8 Foods to Fight Arthritis
Millions of people are affected by joint pain and more specifically, arthritis, a disease characterized by inflammation in the body. But did you know that many common foods and cooking ingredients can actually help alleviate the painful symptoms of joint pain?
In general, you’ll want to load up on a diet high in fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Read on for the best foods to fight arthritis, as recommended by the Arthritis Foundation, so you can feel good and live an active, pain-free lifestyle.
Beans are a great complement to many meals as a side dish. Or try a cup of bean soup; there are many choices. Beans are an excellent source of fiber and protein to ensure healthy, strong muscles. Many types of beans also contain magnesium, iron, folic acid, zinc and potassium, which have benefits on the heart.
Your parents were steering you in the right direction telling you to eat your broccoli as a kid. Broccoli is packed with vitamin C and calcium to ensure strong bones. Broccoli is also an excellent source of sulforaphane, which can prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis, a common form of arthritis that affects over 27 million people.
Berries of all kinds help reduce the occurrence of the painful symptoms associated with gout, a form of arthritis in the feet. Research shows that cherries contain anthocyanins, which work as anti-inflammatory agents. Also load up on blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries for similar effects.
You can never go wrong with fish, especially salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel. All contain omega-3 fatty acids, which consist of inflammation-fighting agents. The experts recommend 3-4 ounces of fish, at least twice a week.
Garlic is not only delicious and flavorful; research has shown that it lessens the onset of early osteoarthritis. Other foods from the allium family—onions and leeks—have similar effects.
6. Green tea
Green tea is not only soothing to the taste; it also provides many health benefits. Its natural antioxidants decrease pain inflammation and slow the progression of the loss of cartilage in arthritis patients.
Nuts are so delicious and fun to eat, it’s almost hard to believe how good they are for you. Nuts are rich in nutrients, protein, calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, protein and alpha linolenic acid, which helps boost the immune system. Try noshing on walnuts, pistachios or almonds, or add pine nuts to salads or light pastas.
8. Olive oil
Like Italian food? Well, you’re in luck because olive oil is one of the best ingredients for cooking. Extra virgin olive oil contains heart-healthy fats and anti-inflammation properties to help lessen or prevent joint pain. In general, always opt for olive oil over butter when cooking.
Penn Medicine’s brand-new, state-of-the-art Musculoskeletal Center—which conveniently brings together multiple medical specialties—is a team of doctors, nurses and physical therapists who take a whole-body approach to diagnosing and treating joints, muscles and bones. Seek medical care at Penn’s Musculoskeletal Center for advanced treatment in orthopedics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain medicine and rheumatology. Visit www.PennMedicine.org/MSK, or call 215-615-2576.This is a paid partnership between Penn Musculoskeletal Center and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio