Some people believe that arthritis is simply inevitable and if person lives long enough, he or she is going to get it. The cartilage between the joints eventually wears down over the years and there’s nothing for it. However, even if doctors believe that just about everyone over a certain age has some level of arthritis, there are things that can be done to make the condition less painful and to postpone it. One of them is modifying the diet.

First, there are some things that a person shouldn’t eat to stave off arthritis. Carbonated drinks should be avoided as they bubble the calcium out of the bones. This makes the bones less dense overall. Also, if the person with arthritis is overweight or obese, he or she should endeavor to lose weight. This will take the load off of their skeletal system, especially the bones of the legs, hip and lumbar spine.

Some dietitians recommend that arthritics consider a vegetarian diet. In at least one study, one group of arthritics ate a regular diet with meat. The other group went on a fast, and gradually added vegetables to their diet but excluded meats, dairy products, refined sugar, salt, preservatives and citrus. The vegetarian group showed a remarkable reduction in their pain and stiffness. Their grip also improved and they had less need for NSAIDs or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and other pain killers. However, the group that stayed on the non-vegetarian diet either stayed the way they were or got worse.

Dietitians also encourage arthritics to ingest more Vitamin C, even if it does come in the form of citrus fruits. The reason is that Vitamin C is vital in helping the body make collagen, which is a material that goes into the creation of both bone and the cartilage in the joints. Some doctors recommend that their arthritic patients take at least 1,000 mg of Vitamin C every day. Other good sources of Vitamin C are Brussels sprouts, raw red bell peppers and fresh and boiled broccoli. Strawberries and melons are also good sources. Vitamin C is also one of three antioxidants that are vitamins. The others are Vitamins A and E.

Calcium has also been shown to help people suffering from arthritis. Calcium is abundant not just in dairy products but in canned sardines and salmon and dried figs. If the patient wants to cut down on their intake of fats, he or she can substitute skim milk for whole milk.