National Arthritis Week 12th -18th October 2015
One in five of the adult population in the UK has arthritis; there are also 12,000 children with arthritis and approximately 27,000 people living with arthritis are under the age of 25.
People have little appreciation of how powerful exercise can be in preserving bone density and joint function, which can help prevent arthritis; however exercise must be regular and ongoing to have a proper benefit. It should be appreciated that exercise increases the strength and capacity of the body’s muscles.
There is no cure for arthritis but a good intake of omega 3 fats can prevent or minimise symptoms because they reduce inflammation. Also Vitamin D “the sunshine vitamin” can help prevent rheumatoid arthritis (fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel contain vitamin D).
Arthritis is painful and stops people from leading a full and healthy life, but certain foods can fight inflammation and therefore boost the immune system, such as: fish oil, olive oil, strawberries, cherries, onions, ginger, nuts and flaxseed.
Hippocrates wrote about the benefits of flaxseed in 500 bc - but it has only been in the past 10 years that dieticians have focused on its benefits. Flaxseed eases the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Lubricates joints and lessens stiffness and joint pain. Fifty-seven percent of the total fatty acids in flaxseed oil is alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), one of three omega-3 fatty acids. When consumed, ALA is converted into the other, more powerful omega-3s, docosahexaeonic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) acids.
Most people today are deficient in omega-3 fats but everyone should aim for a lifetime of high omega-3 levels to reap all the health benefits that it has to offer, including protection from arthritis.
Osteoporosis in the UK:
More than 300,000 fragility fractures occur every year in the UK
Fragility fractures can have a serious affect on daily life
Women over 45 years spend more days in hospital because of osteoporosis than other illnesses
1,150 people die every month in the UK as a result of hip fracture
Osteoporosis, is characterised by brittle and breaking bones but when it comes to bone strength there are two essential nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. Calcium supports bones and vitamin D improves calcium absorption. Milk is a primary source of calcium and vitamin D, are you drinking enough milk?