Nine foods high in vitamin C to reduce your risk of arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms

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Arthritis can be a painful and debilitating condition. It is thought more than 10 million Britons are currently living with it, as well as other joint issues. Although there is no cure, there are steps you can take to prevent or ease symptoms.

As with many medical conditions, one such way is through diet.

Specifically, eating foods rich in vitamin C could help.

Studies have shown how vitamin C aids the production and maintenance of collagen, which makes up a major part of cartilage.

Cartilage is a tissue found across the body that covers the surfaces of joints.

It acts like a shock absorber in the body but can become damaged due to injury or wear and tear – osteoarthritis.

And one study, published in the British Medical Journal, concluded that eating less vitamin C can increase someone’s risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis – a disease affecting at least five joints.

It says: “Lower intakes of fruit and vegetables, and vitamin C were associated with an increased risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis (IP).

“Those in the lowest category of vitamin C intake, compared with the highest, increased their risk of developing IP more than threefold, adjusted odds ratio with 95 percent confidence intervals.”

A separate study, published in Medical Archives, found consuming vitamin C naturally could help those with osteoarthritis.

“There is no denying that vitamin C benefits everybody, whether they have arthritis or not,” it says.

“Therefore, it is a good idea to maintain a healthy balance of vitamin C. Without a doubt, vitamin C benefits most people with early osteoarthritis.”

Eating the following nine foods could help maximise your intake of vitamin C naturally:

  • Peppers
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Broccoli
  • Kidney beans
  • Kiwifruit
  • Cauliflower.

Other sources include lemon, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and white potatoes.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting nearly nine million people.

Initially it compromises the smooth cartilage lining of the joint, making movement more difficult and leading to pain and stiffness.

It mainly affects joints in the hands, knees, spine and hips.

The second most common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is when the body’s immune system targets affected joints

This typically causes pain and swelling.

Symptoms of arthritis will depend on what type you have, but can include:

  • Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
  • Inflammation in and around the joints
  • Restricted movement of the joints
  • Warm red skin over the affected joint
  • Weakness and muscle wasting.

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