Although food alone can never totally cure arthritis, a change in diet can certainly help alleviate pain and prevent the condition from getting worse.
Certain food types have been proven to make arthritis easier to manage, while others have the opposite effect and actually heighten the problem.
Specifically, there are seven types of food that are known to be beneficial, ranging from ones high in omega-3 to those containing antioxidants.
1. Fatty Fish Oils – High in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is considered to be the healthiest of all the fats. It helps alleviate arthritis by decreasing the inflammation of the joints. It suppresses secretion of enzymes that destroy cartilage, too. The best fish for deriving oil is salmon. Although other species have omega-3 fatty acids as well, salmon tops the list in terms of quantity.
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – The oleocanthal in olive oil blocks the enzymes that are responsible for inflammation. But one should still be careful as olive oil is not calorie-free. Too much of it can add to another problem—obesity. One tablespoon a day with your meal is sufficient.
3. Vitamin-C Rich Foods – These include citrus fruits and sweet peppers. Vitamin-C helps protect a major part of the cartilage, the collagen. But be careful not to take too much vitamin-C; it can actually worsen arthritis. About 200-500 milligrams per day is the suggested healthy dose.
4. Quercetin – This antioxidant inhibits inflammatory chemicals. It works much like aspirin or ibuprofen. Onions and leeks are high in this antioxidant. Kale, cherry tomatoes and apples are, too.
5. Cherries and Berries – These contain a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanins that aids in the health of connective tissue. It can also be found in eggplant and grapes.
6. Spices – Among the many common cooking spices that help relieve arthritis are ginger and turmeric. They contain beneficial phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory effects on the human body.
7. Green Tea – Long part of the Asian diet, green tea contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which stops the production of inflammatory enzymes in the body. Some preliminary research even suggests that EGCG can help preserve joints longer by preventing cartilage breakdown.
Apart from these seven food types, several others can help in arthritis management. Any foods containing antioxidants are helpful for their anti-inflammatory effects.
The main thing to keep in mind is that moderation in everything you ingest is crucial. Some of the helpful foods can really add pounds to the waistline if overindulged. Eat to empower, not to overpower.
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