Arthritis is a serious issue. It doesn’t just affect day-to-day quality of life, but also a person’s overall health. It can lead to depression, muscle atrophy, and interfere with work and social activities. It’s also the number one cause of disability in the United States and contributes to a majority of the hospitalizations every single year, which increases medical costs for many people.
Diet should also be a top priority. It's important that sufferers of arthritis are eating foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients. This can make a huge difference quickly in terms of joint pain, how easily one can move and stay active, and in overall quality of life. It can also prevent inflammatory-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Here are 13 anti-inflammation food ideas for fighting arthritis:
Bananas are great for many reasons, but especially if you’re trying to do something about your arthritis. Famous as a high-potassium food, but that's not all: Bananas are full of other important vitamins and minerals essential for our bodies. This mix includes folate, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6, all of which help to battle back arthritis. And don't forget the fiber from bananas, which helps your digestive system to process all the other nutrients in your diet.
2. Bell Peppers
The Vitamin C in bell peppers acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help battle free radicals in the body, which in turn helps reduce the amount of inflammation and thus limits the amount of pain you feel from your arthritis. While it's near impossible free radicals completely, supplying your body with enough antioxidants can limit the damage from dangers like UV exposure. Bell peppers can be added to most meals and can be eaten raw or cooked.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great source of those important healthy fats, especially Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Its omega-3 content has been shown to reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Add olive oil as a salad dressing or cook it with nutritious vegetables.
Mangos, delicious when in-season, provide good amounts of Vitamin E and contain beta-Carotene which you can tell by their distinct color. This has been shown to help alleviate problems from arthritis.
Shrimp and other shellfish can help symptoms of arthritis, so long as you're not allergic. Shrimp is a versatile food, heavy in protein, usable in a variety of recipes.
Several types of nuts can help with the level of inflammation in your body. They supply healthy fats your body needs each day. Brazil nuts, rich in selenium, are a great anti-arthritis snack. Walnuts and cashews also contain good amounts of monounsaturated fats, omega-3's for fighting inflammation.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have several benefits over their white counterparts. Their orange color is a sign of their contents: Beta Carotene,antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Try substituting white potatoes with sweet potatoes whenever you get the chance, and reap the benefits from these more nutritious spuds.
Lentils have been suggested as a dietary food for those suffering from arthritis. They also help you feel fuller longer and help stabilize blood sugar levels. They can be used as part of a healthy diet, just be sure to buy them raw and cook them up as needed.
The omega-3 content of salmon is very high, and this is why it often gets recommended as a great fish to eat to help curb arthritis pain. But most oily fish will also suffice, and you can rotate between your favorites, or stick with a winner, eating salmon a few times per week, or even just once. Omega-3s help to reduce the amount of inflammation in the body, and this has a direct effect on your arthritis. It can counteract some of the other foods you eat that work at raising your inflammation levels, which is why it’s good to get a steady supply of omega-3s from various sources each day.
11. Green Tea
Green tea is touted for its high level of antioxidants, making it a great choice for countering arthritis pain. The EGCG is the specific substance green tea contains which has a direct effect on inflammation levels in the body, and is what will be responsible for any pain relief you feel after drinking it.
Spinach is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and also provides benefits to those with arthritis. Spinach and other leafy greens are simply adored by the body and you’ll get plenty of benefit from eating them. They’re a hydrating vegetable and are packed with phytonutrients that help your body function at its best overall. Spinach contains plenty of fiber to help keep you regular, and your digestive system should be operating at its best to help with inflammation levels as well.
Tomatoes often make the news for their lycopene content, and that’s what is theorized as being responsible for its help in relieving the pain associated with arthritis. When you eat your tomatoes, opt for cooked tomatoes because that helps to unlock the lycopene that’s inside them.