Osteoarthritis and the Nightshade Fruits and Vegetables

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Osteoarthritis or the degenerative joint disease (DJD), is the most common form of arthritis and likely exists to some degree in all individuals by the age of 65. The normally smooth cartilage becomes softened, looses its elasticity and its surface becomes worn in spots. As the joint space narrows, the bones begin to rub against each other, causing inflammation, pain, deformity and diminished range of motion. Avoiding foods from the nightshade family such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants, is beneficial to those susceptible to osteoarthritis, because the alkaloids found in the nightshade family foods can inhibit normal cartilage repair and may also promote inflammatory degeneration. A diet rich in antioxidant foods is recommended, to decrease free radical damage to joints. Sulfur containing foods such as garlic and the onion family are great to include in their diets, not only for their antioxidant properties, but also for the important role that sulfur plays in rebuilding cartilage.