If you have arthritis, you know better than anyone how tiring and stressful this disease is. Arthritis is a term used for a class of diseases that cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can affect people of any age, gender or ethnic background. There are different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a type that develops in joints that have had excessive use. Another type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the joints. Fortunately, there are many foods that can relieve inflammation and help reduce some of the pain associated with arthritis in the joints. In fact, a survey found that 24% of people with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet had an important impact in terms of the symptoms of said disease.
This article lists 10 of the best foods to eat if you suffer from any type of arthritis.
1. Fatty Fish:
Varieties of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids , which have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects. In a small study, 33 participants were fed fatty fish, lean fish or lean meat, four times a week. After eight weeks, the group that consumed fatty fish had decreased levels of specific markers related to inflammation. An analysis of 17 studies found that taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements decreased the intensity of joint pain, morning stiffness, the number of painful joints and the use of pain relievers in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Similarly, a study with test tubes showed that omega-3 fatty acids reduced several inflammatory markers that are related to osteoarthritis. Fish is also a good source of vitamin D, which can help prevent vitamin deficiency. Several studies have found that rheumatoid arthritis may be associated with low levels of vitamin D, which deficiency of this vitamin could generate the symptoms of such arthritis. The American Heart Association recommends including at least two servings of fatty fish in the diet each week to take advantage of its beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.
Summary: Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 and vitamin D fatty acids, which can be beneficial in reducing inflammation and the severity of arthritis symptoms.
Garlic contains many health benefits. In some studies with test tubes, garlic and its components have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. They also contain compounds that can reduce the risk of heart disease and dementia. In addition, garlic has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help decrease arthritis symptoms. In fact, some research has shown that garlic can improve the function of certain immune cells, to help strengthen the immune system. In one study, researchers analyzed the diets of 1,082 twins. They found that those who ate more garlic had a reduced risk of hip osteoarthritis, probably thanks to the strong anti-inflammatory properties of garlic. Another study with test tubes, showed that a specific component of garlic, could decrease some of the inflammatory markers associated with arthritis.
“Integrating garlic into your diet could promote both arthritis symptoms and overall health”.
Summary: Studies in people and with test tubes have found that garlic has anti-inflammatory properties, and that eating it may be associated with a lower risk of osteoarthritis.
In addition to adding a great flavor to teas, soups and sweets, ginger can also help decrease arthritis symptoms. A study in 2001 evaluated the effects of ginger extract in 261 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. After six weeks, 63% of the participants experienced decreased joint pain. A study with test tubes also found that ginger and its components blocked the production of inflammation-related substances in the body. Another study found that treatment in mice with ginger extract decreased levels of a specific inflammatory marker that promotes arthritis. Consuming ginger in a fresh, powdered or dry form can reduce inflammation and help reduce arthritis symptoms.
Summary: Ginger has been shown to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Studies with test tubes and animals have also found that inflammation may decrease, but more research is needed in humans.
It is no secret that broccoli is one of the healthiest foods there is. In fact, it can even be associated with anti-inflammatory properties. A study that examined the diets of 1,005 women, found that the intake of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, was associated with the decrease in levels of inflammatory markers. Broccoli also contains important components that could help reduce arthritis symptoms. For example, sulforaphane is a compound found in broccoli. Studies with test tubes have shown that it prevents the formation of a cell involved in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. An animal study also found that sulforaphane could reduce the production of certain inflammatory markers that contribute to rheumatoid arthritis. Although more studies are needed in humans, these test results and animal studies show that broccoli compounds can help decrease arthritis symptoms.
Summary: Broccoli has been associated with inflammation relief. It also contains sulforaphane, which may have anti-inflammatory properties, according to studies conducted with test tubes. More research is needed to see the effects of broccoli on humans.
The nuts have many nutrients and are loaded with compounds that can help reduce the inflammation associated with inflammatory conditions in joints. An analysis of 13 studies showed that eating nuts was associated with the reduction of markers related to inflammation. Walnuts are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease the symptoms of arthritis. In one study, 90 patients with rheumatoid arthritis took omega-3 fatty acid supplements or olive oil. Compared to the olive oil group, those who received omega-3 fatty acids experienced lower levels of pain and were able to reduce the consumption of arthritis medications. However, most existing research focuses on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on arthritis in general. More studies are required to learn more about the effects of nuts, in specific cases.
Summary: Walnuts have a high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which could relieve the symptoms of arthritis, as well as inflammation.
