Fiber may have a not-so-cool reputation, but experts agree that it’s one of the most beneficial nutrients to add to your diet. It’s been shown to lower cholesterol levels, decrease inflammation, cut the risk for heart disease, and help people maintain a healthy weight. Thanks to recent studies, a new benefit can be added to the list: Fiber may cut the risk for knee arthritis in New Orleans.

Foods that are high in fiber, such as nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains, are a big part of an anti-inflammatory diet. A new study followed two groups of men and women who had knee arthritis or were at risk for it.

Among the first group, those who ate the most fiber were 30% less likely to develop knee stiffness or pain than those who ate the least fiber. More than 4,500 people with knee arthritis were followed for a 4-year period.

The second group, which followed over 1,200 people for 9 years, had an even more dramatic result. Those who consumed the most fiber had a 60% lower risk for knee problems than those who consumed the least fiber.

Researchers think that fiber’s benefits for those with arthritis stem from two factors. Fiber creates a feeling of fullness, which can help you eat less and manage your weight better. Being overweight is a known risk factor for knee arthritis in New Orleans.

Also, fiber can reduce inflammation. Studies have found that fiber intake is inversely connected with levels in the body of C-reactive protein, which is an inflammatory marker.

How to Add Fiber to Your Diet

Before you start dreading having to drink prune juice, be aware that dietary fiber is found in many items. Fiber-rich foods include vegetables and fruits, beans, peas, nuts, oats, seeds, and whole-grain foods.

Here are some great ways to add more fiber to your diet to fight off knee arthritis in New Orleans:

  • Add kidney or garbanzo beans or lentils to soups and salads;
  • Instead of drinking juice, eat an orange or apple;
  • Switch to the whole-grain version of bread, cereals, pasta, and rice;
  • Keep raw, cut-up vegetables on hand for snacking; dip them in yogurt or hummus and enjoy;
  • Keep fiber-rich snack options on hand, like unsalted nuts or dried fruit.

With a few small changes to your eating habits, you can help protect your knees – and your heart – by adding more fiber to your diet. If you feel that you may be suffering from knee arthritis in New Orleans, contact our office today to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your options for relief.