Easing the Pain of Arthritis

March 30, 2021

According to the CDC, 23% of all adults in the United States (over 54 million people) have arthritis.  24 million of these individuals are limited in their daily activities due to arthritis and more than 1 in 4 adults with arthritis report severe joint pain. If you’re one of the many dealing with this, you may be wondering what more you can do.  While there is no “diet cure” for arthritis, there are certainly things you can do and foods you can eat to help ease the pain.

One of the most important things you can do when dealing with arthritis is try to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.  Arthritis commonly accompanies other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.  Getting to a healthy weight could help to alleviate many of these problems, so make sure to get daily physical activity, even if that is simply a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood.

Perhaps your arthritis isn’t caused by overweight though. Maybe you’re struggling with arthritis due to overuse, injury, or age.  Maintaining a healthy weight and activity level is still important in these cases, but making sure that your diet is filled with helpful foods is also key.  These foods help to ward off inflammation, strengthen bones and boost immunity:

  • Fatty fish – filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, fish such as salmon and mackerel are good choices
  • Soybeans – another good source of Omega-3s
  • Oils – olive, safflower, avocado and walnut oils are all good choices
  • Cherries – the fruit itself, as well as unsweetened tart cherry juice, have both proven beneficial
  • Garlic – foods from the allium family (garlic, onions, leeks) may help limit cartilage damage
  • Broccoli – full of vitamin C and K and calcium to strengthen bones, broccoli also contains sulforaphane, which research shows can slow the progression of osteoarthritis
  • Dairy foods – rich in calcium and vitamin D (to help absorb the calcium) to strengthen bones
  • Green tea – believed to block inflammation and slow destruction of cartiliage
  • Citrus fruits – rich in vitamin C, these fruits prevent inflammation
  • Whole grains – help to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood. CRP is a marker of inflammation.
  • Nuts – rich in protein, calcium, vitamin E, and immune-boosting alpha linolenic acid (ALA)

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