Top Ten Foods to Fight Arthritis
Viet Nguyen, PharmD/
May 1st, 2015
Arthritis is a condition that is caused by inflammation in a person’s joints. This inflammation leads to pain, stiffness, and typically worsens with age. Over-the-counter treatment options for arthritis include pain relieving oral medications and topical creams. In addition to medications, a healthy and nutritious diet may be helpful with the prevention of arthritis. The following list contains 10 dietary suggestions from The Arthritis Foundation that may help to prevent or relieve symptoms of arthritis:
- Fish: The omega-3 fatty acids found in certain types of fish have been shown to reduce inflammation. Experts recommend incorporating 3 to 4 ounces of fish, twice a week into your diet. Fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include: salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring.
- Soy: Soy comes from soybeans, which are a type of legume that is low in fat and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. If you’re not a fan of fish but you still want the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, consider trying soy. Food items that contain soy include: edamame, tofu, and soy milk.
- Cherries: Research has shown that a component found in cherries called anthocyanin has anti-inflammatory effects. Red and purple fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries also contain anthocyanins.
- Dairy: The calcium and vitamin D found in dairy products have been shown to strengthen bones. Consider adding low fat dairy products such as: milk, yogurt, and cheese to your diet. If you are unable to tolerate dairy, consider alternative sources of calcium and vitamin D like green leafy vegetables.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium and a compound called suloraphane, which has been found to slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Broccoli is relatively inexpensive and available all year round.
- Green Tea: Green teas are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that have been shown to reduce inflammation. Studies have shown that certain antioxidants found in green tea may block the production of the molecules that cause joint damage from rheumatoid arthritis. Consider adding a cup of green tea to your daily routine.
- Citrus: Adding citrus fruits to your diet can help you get your daily requirements for vitamin C. Research has shown that getting the right amount of vitamins may help to maintain healthy joints and prevent inflammatory arthritis. Fruits rich in citrus and vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, and limes.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains have been shown to reduce the scientific markers associated with inflammation. Oatmeal, brown rice, and certain cereals are excellent sources of whole grains.
- Beans: Beans are packed full of nutrients such as folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium. These nutrients are known for their benefits on the heart and immune system. The next time you are shopping look for red beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans.
- Nuts: Nuts are a great source of protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and other nutrients that can boost your immune system. In addition, nuts are also good for your heart and they are beneficial for weight loss. Try adding more walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and almonds to your diet.
Although there is no diet that will cure arthritis; certain foods have been shown to reduce inflammation, strengthen bones, and boost the immune system. This information, along with other tools and resources for living with arthritis can be found at The Arthritis Foundation. Adding these foods to your regular balanced diet is one strategy that may help to control your arthritis. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any diet.
For more information about arthritis visit these websites:
By Viet Nguyen, PharmD
Viet Nguyen, PharmD, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his Doctorate of Pharmacy from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He is currently the Community Pharmacy Resident at Acme Sav-on Pharmacy and Temple University.