Literally, tons of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are concentrated in each serving of berries, which may partially explain their particular ability to decrease inflammation. In a study of 38,176 women, those who ate at least two servings of strawberries per week were 14% less likely to have an elevated level of inflammatory markers in the blood. In addition, berries are rich in quercetin and rutin, two plant compounds that have a large number of health benefits. In a study with test tubes it was found that quercetin can block some of the inflammatory processes associated with arthritis. Another study gave the mice quercetin and routine supplements, which decreased arthritis-related inflammation. Fortunately, if you want to take advantage of these impressive health benefits, there is a wide variety of berries to choose from. Among the most prominent are: strawberries , blackberries and blueberries , these are just some of the options that can satisfy your sweet tastes and provide plenty of nutrients that fight arthritis.
Summary: Berries contain antioxidants, which have been demonstrated by studies in test tubes and in animals, which can decrease inflammatory markers related to arthritis.
Leafy vegetables, such as spinach, are full of nutrients, and some of its components are able to help reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis. Several studies have found that a very broad relationship between consuming large amounts of fruits and vegetables and low levels of inflammation. Spinach, in particular, contains a lot of antioxidants, as well as plant compounds that can relieve inflammation and can also help fight the disease. Spinach is especially high in kaempferol, an antioxidant that decreases the effects of inflammatory agents associated with rheumatoid arthritis. A study with test tubes in 2017 treated the arthritic cartilage cells with kaempferol and found that it reduced inflammation which prevented the progression of osteoarthritis. However, more research is needed to study the effects of spinach and its components in humans with arthritis.
Summary: Spinach is rich in antioxidants, including kaempferol. Studies with test tubes have found that kaempferol can reduce inflammation and slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
Grapes contain many nutrients, are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. A study in 24 men was given daily concentrated grape powder for three weeks, which was equivalent to 1.5 cups (252 grams) of fresh grapes, or a placebo. Grape powder effectively lowered levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. In addition, grapes contain several compounds that have proven beneficial in the treatment of arthritis. For example, resveratrol is an antioxidant present in the skin of grapes. In a study with test tubes, resveratrol showed that it can help prevent inflammation of the joints associated with arthritis, by blocking the formation of rheumatoid arthritis cells. Grapes also contain a plant compound called proanthocyanidin, which can have promising effects on arthritis. For example, a study with test tubes showed that proanthocyanidin extract from grape seed reduced disease-related inflammation. Keep in mind that these are test tube studies that use concentrated doses of antioxidants, which are much larger than the portions you would normally consume in a normal portion. More research is needed to determine the behavior of these results in humans.
Summary: Grapes have anti-inflammatory properties, they also contain compounds that can help reduce inflammation. However, additional studies in humans are needed.
9. Olive Oil:
Well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, olive oil can have a favorable effect on the symptoms of arthritis. In one study, the mice were fed extra virgin olive oil for six weeks. This helped stop the development of arthritis, reduce joint inflammation, slow cartilage destruction and decrease inflammation. In another study, 49 participants with rheumatoid arthritis consumed fish oil or an olive oil capsule every day for 24 weeks. At the end of the study, the levels of a specific inflammatory marker had decreased in both groups: 38.5% in the olive oil group and between 40 and 55% in the fish oil group. Another study analyzed the diets of 333 participants with and without rheumatoid arthritis, finding that olive oil consumption was associated with a lower risk of the disease. Although more research is needed on the effects of olive oil and its relationship with arthritis, including olive oil and other healthy fats on the diet, it can definitely benefit health, and it can also reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Summary: Olive oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and may be associated with a lower risk of arthritis. An animal study found that it can slow the progression of arthritis and relieve symptoms.
10. Sour Cherry Juice:
Cherry juice is an increasingly popular drink derived from the fruit of the Prunus Cerasus tree. This powerful juice offers a wide range of nutrients and health benefits, and can even help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. In one study, 58 participants drank two 8-ounce bottles (237 ml) of sour cherry juice or a placebo every day for six weeks. Compared to placebo, the group that drank sour cherry juice significantly decreased the symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduced inflammation. In another study, drinking sour cherry juice for three weeks reduced inflammatory marker levels in 20 women with osteoarthritis. Be sure to look for a sugar-free variety of sour cherry juice so you don’t consume excess added sugar. In combination with a healthy diet and other foods that fight arthritis, a serving of sour cherry juice without sugar per day can help lessen some of the symptoms of arthritis.
Summary: Studies show that sour cherry juice could lower inflammation and relieve some symptoms of arthritis.
It is clear that diet can play an important role in the severity of arthritis and its symptoms. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of foods with powerful components that can offer relief from inflammation and arthritis and at the same time promotes overall health. Along with conventional treatments, eating a nutritious diet that contains healthy fats, some portions of fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, can help reduce some symptoms of arthritis.