If you’re suffering from arthritis, then you have probably noticed that the pain can ebb and flow based on your diet, activity level, and even the weather. Getting a handle on the foods you eat can be a challenge, since you’ll need to learn how to incorporate foods into what’s known as an arthritis diet to help ease pain and improve mobility. You’ll also want to limit or cut off the intake of foods that make it worse, such as refined sugars and processed carbs. Here’s a list of foods you should start eating more of today in order to help your condition improve.
Bananas are simply a great food to consume overall, but especially if you’re trying to do something about your arthritis. They typically get referenced as a high-potassium food, but they do contain plenty of other vitamins and minerals that your body simply can’t go without for long. This vitamin mix includes folate, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, all of which help to battle back arthritis and keep your symptoms to a minimum. Additionally, bananas are a prebiotic food, which helps improve gut health to reduce total inflammation in the body.
2. Bell Peppers
The vitamin C in bell peppers acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help battle free radicals in the body, which in turn helps reduce the amount of inflammation, and thus limits the amount of pain you feel from your arthritis. It’s difficult to the point of being nearly impossible to avoid everything that causes free radicals, so it’s better to supply your body with enough antioxidants to limit the damage done, and help you have better health and a feeling of well-being. Bell peppers are easily worked into most meals and give an instant vitamin boost.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil represents a healthy fat, and is one of the best oils you can use for daily cooking. You’ll want to make sure that you’re using a high-quality extra virgin olive oil so that you get the most out of it. Research shows that olive oil contains a compound known as oleocanthal that has been shown to reduce inflammation. Add olive oil as a salad dressing, or use it to cook up bright colored veggies to blast back arthritis pain.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another oil that is high in healthy, anti-inflammatory fats to reduce arthritis pain. One study found that when researchers injected rats with arthritis with coconut oil, it reduced their inflammation better than pharmaceutical drugs. In addition to the healthy fats, coconut oil contains antioxidants, which also helps reduce inflammation. So it’s like getting a double dose of pain relief.
Pineapple contains an anti-inflammatory enzyme known as bromelain that has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain associated with inflammatory conditions, including arthritis. It’s not hard to get more pineapple into your diet as this is one delicious fruit. Add some to salads or smoothies, or enjoy it raw as an afternoon snack!
Cherries are one of the best foods you can eat to alleviate your arthritis pain, especially pain associated with gout. This is because cherries contain special antioxidants known as anthocyanins that are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. One study found that eating tart cherries everyday reduced osteoarthritis pain by 20 percent. You can also drink tart cherry juice to get the same benefits, but make sure there is no added sugar in your juice as this will increase inflammation and make your pain worse.
Broccoli can be used on just about any diet program to help you lose weight if needed, which can help reduce the strain on joints, which could also help your pain and mobility issues. One study found that broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane that has been shown to reduce the inflammatory markers that contribute to arthritis pain. Add broccoli to stir-fries or steam some and serve it alongside a meat-based dish.
Walnuts contain a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and can help with pain. Add walnuts to salads or even meat-based dishes. You can also eat them with a handful of blueberries for the ultimate anti-inflammatory snack.
9. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have several benefits over their white counterparts, and they deserve spot on your regular menu. Their orange color is a giveaway that they contain beta carotene, as well as additional antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Try substituting white potatoes with sweet potatoes whenever you get the chance, and reap the benefits from these more nutritious spuds.
Like cherries, berries contain a high amount of antioxidants known as anthocyanins along with additional antioxidants, such as rutin and quercetin, vitamins, minerals, and fiber- all of which help reduce inflammation. One study found that women who ate two servings of strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to suffer from inflammation in the body, and that’s the key to reducing arthritis pain. There is no wrong way to eat berries, but you’ll want to make sure your berries are fresh to ensure you’re getting the most nutrition from them.
Red grapes contain a compound known as proanthocyanidin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation assocaited with arthritis. It also contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that has been shown to block the formation of rheumatoid arthritis cells and prevent the thickening of the joints that is characterized by arthritis. Sprinkle some grapes over a salad, or heck, try a glass of red wine at night. Just be careful as alcohol can make inflammatory conditions worse.
The omega-3 content of salmon is very high, and this is why it often gets recommended as a great fish to eat to help curb arthritis pain. But most oily fish will also suffice, and you can rotate between your favorites, or stick with a winner, eating salmon a few times per week, or even just once. Omega-3s help to reduce the amount of inflammation in the body, and this has a direct effect on your arthritis. It can counteract some of the other foods you eat that work at raising your inflammation levels, which is why it’s good to get a steady supply of omega-3s from various sources each day.
13. Green Tea
Green tea is touted for its high level of antioxidants, which is what you’re after if you have arthritis pain. The EGCG is the specific substance green tea contains which has a direct effect on inflammation levels in the body, and is what will be responsible for any pain relief you feel after drinking it. It is unclear how much green tea is enough, but most studies have participants drinking multiple cups a day.
Spinach is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and also provides benefits to those with arthritis. Spinach and other leafy greens are simply adored by the body and you’ll get plenty of benefit from eating them. They’re a hydrating vegetable, and are packed with phytonutrients that help your body function at its best overall. Spinach contains plenty of fiber to help keep you regular, and your digestive system should be operating at its best to help with inflammation levels as well.
Tomatoes often make the news for their lycopene content, and that’s what is theorized as being responsible for its help in relieving the pain associated with arthritis. When you eat your tomatoes, opt for cooked tomatoes because that helps to unlock the lycopene that’s inside them. When you eat raw tomatoes, you’ll get some lycopene, but not nearly as much as you’d get by eating them cooked.
Beets are very unique in their makeup, and contain an antioxidant that very few foods contain. It’s called betalain and it’s very helpful in giving your body the defenses it needs against free radical buildup. The thing you’ll want to remember about eating beats is to buy them fresh and raw, and then cook them rather than buying them in pickled form. You may also start to see beets being sold cooked instead of pickled, and those are acceptable, just be sure to check the label to see how they’re prepared.