As old man winter comes around in full swing those suffering from arthritis pain feel an extra punch this time of year. So we’ve compiled a list of foods you can eat (or drink) to take care of the pain or at least ease the annoyance of arthritis and other joint and ligament elements.
Also, make sure you are staying active to keep joints lubricated.
Salmon, Walnuts, Chia Seeds and Other Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fatty fish, seeds, and nuts are all high sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are powerful anti-inflammatories. In a 2006 study, they were found to help reduce pain as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin and ibuprofen.
A more recent study review reported how fish oil was effective in patients with RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and helped to relieve the pain caused by RA. A 2016 study reported that supplementation with omega-3 was so effective in RA patients that it may reduce the need for taking any kind of pain pills.
Some of the other foods you can eat which are rich in anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids are walnuts, cod liver oil, soybeans, egg yolks, oysters, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
Salmon is great broiled with some garlic and olive oil, while you can roast some flax seeds which add a healthy punch to any meal. Chia seeds are great in water or fresh juice.
Broccoli Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts
These vegetables all share a compound called “sulforaphane.” Sulforaphane has been shown to be just as effective at preventing joint pain as a COX-2 arthritis drug, without the side effects.
Broccoli, especially, has anti-inflammatory effects. In a study of more than 1,000 women, researchers found that those who ate the most cruciferous vegetables had substantially less inflammation than those who ate the least.
These veggies may go beyond pain relief, to help preserve joint function. Researchers stated in one study that the sulforaphane in broccoli “slows down the destruction of cartilage in joints associated with painful and often debilitating osteoarthritis.”
In 2015, researchers released the results of a study on an artificial version of the sulforaphane which showed the ability to significantly improve bone architecture, gait balance, and movement in those with osteoarthritis. The results were so promising, researchers stated that sulforaphane “is a promising agent for the treatment of osteoarthritis.”
Other good options in this category include bok choy, cabbage, and kale. According to Exerciseforinjuries.com.
Brussels sprouts are a nice addition to any sandwich and broccoli is best steamed with olive oil and garlic sea salt. Just don’t overdo it on the salt.
Cherries and Tart Cherry Juice
Cherries are said to be one of the best remedies for inflammation. A 2010 sports research study found that tart cherry juice twice a day for three weeks drastically reduced inflammation within the blood of woman aged 40 to 70. Lead Author of the study, Kerry Kuehl said: “With millions of Americans looking for ways to naturally manage pain, it’s promising that tart cherries can help, without the possible effects often associated with arthritis medications.” The reduction of swelling helps to manage pain and mobility.
Pineapples are not only a tasty fruit but they also contain bromelain which has pain relieving properties along with being an anti-inflammatory agent. A 2004 study review stated that bromelain “may provide a safer alternative or adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis,” and another quoted study showed the extract appeared to be effective as a standard treatment for arthritis of the knee.
Fresh pineapple juice after dinner is nice and it also helps with your digestion.
Turmeric has become a rock star for anti-inflammatory benefits in recent years. One great way to take turmeric is from tea. Below is a turmeric tea recipe according to Andrew Weil, M.D. a well-known doctor in healthy living circles.
Bring four cups of water to a boil.
Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup; add honey and/or lemon to taste.
Add a pinch of black pepper to increase absorption.
Garlic contains “diallyl sulphide (DAS),” a compound that studies have shown to reduce cartilage damage done by enzymes in cells. A 2009 study reported that DAS helped reduce inflammation in joint tissues and that it may be “of value in treatment of joint inflammation.”
Garlic is great with seafood, meat, and vegetables. You can roast garlic on your own in your home and have a supply handy at all times, for any occasion.
Green tea contains catechins which are known to be anti-inflammatory and anti-aging staples. It has an abundance of antioxidants, including polyphenols such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which can powerfully quench damaging “free radicals.” According to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the polyphenols found in green tea provide six times the radical-quenching potential of those found in black tea. Studies also show that green tea lowers your cancer risk.
There are several types of green tea one can choose from like Genmaicha, Oolong, and Matcha. All of these will provide great benefits to your daily routine and wellness. Many health experts suggest consuming green tea hot and with a lemon slice, however, you will do well drinking it over ice and with fresh mint just the same.
Ginger has been shown to have the same or better anti-inflammatory benefits as ibuprofen or Celebrex. It has also been shown to shut off some genes in the body which are inflammatory.
An osteoarthritis study conducted with 250 subjects who had moderate or severe arthritis found that ginger extract reduced the knee pain more than those ingesting the placebo.
Adding even one of these ingredients into your diet will help and if you go “all in” you’ll notice a difference fast and your winter season will be much more enjoyable.
And Don’t forget to drink plenty of water!