Arthritis is an inflammatory disease, and a balanced diet with foods that fight inflammation can significantly improve the symptoms and pain of arthritis. Further, a healthy diet that contains anti-inflammatory foods can relieve hip and knee pain and relieve symptoms. Switching to monounsaturated fats and eating foods that reduce inflammation and swelling work wonders to reduce joint pain!
Here are some of the key foods that can help ease the pain of arthritis, and why they are important to focus on.
More recently, researchers have shown that including fish on a diet can help reduce inflammation and pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Salmon, mackerel and herring are just some of the best examples as they are rich in sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds stop the production of enzymes that ravage cartilage, the primary cause of arthritis pain.
Berry fruits such as cherries and blueberries can help reduce gout attacks. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins and anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, these fruits can keep your joints healthy and may help prevent inflammatory arthritis flare ups.
Leafy vegetables, especially dark leafy greens share the same health impact for arthritis as fruits. Include plenty of spinach, bok choy or kale on your diet. These greens contain vitamins C, A, and K — all of which act as antioxidants to protect you from free radicals. Free radicals are found in the environment- the food you eat, stress from work and pollution. They cause cell damage, accelerate aging, and aggravate inflammation from arthritis pain.
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans and pistachios contain high amounts of calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, Omega-3 fats and the immune-boosting alpha linolenic acid (ALA) as well as protein and fiber. All of which have anti-inflammatory effects. Not to mention, these nuts are also heart-healthy.
Citrus foods like oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and limes, are rich in vitamin C. Research shows that getting the right amount of vitamin C aids in collagen synthesis which helps build and repair blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone. This is helpful for people with osteoarthritis.
Citrus fruits are also good sources of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, which are helpful in maintaining healthy joints for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
Ginger may be beneficial in managing the inflammation and pain of arthritis as it contains chemicals that work just like those found in some anti-inflammatory medications. Ginger can be consumed as a tea or as an ingredient in baked goods. On the other hand, it is important to consult with a doctor before taking it. Caution is used with individuals who have diabetes, blood disorders and gallstones.
Garlic like onions and leeks is an inexpensive and relatively benign supplement that may reduce Osteoarthritis inflammation it contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of proinflammatory cytokines(cartilage-damaging enzymes). It helps fight inflammation and may even help prevent cartilage damage from arthritis.
Food to Avoid
While other foods can relieve joint pain, certain foods and beverages are known to cause inflammation including highly processed foods, red meat, fried foods, and those rich in added sugars. These foods can worsen the inflammatory response, exacerbate joint pain and contribute to a variety of diseases. Since arthritis is a chronic inflammation problem, it is important to avoid inflammatory foods and replace them with others that have anti-inflammatory effects.
The Bottom Line
Learning about anti-inflammatory foods and adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet can help alleviate the symptoms of many types of arthritis. A diet rich in healthy, low-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds can help you manage your pain and relieve inflamed joints.