Orthopaedics

Acidic Foods and Arthritis

There are certain foods that are not to be consumed by people suffering from arthritis and

acidic foods

are one among these. Ironically, many foods that please our taste buds are either highly or moderately acidic. For instance, bacon, fries, steak, chocolates, desserts, cream seasonings, cheese etc. Though these are the foods one prefers to eat most of the time, they are a big let down as far as health and nutrition are concerned. This is the reason arthritis sufferers are asked to switch to an alkaline diet while cutting down on their acidic food intake.
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Acidic Foods and Joint Pains:

Our body does require acids (like folic acid, ascorbic acid, pantothenic acid etc) for its proper functioning. But when the acid levels in the body become high, which is common in arthritis patients, the body would not be able to tolerate any more acids leading to joint pains. This is the reason processed and refined foods, saturated fats, dairy products, alcohol and caffeine, sugary foods and meats are known to aggravate rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

Acidity and Alkalinity:

If the pH our blood is below 7, then it is considered to be acidic and anything above 7 represents alkalinity. And as a matter of fact, our blood pH is slightly alkaline (between 7.35-7.45). This pH regulation is taken care of by the body itself but when acidic foods are ingested on a regular basis, the pH can dip below 7, ergo acidic blood.

  • Increased uric acid levels in the blood lead to the arthritis condition gout. Uric acid is metabolized in our body when purine (an organic compound) units in the body become more. Purine is introduced into the body through dairy products, poultry, meat etc. As blood uric acid increases, they turn into crystals depositing themselves in joint spaces leading to inflammation and severe pain.
  • Intake of acidic foods causes the pH to fall below 7, as mentioned above. To regulate the blood pH, our body tries to eliminate these acidic toxins and crystals in the joint spaces during which process, the joints can become stiff and begin to ache.
  • Consuming alkaline foods like nuts, vegetables, grains, seeds and fruits like lime, lemon, grapefruit, coconut etc can help.

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