Ask the Experts- March 2022

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: March 11, 2022

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

I hope that you can provide me with a little information about how I can prevent arthritis. I am 54 and my mother has arthritis. Are there any ways that I can cut my risks for getting it?


Dear Sharon,

You can reduce your risk of developing arthritis by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Some prevention strategies include:

Maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Include plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products; use sugar, salt, and fat (especially saturated fat found in animal products) in moderation.

Foods that may help fight arthritis include cherries, for their anti-inflammatory properties; low fat dairy, to improve bone density and strength; broccoli, to build bones and slow the development of osteoarthritis; green tea, for antioxidants that protect cartilage; citrus, which contains vitamin C that helps prevent inflammatory arthritis (strawberries, oranges, red bell peppers); and even garlic, to prevent cartilage damage.

Lose weight. Try to keep your weight within a healthy level. If you are able to shed a few pounds you will put less pressure on your joints and thereby lower your risk of arthritis. Losing weight benefits not only your knees but also your hips.

Try to be as active as possible. Exercise can prevent problems by building up muscles that protect joints. However, talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Physical therapists also can help you by advising you of exercises that you should do. Your doctor may recommend adding strength training using light hand weights or elastic bands. And always include stretching exercises because they will help too.

Avoid injuries. Take preventive steps and focus on exercises and sports that are safe. And try not overdoing it with any of these activities. You want to avoid getting hurt.

Check your vitamin D levels. Many women are deficient in vitamin D. It might be best to have your doctor check your level of vitamin D at the end of winter as this is when most people’s levels are the lowest. Go outside and get a little sunshine.

Refrain from smoking. Smoking may increase your risk of developing arthritis.