Arthritis is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the United States. In fact, it affects more than 58 million people, causing pain that affects mobility and function.
Many people find relief from their arthritis pain with anti-inflammatory medications. However, if you’re looking for a natural option to reduce your joint pain and inflammation, you should consider something you already consume every day: food.
The nutrients found in certain foods can help reduce inflammation and improve joint health. Plus, food usually tastes better than medicine!
At Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center, our expert team has helped many arthritis patients through the years. In this blog, we go over 10 foods that can help ease arthritis pain.
Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are filled with antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and help ease arthritis pain. Just add some strawberries to your breakfast cereal or toss some blueberries into your yogurt.
Turmeric, which is a spice commonly used in Asian cooking, includes curcumin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can ease joint pain. To get its benefits, add turmeric to your soups, stews, or casseroles.
3. Leafy greens
Spinach and kale are leafy greens that can help boost your intake of vitamins C and E, which are powerful antioxidants that help fight against oxidative damage. Vitamin C also plays a role in collagen production, which is one of the main proteins in cartilage. And cartilage helps protect your bones and joints.
Both sweet and tart cherries are packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients, including polyphenols and vitamin C. These nutrients can reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and arthritis pain.
For a protein source that’s rich in fiber and low in saturated fat, try nuts. They also contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and vitamin E. If you want to eat more nuts, buy the unsalted versions so you can get the health benefits without the extra sodium.
6. Olive oil
Olive oil includes a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, along with a substance called oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties as well.
If you eat soy foods, such as edamame and tofu, your diet includes a great source of protein that’s also high in fiber, along with a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Soy can also be used to replace animal proteins if you’re looking for a way to benefit your overall health and well-being.
8. Fatty-acid fish
Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are anti-inflammatories, so they can help reduce joint inflammation. So, adding more omega-3-rich foods into your diet may allow you to decrease the amount of anti-inflammatory medication you take.
For a positive effect on your overall health and well-being, add two servings (3-4 ounces per serving) of fatty fish to your weekly menu.
9. Green tea
Green tea has a chemical called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (ECCG), and it can decrease your body’s production of inflammatory agents, including the inflammatory agents that cause arthritis inflammation and pain. So consider drinking more green tea!
10. Garlic and onions
According to the Arthritis Foundation, people who eat more garlic and onions are less likely to show early signs of osteoarthritis. This may be due to the presence of diallyl disulfide, which can slow the rate of degeneration in cartilage.
You don’t have to make all of these changes at once. Try a few and make adjustments as you go!
If you have arthritis and want more help treating it, let us help you. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center. We have offices in Pittsburgh, McKees Rocks, and Washington, Pennsylvania.