11 Foods That Help Fight Arthritis  

People with arthritis often want to know if there is a special diet for arthritis. While there is no miracle diet, A plant-based diet, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and fish, can improve overall health and manage arthritis symptoms.  Even simple things like cherries, almonds, tuna, and broccoli can benefit you. Eating well can help reduce inflammation, fight free radicals, ease pain, strengthen bones, and boost the immune system.  

Joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased range of motion are all symptoms of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two types of arthritis characterized by joint inflammation. Medication is frequently used to manage and reduce inflammation by improving symptoms and decreasing pain. Certain foods are anti-inflammatory, making them an effective complementary treatment for arthritis.

The Mediterranean diet has been shown to help reduce pain and swelling in rheumatoid arthritis patients. A study discovered that those who followed a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of osteoarthritis symptoms and pain. Furthermore, research has shown that an anti-inflammatory diet can improve arthritis activity in people with rheumatoid arthritis.  

The Mediterranean diet has numerous advantages, including lower blood pressure, protection against chronic diseases such as cancer and stroke, arthritis relief, joint and heart health, and weight loss, which can reduce joint pain.

   Here are 11 Foods That Help Fight Arthritis

1. Vegetable   

Because of their antioxidants, polyphenols, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, colorful vegetables such as dark leafy greens, broccoli, beets, sweet potatoes, and cabbage benefit arthritis patients. These foods are necessary for immune function and anti-inflammatory processes. Carotenoids and vitamin A are found in red and orange-colored vegetables such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, and red bell peppers. A lack of vitamin K has been linked to an increased risk of knee osteoarthritis.

Cook vegetables lightly or eat them raw to avoid nutrient breakdown; instead of boiling or roasting vegetables, steam or sauté them. Carotenoid compounds and vitamin K in vegetables are more easily absorbed with fat, such as olive oil. Dark leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, carrots, beets, onions, peas, winter squash, red bell peppers, corn, and sweet potatoes are all good for arthritis. The average adult requires approximately two and a half cups of vegetables daily.   

2. Fruit   

Fruits are high in flavonoids and polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties. Berries and pomegranates are anti-inflammatory in studies of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and pomegranates have demonstrated promising anti-inflammatory properties.

Other fruit polyphenols, such as quercetin, anthocyanins, and citrus flavonoids, have been studied for their ability to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Choose colorful fruits such as cherries, berries, apples, pomegranates, grapes, oranges, and grapefruit containing polyphenolic compounds that help fight arthritis inflammation. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for 2020-2025 recommend eating 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruit daily, depending on calorie needs.     

3. Legumes   

In the Mediterranean diet, legumes are high in fiber, plant-based protein, iron, folate, potassium, and magnesium. Beans, peas, and lentils are excellent meat substitutes, supplying essential nutrients such as iron, folate, potassium, and magnesium. Legumes can be canned or dried, with preferred low- or no-sodium varieties. They are simple to prepare and belong to the protein and vegetable groups. It is recommended that you consume one to two servings of legumes per day. You can also incorporate more beans into your diet by tossing peas or lentils into soups and casseroles, making homemade hummus with chickpeas, or stuffing beans into tacos.   

4. Whole Grains   

Whole grains have higher antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients than refined grains. According to a 2017 study, increasing total fiber intake lowers the risk of osteoarthritis symptoms. Grains contain phytochemicals that help fight inflammation, such as vitamin E, B vitamins, selenium, and magnesium. Whole grains such as oats, quinoa, brown rice, cereals, bulgur, farro, barley, and cornmeal are ideal. A daily intake of three to six servings is recommended.   

5. Seeds and Nuts  

Nuts and seeds are essential to the Mediterranean diet because they contain healthy fats and plant-based protein. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids and belong to the protein food group. Every day, consume a small handful of nuts or seeds such as walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, pistachios, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. Use raw, lightly roasted, unsalted nuts in baked goods, smoothies, salads, and pasta.   

6. Low-fat dairy products   

Dairy products are necessary for maintaining calcium, vitamin D, and probiotic levels. Because fortified milk and yogurt are high in vitamins A and D, they are suitable for bone health. According to a 2015 review, there is no evidence to avoid dairy consumption among arthritis patients, and dairy consumption appears to be safe and beneficial for bone health. Probiotics in dairy products such as yogurt and kefir have been linked to reduced inflammatory activity in rheumatoid arthritis. Consume three servings of dairy daily to meet your calcium, vitamin D, and probiotic requirements.   

