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12 Best Foods For Those Suffering From Arthritis Pain
Do you or someone you love suffer from the pain of arthritis? Depending on your age and the advancement of this disease, you might even have it now and not know it. Do you have pain in your hands, knees, or other joints that appears to come and go? Is it worse when the weather is cold or when you overuse the joints? If so, chances are good that you have arthritis.
Most people do not realize that their diet can either help or worsen many health problems, including arthritis. Although arthritis is not something that medical science can actually cure, there are ways that this disease can be managed.
We have made a list of the top 12 foods you should eat plenty of to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. All of the following foods contain anti-inflammatory compounds that will lessen the pain and improve the immune system.
Keep reading and find out how you can reduce inflammation and improve your mobility simply by adding the following foods to your diet.
1. Tart Cherries
This is an old wives tale that has recently been backed up by science. The journal Arthritis & Rheumatism published a double blind study finding that those who consumed at least two eight ounce servings each day over the 16 week study period had much lower pain levels than those who consumed a placebo. Keep in mind that these are tart cherries we are talking about, not the sweet kind that most people buy in the supermarket. You can eat a half cup of fresh, frozen, canned, or dried tart cherries each day or drink eight ounces of juice.
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Professional athletes all over the world drink the juice or eat fresh pineapples each day to help speed up muscle recovery and reduce inflammation. Pineapples contain a substance called bromelain, which not only stops inflammation, but also improves digestion. Although there are few studies regarding pineapple and arthritis, you should try eating one cup of fresh pineapple or drinking eight ounces of freshly squeezed pineapple juice each day.
3. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are much healthier than most people imagine. For one thing, they contain large amounts of selenium. Just three or four Brazil nuts have about 270 micrograms. Compare this with the 63 micrograms in three ounces of tuna fish. In one study, the North Carolina’s Thurston Arthritis Research Center found that people who had low levels of selenium were much more likely to have osteoarthritis of the knee. Aim to eat between 55 and 200 micrograms each day.
By now, most people have heard that blueberries have powerful antioxidant and immune improving compounds, but not nearly as many people know that blueberries can regulate inflammation caused by the body’s own cytokines. Arthritis is actually an autoimmune disorder. By eating more blueberries, you might be able to prevent or inhibit your body’s immune system from causing itself harm. Aim to eat one cup of blueberries each day or drink eight ounces of freshly squeezed juice.
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5. Olive Oil
Olive oil is perhaps the most commonly consumed oil in the world — and for good reason. One 2014 study found that extra virgin olive oil was not only good for the heart, but it also had anti-inflammatory and joint protective compounds that were very effective fighters of arthritis. Olive oil is not a very good choice for cooking, as it changes composition under high heat, but it is great as a dressing for salads or in dips. Always use extra virgin olive oil as well to get more of the anti-inflammatory compounds you need…
If you take glucosamine supplements to help stop arthritis pain, don’t stop taking them. The only problem with these is that sometimes they can be quite expensive! Eat more shellfish, such as lobster and shrimp, as these are super rich in glucosamine. Numerous studies show that glucosamine really helps to stop arthritis pain. Another great source of glucosamine is bone broth. Boil bones, such as your leftover Thanksgiving turkey or last Sunday’s chicken dinner, and use that broth to make a healthy, glucosamine-rich soup.
Although this isn’t a food, so to speak, this spice is the king when talking about anti-inflammatories. Numerous studies show that turmeric relieves pain and stops inflammation better than most pharmaceuticals anti-inflammatories, NSAIDS, or any other plant. Add more turmeric to your cooking dishes! If you don’t enjoy turmeric, you can take supplements, but please speak with your doctor first for the proper dosage for your unique situation.
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Besides containing lots of healthy omega-3’s, salmon also contains other compounds like calcitonin and proteoglycan, which have been found by scientists to help fight arthritis by reducing the effects that inflammation has on the joints. Researchers in several studies have found that these anti-inflammatory compounds in salmon moderate the cytokines in the body and reduce overall joint inflammation. Eat at least two servings of wild caught salmon each week.
Onions contain a powerful compound called quercetin, which is an antioxidant that inhibits inflammatory compounds in the body. This works in much the same way that ibuprofen or aspirin does. Leeks also contain this substance, as do apples and cherry tomatoes. Add plenty of these foods to your meals to help fight inflammation.
Soy and soy products, such as tofu, are not only terrific sources of protein, but several research studies show that these foods can delay the onset of rheumatoid arthritis by reducing joint inflammation and reducing the amount of cartilage erosion. Aim to eat at least three servings of soy each week. Read labels carefully, however, as many soy products now come from GM soy beans. Look for the certified organic label.
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11. Green Tea
Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet, hands down. Recent scientific studies have found that regular consumption of green tea resulted in significant improvements in arthritis symptoms. Green tea was found to cleanse the lymph system and reduce joint inflammation.
12. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which is vital for the immune system. Recent studies have also shown that consumption of higher amounts of vitamin C have reduced osteoarthritis of the knees. Although how this actually works is not fully understood, there appears to be some link between vitamin C and arthritis. One study, published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those who had high blood levels of vitamin C had a 45 percent reduced risk of developing inflammation of the joints. Most experts suggest that you work on getting about 500 mg of vitamin C each day. Focus on food, rather than supplements, as nearly all supplements are synthetic and are not well-absorbed by the body. One orange and one cup of broccoli will get you about 200 mgs of this vitamin.
Food cannot cure arthritis (as we said, nothing can) but it certainly can make this disease less painful. Small changes in your diet can get you big rewards when it comes to managing this painful disease.