Image via Pexels
9 Foods that Help Fight Inflammation from Arthritis
If you live with arthritis or a related condition, you know the unbearable pain associated with symptoms like swelling, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. While there is no diet that can cure arthritis, a combination of a healthy diet and exercises to relieve pain can help fight inflammation, strengthen bones, and boost your immune system. Be sure to start adding these nine foods into your diet today!
1. Fatty Fish
Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines have been shown to reduce inflammation. But there is a catch: In order to reap the benefits, you need to cook your fish in healthy ways (such as baked or boiled) and eat it several times a week. If you’re not a fan of fish, try taking fish oil supplements! Researchers have shown that taking these supplements can help reduce joint swelling and pain, morning stiffness and disease activity.
2. Green Tea
Not only can green tea help improve brain function and increase fat burning, but it also may protect against certain diseases, including arthritis. Studies show that EGCG, a substance in green tea, may halt the progression of arthritis by blocking interleukin-1, which is a pro-inflammatory cell, from damaging cartilage.
3. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables, like kale, spinach, broccoli, and collard greens can increase energy levels and keep your bones strong. The flavonoids and carotenoids that give these foods their dark color are also antioxidants, which is an important element to have in an inflammation-fighting diet. Dark leafy greens tend to have higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals, like calcium iron, and especially vitamin E, that also help your body fight inflammation.
Beans are an excellent source of protein in your diet. They are also a great source of fiber and phytonutrients, which are important to help lower CRP – an indicator of inflammation. The best part? All types of beans help fight inflammation so you can mix a variety of them into your diet!
While most polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFAs) are present in seaweeds and other ocean plants, avocados are one of the few land plants that are PFAs. Both PFAs and phytosterols found in avocados prevent pro-inflammatory prostaglandin E2 synthesis, which reduces inflammation in the joints.
While papayas are rich in powerful antioxidants, like beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, its main pain-reducing ingredient is papain, which is a proteolytic enzyme. Research has shown that papain may be just as effective as many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Ginger helps make both your immune system and your joints stronger by suppressing pro-inflammatory compounds, such as cytokines produced by synoviocytes, chondrocytes and leukocytes. In addition, ginger contains salicylates, which your body transforms to salicylic acid. This chemical substance prevents nerves from making certain prostaglandins, easing your pain and discomfort.
8. Dark Chocolate
If you’re looking for a sweet treat, pick up some dark chocolate! While you shouldn’t binge on it, a little bit of dark chocolate (with at least 70% pure cocoa) can help reduce inflammation in the body. Cocoa powder is an abundant source of phytochemicals, which can reduce the severity of arthritis symptoms. While cocoa powder is present in milk, dark, and white chocolate, there is a higher amount of phytochemicals in dark chocolate.
Turmeric is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods out there! This yellow-colored powder blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, helping prevent joint inflammation rather than reducing inflammation. Additionally, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helps relieve pain, tenderness, and swelling of the joints. It’s important to note that turmeric can thin your blood, so talk to your doctor before incorporating it into your diet.
If a healthy diet does not seem to be helping with your arthritis pain, request an appointment with our experts at Premier Pain Centers today!