If you suffer from arthritis, you can benefit from medications, exercise, and several physical therapies designed to help ease the pain the condition causes. Your diet can also affect your symptoms. Foods that promote inflammation in the body tend to make the pain worse, while foods that relieve it can help ease the pain of arthritis.
A balanced diet that keeps your blood pressure and blood sugar within the normal ranges can help lessen arthritis pain and keep you healthier overall. To help your joints feel better, fill most of your plate with vegetables and fruit, and try to incorporate these ten diet tips into your daily meal planning.
Fruit is a healthy choice, but skip sugary sodas, candy, cake, and desserts. Added sugar is the culprit that can cause inflammation and spike insulin levels in your blood.
Natural sugars found in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and starches are fine, but try to pair carbohydrates like fruit with a protein like peanut butter to lessen the insulin surge in your bloodstream.
Peanut butter is rich in Vitamin B3, which can help ease arthritis symptoms. Choose the natural kind made from only ground, roasted peanuts with no added sugars, or grind your own.
If you eat fish, incorporate fatty fish like trout, salmon, and sardines into your weekly diet. These fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
As a bonus, omega-3 fatty acids promote good brain health. If you don't like fish, try a fish oil supplement. Vegans and vegetarians can take omega-3 derived from seaweed and still enjoy its benefits.
Berries are one of the foods with the most antioxidant properties. While blueberries may have the biggest health benefits, all berries like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and others can help boost your health and ease arthritis symptoms by lowering inflammation in the body.
A small study of women with osteoarthritis in their knees showed that those who drank tart cherry juice every day for three weeks had more anti-inflammatory markers in their blood and got slightly more relief from knee pain than those who drank a placebo mixture.
All leafy greens can be a healthy part of a balanced diet, so include as many as you can. Spinach contains larger amounts of the antioxidant kaempferol, which may help suppress the cytokines produced by rheumatoid arthritis that destroy bone and cartilage.
The antioxidant resveratrol found chiefly in the skin of grapes has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. You can benefit from this compound by eating grapes or drinking red wine, but alcohol can make arthritis worse, so stick to enjoying the fruit.
In one study, ginger extract eased knee pain from osteoarthritis in 63% of participants. For the best anti-inflammatory properties and the best flavor, use minced fresh ginger in recipes that call for ginger, but ground ginger will work, too.
Garlic has multiple health benefits, from naturally lowering blood pressure to cancer-prevention properties and strengthening the immune system. Garlic also helps lower inflammation in the body and may even help prevent arthritis in the hips.
Skip the seed and vegetable oils and opt to cook with olive oil instead. Anti-inflammatory markers in the blood after consuming small amounts of olive oil have shown it to have a preventative effect that can slow the development of arthritis.
It may also help reduce arthritis damage to joints and cartilage. Studies show that it may reduce inflammation almost as much as fatty fish oils, so it's a great choice for vegetarians, vegans, and people who don't like fish.
The saturated fat in fatty meats and processed foods not only contribute to chronic conditions like obesity and heart disease but also sparks inflammation in your body's fat cells. This inflammation can make arthritis symptoms worse.
Too much red meat can also cause gout, a painful form of arthritis that often affects the feet and toes.
If you follow a generally healthy diet, you can avoid the inflammation caused by processed, fat-laden, and sugar-rich foods. Avoiding those foods will help lower swelling in your tissues and help ease arthritis symptoms like stiffness and pain.