We all know that a balanced, varied and healthy diet has a positive influence on our health and reduces the risk of many diseases. But, is there a specific diet for osteoarthritis?
It has long being known that the Mediterranean Diet has a favorable effect on cardiovascular health, some types of cancer, chronic diseases and cognitive performance. Could it also be beneficial for joint health and osteoarthritis?
The role of nutrition in chronic pathologies is being increasingly studied and the Mediterranean Diet pattern has been linked to the reduction of knee inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which is why the influence it may have on osteoarthritis is also being studied.
In a review of three published studies, the researchers came to the conclusion that, indeed, following the Mediterranean Diet pattern is beneficial for osteoarthritis and joint health in general.
The results show that Mediterranean Diet protects and helps osteoarthritis in different ways:
• It improves the quality of life of people with osteoarthritis by reducing inflammation, improving joint range of motion and improving their mood.
• It has a protective effect on osteoarthritis, as people who follow the Mediterranean Diet have fewer cases of osteoarthritis (i.e. the prevalence of osteoarthritis is lower).
• It acts as an anti-inflammatory diet, thanks to the components present in certain foods characteristic of this dietary pattern, that have the property of reducing inflammatory substances and cartilage degradation.
Is our diet really a Mediterranean Diet?
Living in a Mediterranean country does not ensure that our diet is in line with its traditional diet, which has its own characteristics and foods. We must ensure a high consumption of fruits, green vegetables, legumes, nuts, cereals, especially whole grains, fish -without neglecting oily fish- and seafood, moderate consumption of poultry and eggs and use virgin olive oil as the main source of fat.
In short, with a diet similar to the Mediterranean Diet pattern we will take the first step towards taking care of osteoarthritis.
Author: Esther Barnés, pharmacist and specialist in medical writing of Nutresalut
Source: Morales-Ivorra I, Romera-Baures M, Roman-Viñas B, Serra-Majem L. Osteoarthritis and the Mediterranean Diet: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 7;10(8).