are often prescribed to reduce immune activity, decrease inflammation and minimize joint pain. The Arthritis Foundation recommends massage, acupuncture, dietary changes and herbal supplements as alternative methods to treat arthritis symptoms. These methods should only be used in addition to working with a medical professional.

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Benefits of Juicing

The Arthritis Foundation notes that poor nutrition, loss of appetite due to pain and fatigue, and food sensitivities may increase joint pain. Juicing fruits and vegetables offers the body a wide array of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and nutrients. Fresh juices are easy to digest and allow for increased nutrient absorption. Juicing may help boost the immune system and may increase the elimination of toxins, reducing arthritis symptoms. Including an omega-3 fatty acid, such as flax oil and ginger in juices, may help to decrease joint inflammation and increase the anti-inflammatory effects. Dark leafy greens, non-acidic fruits, garlic, pineapple and tart cherries can be juiced to relieve pain and inflammation.

Considerations

Eating whole fruits and vegetables offers the body vitamins and minerals and the addition of fiber, most of which is lost during the juicing process. Fiber is important for maintaining a healthy weight, which can affect the severity of arthritis symptoms. Additional clinical research is needed to validate if juiced fruits and vegetables are healthier than eating them whole. When juicing, choose organic produce whenever possible. Do not use a juicing diet as a primary course of treatment for arthritis.

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