Arthritis and joint pain is characterised by inflammation and loss of function in some parts of your body. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which damages your joints, cartilage and bones and affects over 27 million Americans.
Another type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which attacks the synovial lining of your joints, causing swelling, pain, stiffness and loss of function. No matter what type you have, research suggests that you can diet for arthritis. Here are the foods you should add to your daily diet to alleviate chronic pain and other symptoms of arthritis.
A large study that looked at 29,000 women with a history of arthritis found that those who ate more vitamin D-rich foods like egg yolks, cheese and beef liver were at lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. What’s more, Framingham Heart Study findings suggested a reduced risk of osteoarthritis progression in the knees of patients with consumed higher amounts of vitamin D.
Omega-3 fatty acids
A growing body of research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like mackerel, salmon and walnuts, banish inflammation in the body and reduce symptoms of arthritis. Researchers from the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health found that the COX-2 enzymes – the culprits of joint inflammation – are more active when you eat a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
According to one study, greater intake of vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, mangoes, bell peppers, strawberries, pineapple and kidney beans is associated with a 30% reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis!
Turns out your mom knew what she was talking about when she told you to eat your broccoli! One Mayo Clinic study that ran over 11 years found that broccoli as well as other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower protected against the development of arthritis.
The Mediterranean diet, which is very rich in olive oil, has been linked to reduced joint pain and stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Olive oil’s inflammation-fighting properties are attributed to oleic acid, which contains two antioxidants: Omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols.
Ginger has long been using as a remedy for nausea, cold and flu, migraines and hypertension. Now, clinical studies are beginning to uncover ginger’s role in arthritis relief. One study in the Journal of Medicinal Food linked this benefit to the spice’s powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action.
The foods above are ideal for your diet for arthritis – make sure they’re on your grocery list the next time you go shopping!
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