Arthritis pain is no joke! While there is no direct cure for arthritis, there are things you can do to decrease inflammation, strengthen the bones and boost the immune system. It all starts in your refrigerator.
Eating the right foods can reduce arthritic pain and also benefit your overall health and well-being. Let’s take a look at some of the best foods that you should be incorporating into your diet to fight the discomfort associated with arthritis.
Research has shown that cherries have some amazing properties to them. They reduce the symptoms of gout and have anti-inflammatory properties thanks to their anthocyanins. You can find similar benefits in other types of berries, including blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Add them to your morning oatmeal or cereal, or flavor up Greek yogurt with them.
Low-fat dairy products should be included in your diet. They are packed with Vitamin D and calcium, which are both shown to build bone strength. Plus, Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption, so consuming both at the same time is best. If you don’t like dairy products or have an intolerance to them, try calcium-rich vegetables like dark, leafy greens.
Certain types of fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to fight inflammation. The best varieties include salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring. Aim for 3-4 ounces of fish each week. Try tuna sandwiches or seared fish over a bed of greens.
If you’re not a fan of fish, you can still get omega-3 fatty acids from soy. Tofu or edamame are the best ways to add soybeans into your diet, and they go great in salads or make tasty snacks. Plus, soybeans are low in fat and high in protein and fiber.
Citrus foods like oranges and grapefruit are rich in Vitamin C. Having enough of this vitamin can prevent arthritis from flaring up, plus maintain healthy joints. You can sneak in more citrus by adding fresh lemon or lime wedges to a glass of water in the mornings, or having a tall glass of OJ.
Extra virgin olive oil contains heart-healthy fats and should replace butter when cooking foods like vegetables and fish. It also contains oleocanthal, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Other good picks include avocado oil, sunflower oil and safflower oils.
Broccoli is rich in Vitamins K and C and it may also slow the progression of osteoarthritis because of the compound sulforaphane. Broccoli is also a good pick for calcium. Spice it up with some garlic (which is also good for reducing arthritic symptoms) and sautee it in olive oil, or eat it raw with Greek yogurt dressing.