Arthritis is a condition that affects nearly 70 million people. Treatment can vary extensively, based on severity, on what type of arthritis you have, and on where it strikes. While individual attention from your doctor is necessary to best manage your unique symptoms, certain Superfoods have entered the marketplace that can offer tremendous relief for many arthritis sufferers.
Certain Types of Arthritis…Demand Certain Foods For Help!
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, or the deterioration of cartilage surrounding the bones. This causes bones to rub against one another, resulting in pain and difficulty moving. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the joint lining becomes inflamed due to dysfunction of the immune system. It can be serious and tends to effect women more than men.
Though these forms of arthritis are different, both are joint conditions, which can be quite complex. They involve various systems of the body and are often unpredictable in severity. Although many medical treatments may be safe and effective for arthritis, certain foods and supplements can be another tool to help you manage the disease.
The foods in the following list are known to have numerous health properties, so there’s little risk in making them part of your diet.
The Best Foods to Fight Your Type Of Arthritis!
Many foods have anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight rheumatoid arthritis. Chief among them are omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, walnuts and flax seeds. The fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are converted by the body into substances that fight inflammation. Studies show that they reduce joint stiffness, swelling and tenderness. The best food choices are fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna. Recently, omega-3 fats have been added to a variety of food products, such as eggs.
Antioxidants are another category of substances that fight inflammation. They are plant chemicals found in fruits, vegetables and other natural foods. Green tea, in particular, is loaded with powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been shown to reduce inflammation. Green tea also contains healing substances, like the antioxidant EGCG, fluoride, catechins and tannins. Studies show that drinking four cups a day can prevent the onset of osteoarthritis, and reduce the severity if you already have it.
As it turns out, one of the fieriest foods you can eat actually has anti-inflammatory properties. Capsaicin, which gives chile peppers their sting, can inhibit inflammation. One study showed that capsaicin cream applied topically reduced pain in sufferers of osteoarthritis. Discuss this treatment with your doctor, and feel free to add chiles to your cooking too. I always say, “The more heat, the greater the benefits.”
Here’s Some Pain-Saving Supplements!
It is important for everyone to get the recommended daily dose of vitamins and minerals, but arthritis sufferers could see added benefits. Vitamin C is known to prevent the breakdown of cartilage, which is often effected by arthritis. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, however, more is not always better. Tell your doctor what supplements you are taking and don’t go over the recommendations. Too much vitamin C was shown to exacerbate arthritis of the knee.
Vitamin D is important for bone and joint health. It also may help build collagen, one of the building blocks of joints. You can get this vitamin by spending 10 to 15 minutes in the sun, 2 or 3 days a week. Drinking milk is another easy way to meet your requirement, since it is fortified with the nutrient.
Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant to fight inflammation. Nuts and seeds and avocados are rich in vitamin E. If you combine these foods with omega-3 rich fish, you may gain extra benefits. Studies show that consuming these two nutrients together may boost their ability to fight inflammation.
If you suffer from any form of arthritis, examining your diet is a smart first move. Fresh produce, whole grains, and lean protein should be your mainstays. These foods will provide you with a variety of antioxidants that can promote good health in all aspects. Then add on the Superfoods and supplements mentioned above and you have the perfect overall diet for fighting off the devastating disease of arthritis.
Photo Credit: Ambro