Food can’t cure arthritis – but it can make it less painful. As Leslie Bonci (RD) said “Food isn’t a panacea – but some foods can make your joints healthier.”
These foods will help:
Foods Containing Omega 3
Foods with Omega 3 fatty acids decrease the production of chemicals that spread inflammation – plus they inhibit the enzymes that trigger it. (They’re also good for many health problems.) Sources include:
- Fatty fish – salmon, heron, sardines
- Nuts – walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seed
I’m not a fish-eater, so nuts are one of my favorite sources of Omega 3.
These foods also contains Vitamin D, which helps prevent swelling and soreness.
Foods Containing Vitamin C
Foods high in Vitamin C, like fruit, protect the collagen – a major component of cartilage.
Your goal is to eat foods that are high in Vitamin C, and supplement if necessary. Don’t take more than 1500 milligrams of Vitamin C a day – eating too much can be as bad as not eating enough.
Foods Containing Oleocanthal
Extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, which blocks the enzymes that create inflammation.
Foods Containing Quercetin
Onions contain quercetin – this is an anti-oxident that many inhibit inflammatory chemicals.
Other foods that are also high in this are kale, cherry, tomatoes and apples – you need about half a cup a day total, about 4 oz.
Foods Containing Bromaline
Pineapple contains bromaline, which is high in Vitamin C – but which also helps digest the protein that may be in your body. High levels of protein, particularly the proteins in meat, can increase uric acid, which is what causes gout (the most severe form of arthritis you can get).
To help reduce symptoms of gout, you can also:
Cut Down on High Fructose Corn Syrup
Limit foods that contain high fructose corn syrup – the only carbohydrate that is known to increase uric acid.
Eat Low-Fat Dairy Products
Low-fat dairy products reduce the risk of gout and help prevent pain. The reason for this may be because these are low in purines, but high in protein – some experts believe that it is the high purine levels in protein-rich foods that cause an increase in uric acid.
A diet that is anti-inflammatory is what really helps prevent painful joints and arthritis. Also, every extra pound you weigh puts 10lbs of pressure on your joints – so if you’re significantly over-weight, you may want to make changes to your diet in order to lose some weight.
Information from Mayo Clinic, Web MD, and ArthritisToday.org.