Arthritis can cause swelling, pain, stiffness, and a reduced range of motion that can reduce your quality of life. There are many medications available that can help alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis.
While medicine certainly has its time and place, did you know that there are many foods that you can consume to help soothe arthritis symptoms?
Fruits can be one of your best friends when it comes to fighting arthritis because they contain compounds called polyphenols and flavonoids. Both substances have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help reduce swelling and pain. Berries and pomegranates are especially rich in polyphenols and flavonoids. These substances have been well documented to alleviate arthritis symptoms. Other fruits that can help symptoms include cherries, grapes, apples, grapefruits, and oranges.
Like fruits, many vegetables are rich in polyphenols and other antioxidants that reduce inflammation and pain. The best source of these polyphenols and antioxidants in the vegetable group is dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Carotenoids and Vitamin A found in orange-hued vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes can also reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. Vitamin K found in dark leafy greens is another reason why you should strongly consider adding them to your diet. It can help reduce and prevent osteoarthritis in the knees. Besides the vegetables listed above, beets, corn, onions, and winter squash are also excellent foods to eat to reduce inflammation in the body.
Legumes include beans, peas, and lentils. They are rich in fiber, protein, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Legumes make an excellent substitute for red meat, which can worsen inflammation. Their high mineral content makes them a great food to eat to maintain bone and joint health. You have a variety of beans, lentils, and peas to choose from to add to your diets, such as kidney beans, black beans, green peas, green lentils, and lima beans, to get the health benefits of legumes.
#4 Whole Grains
Whole grains are not only healthier for you than refined grains, but they will also help fight against any inflammation associated with arthritis. Their anti-inflammatory properties come from antioxidants such as Vitamin E and minerals such as selenium and magnesium. Go for whole-grain bread instead of white bread and brown rice instead of white rice. Try incorporating whole grains such as oats, barley, bulgur, and quinoa into your diet. Refined grains such as white bread can aggravate inflammation, so go for whole grains whenever you can.
#5 Nuts and Seeds
Nature has provided a natural snack that can help fight inflammation. Nuts and seeds are good sources of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids are extensively documented. Some of the best nuts to consume are walnuts, almonds, and pistachio nuts. Flaxseeds and chia seeds are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids and can be easily added to many foods.
#6 Fermented Dairy Products
Yogurt and a fermented drink called kefir contain probiotics, which are good bacteria that your body needs to maintain good overall health. Numerous studies have shown that the consumption of probiotics such as yogurt and kefir can reduce the symptoms of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Cheeses such as gouda, edam, and brie can also alleviate arthritis because they are a good source of vitamin k, which is vital for bone and joint health.
#7 Fish and Seafood
Fish and seafood are some of the best foods you can consume to fight against arthritis. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation in the body. Certain fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and trout also contain vitamin D, a vitamin with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Try to consume fish or seafood at least a couple of times a week for maximum benefits. Fish and seafood such as tuna, salmon, crab, mussels, anchovies, mackerel, and sea bass, as well as others, will provide you with powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
#8 Healthy Oils
Healthy oils such as olive, canola, and safflower can benefit those who have arthritis. These oils are made up of primarily polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that may alleviate some symptoms. Avocado, sesame, and walnut oil are additional healthy oils to consume.
#9 Spices and Herbs
Spices can add some kick to your favorite dishes. Did you know that they can reduce inflammation as well? The most potent anti-inflammatory spices include turmeric, ginger, black pepper, garlic, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Aim to consume these spices regularly to get the most benefit and relief from inflammation.