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Arthritis - Ten of the Best Foods to Eat

Arthritis - Ten of the Best Foods to Eat

If you have arthritis, you know just how devastating this condition can be.

Arthritis is a term for a class of diseases that cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can affect people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds.

There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one type, which develops in joints with overuse. Another type is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your joints.


Fortunately, there are many foods that can ease inflammation and may help relieve some of the joint pain associated with arthritis.

In fact, one survey found that 24% of those with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet had an impact on the severity of their symptoms.

This article will look at 10 of the best foods to eat if you have arthritis.

1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish varieties such ass salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects.
Fish is also a good source of vitamin D, which can help prevent deficiency. Multiple studies have found that rheumatoid arthritis may be associated with low levels of vitamin D, which could contribute to symptoms.
Summary: Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both of which may be beneficial for reducing inflammation and the severity of arthritis symptoms.

2. Garlic
Garlic is jam-packed with health benefits. Additionally, garlic has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect that may help decrease symptoms of arthritis.
Summary: Human and test-tube studies have found garlic may possess anti-inflammatory properties, and that eating it may be associated with a decreased risk of osteoarthritis.


3. Ginger
Besides adding a burst of flavour to teas, soups and sweets, ginger may also help ease the symptoms of arthritis.
A 2001 study assessed the effects of ginger extract in 261 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. After six weeks, 63% of participants experienced improvements in knee pain. Consuming ginger in fresh, powdered or dried form 
may reduce inflammation and aid in reducing symptoms of arthritis.
Summary: Ginger has been shown to reduce symptoms of arthritis. Test-tube and animal studies have also found it may decrease inflammation, but more research in humans is needed.

4. Broccoli
It's no secret that broccoli is one of the healthiest foods out there. In fact, it may even be associated with reduced inflammation. One study that looked at the diets of 1,005 women found that the intake of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli was associated with decreased levels of inflammatory markers.
Summary: Broccoli has been associated with reduced inflammation. It also contains sulforaphane, which may have anti-inflammatory properties, according to test-tube studies. More research is needed to look at the effects of broccoli in humans.

5. Walnuts
Walnuts are nutrient-dense and loaded with compounds that may help reduce the inflammation associated with joint disease.
Summary: Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which could alleviate arthritis symptoms as well as inflammation.

6. Berries
Tons of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are crammed into each serving of berries, which may partially account for their unique ability to decrease inflammation. In one 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.
Fortunately, if you want to take advantage of these impressive health benefits, there's a wide variety of berries to choose from. Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries are just a few options that can satisfy your sweet tooth and provide plenty of arthritis-fighting nutrients.
Summary: Berries contain antioxidants that have been shown to decrease arthritis-related inflammatory markers in test-tube and animal studies.


7. Spinach
Leafy greens like spinach are full of nutrients, and some of their components may actually be able to help decrease inflammation caused by arthritis. Several studies have found that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables is linked to lower levels of inflammation. Spinach, in particular, contains plenty of antioxidants as well as plant compounds that can relieve inflammation and help fight disease. Spinach is especially high in the antioxidant kaempferol, which has been shown to decrease the effects of the inflammatory agents associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Summary: Spinach is rich in antioxidants, including kaempferol. Test-tube studies have found that kaempferol can reduce inflammation and slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

8. Grapes
Grapes are nutrient-dense, high in antioxidants and possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Summary: Grapes have anti-inflammatory properties and contain compounds that may help reduce inflammation. However, additional studies in humans are needed.

9. Olive Oil
Well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, olive oil may have a favourable effect on arthritis symptoms. Although more research is needed on the effects of olive oil on arthritis, including olive oil and other healthy fats in your diet can definitely benefit your health, and may also reduce arthritis symptoms.
Summary: Olive oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and may be associated with a lower risk of arthritis. One animal study found that it may slow arthritis progression and ease symptoms.

10. Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is an increasingly popular beverage derived from the fruit of the Prunus cerasus tree. This potent juice offers a wide array of nutrients and health benefits, and may even help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. In a study, drinking tart cherry juice for three weeks reduced the levels of inflammatory markers in 20 women with osteoarthritis. Be sure to look for an unsweetened variety of tart cherry juice to make sure you don’t consume excess added sugar. In combination with a healthy diet and other arthritis-fighting foods, a serving of unsweetened tart cherry juice per day may help decrease some of the symptoms of arthritis.
Summary: Studies show that tart cherry juice could lower inflammation and alleviate some symptoms of arthritis.

The Bottom Line
It's clear that diet can play a major role in arthritis severity and symptoms. Luckily, a variety of foods with powerful components may offer relief from inflammation and arthritis — while also promoting overall health. Along with conventional treatments, eating a nutritious diet containing healthy fats, a few servings of fatty fish and plenty of produce may help reduce some symptoms of arthritis.

Words above are taken from an article by Rachael Link MS RD.
You can read her full article with all relevant information and research links here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

You may also be interested in reading our post 'Introduction to Low Carb for Beginners', see here

All the best Jan

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