As the saying goes “we are what we eat” if this is true, then your diet affects your overall health – for better or for worse. For many years, researchers have examined different types of diets in relation to well-being and health. In particular, most of the studies have focused on whether food can help with arthritis pain and symptoms. Scientists have found that dietary factors may trigger some types of arthritis. As a result, changing the food you eat can have an impact on arthritis pain and symptoms.
A diet comprising plant-based foods including beans, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and fish isn’t just great for health and well-being, but can also help alleviate arthritis symptoms. Also, things like broccoli, tuna, almonds, and cherries can be very helpful.
Foods To Help With Arthritis
Symptoms of arthritis might include decreased motion range, stiffness, pain, and joint swelling. Some types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis are inflammatory illnesses, which are caused by body inflation that affects your joints and other organs. Others such as osteoarthritis are a common cause of inflammation.
Either way, reducing and managing inflammation is essential to reducing swelling, stiffness, and pain for both conditions. Some foods have inflammatory properties, which makes them a great complementary for arthritis treatment.
Scientists found that the Mediterranean diet might offer many health benefits in reducing pain, tender and swollen joints in arthritis patients.
Most fruits are rich in different compounds called polyphenols and flavonoids. Polyphenolic flavonoids are often associated with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Pomegranates and berries are good sources of dietary polyphenolic flavonoids. In particular, pomegranates, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries have shown great results in reducing inflammation and pain. Other fruit polyphenols like citrus flavonoids; anthocyanins and quercetin have been found to ease symptoms of arthritis.
Veggies are a great add-on to any diet, but other colorful vegetables like cabbage, sweet potatoes, beets, broccoli, and dark leafy greens are particularly good for individuals with arthritis. They are often loaded with many nutrients like minerals, vitamins, fiber, polyphenols, and antioxidants.
The antioxidant activities of nutrients in veggies is often associated with anti-inflammatory processes and immune function. Carotenoids and vitamin A play a major role in the immune function that might be beneficial to people with arthritis. Both orange and red-hued vegetables contain carotenoids. These include red bell peppers, carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.
Some of the vegetables you can stock in your pantry to help with arthritis include sweet potatoes, corn, red bell peppers, winter squash, peas, onions, beets, carrots, cauliflower, bok Choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and dark leafy greens.
Grains contain more fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients as compared to the refined grains. Phytochemicals and antioxidants in whole grains like magnesium, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin E, also provide fighting strength for individuals with arthritis.
Besides the beneficial effect, these foods have on arthritis, eating a healthy diet also offers additional benefits. The Mediterranean diet has been found to offer many health benefits including promoting heart health, preventing cancer, diabetes and boosting cognitive function.
Top 5 diet tips to help ease arthritis. (n.d.). BBC Good Food. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/top-five-diet-tips-help-ease-arthritis
Could an anti-inflammatory diet improve your health? (2020, November 14). BBC Food. https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/articles/anti_inflammatory
Mediterranean diet good for the heart. (2010, January 27). U.S. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mediterranean-heart/mediterranean-diet-good-for-the-heart-idUSTRE60Q6F120100127