7. Seafood and Fish   

Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation and improve overall health. Compared to those who eat fish less than once a month or never, eating fish at least twice a week can significantly reduce disease activity. Herring, salmon, scallops, sardines, anchovies, and trout contain higher omega-3 fatty acids. Mackerel, high in omega-3 fatty acids, is recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women and children.

Alternatives with lower mercury levels include Pacific chub mackerel and Spanish mackerel. Tuna, crab, mussels, and sea bass are excellent seafood sources. Fish also contains vitamin D, which has been shown to influence autoimmunity and reduce disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Consuming fish 3 to 4 ounces twice a week is generally recommended, but more may benefit those suffering from arthritis. If you don’t like fish, consider taking a fish oil supplement to help with joint stiffness, tenderness, and pain.   

8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil   

Olive oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties, may help with arthritis symptoms. According to research, certain compounds in olive oil may promote autophagy, which aids in the removal of damaged cells from the body. Extra-virgin olive oil has been shown in studies to prevent the development of arthritis, reduce joint swelling, slow cartilage destruction, and reduce inflammation. Furthermore, compounds derived from olive oil may reduce the production of pro-inflammatory compounds in joints, potentially aiding in managing rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  The Mediterranean diet, which has a lot of olive oil, has been shown to help people with rheumatoid arthritis feel less pain and move better. Even though more research needs to be done on how olive oil affects arthritis, eating olive oil and other healthy fats can be good for your health and may help reduce arthritis symptoms.  

9. Herbs and Spices   

Instead of salt, consider using spices and herbs to enhance flavor and reduce inflammation. These herbs and spices have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making them an excellent addition to your kitchen. Turmeric, ginger, garlic, onion, cinnamon, and chili powder are potent plant compounds that have been shown to reduce inflammation and alleviate arthritis symptoms. For a healthy and delicious meal, try cinnamon in oatmeal, chili powder in marinades, crushed garlic in sauces and soups, or blending a fruit, ginger, and turmeric smoothie.   

10. Green Tea    

Green teas from Camellia sinensis leaves contain bioactive polyphenolic compounds with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.  Green tea supplementation has been shown in studies to improve arthritis activity and knee joint function in adults with osteoarthritis. Drink green or oolong tea instead of soda, and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Regarding alcohol, moderation is vital; red wine may have anti-inflammatory properties. 

Green tea

11. Vitamin D   

The vitamin D The “sunshine vitamin” helps bones and muscles work well. Studies have shown that people with low vitamin D levels in their blood are more likely to get osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Sunlight, egg yolk, salmon, cod liver oil, and fortified foods like milk and orange juice are all good places to get vitamin D. Read the labels on your medicines and talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out if any of them could make you less likely to get enough vitamin D. And make sure that your doctor orders a vitamin D test as part of your annual bloodwork.  

In conclusion   

Diet has a significant impact on the severity and symptoms of arthritis. A healthy diet rich in healthy fats, fatty fish, and produce can help reduce arthritis symptoms. These foods reduce inflammation, nourish the body, and improve bone, muscle, and immune system function. A well-balanced Mediterranean diet high in plants, fiber, and anti-inflammatory fats can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce symptoms such as pain and swelling.  

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15 Natural Ways to Help Alleviate Arthritis Pain 

Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder that affects between one and one hundred million people worldwide. It causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling, loss, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and lymphoma. Prescription medications, such as pain relievers and NSAIDs, have limited efficacy.

Botanical medicines with anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties include black cohosh, angelica sinensis, licorice, triterygium wilfordii, centella asiatica, and Urtica dioica. Understanding the mechanisms of action of these herbs may open up new avenues of treatment for RA patients.

Arthritis pain can be degenerative or autoimmune, and there are two types: osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis  (RA). Doctors can prescribe medication to relieve arthritis pain, but natural methods are also advised. Before attempting any arthritis treatment, whether medication or not, consult a doctor.

Here are 15 Natural Ways to Help Alleviate Arthritis Pain 

1. Manage your Weight

Weight significantly impacts arthritis symptoms, especially in the knees, hips, and feet. 
Excess body weight puts more strain on the knees, weakening the joints and increasing the likelihood of hip or knee replacement. It is critical to lose excess weight to improve knee strength and stability. 
Other tips include avoiding high-heeled shoes and prolonged standing or sitting positions. 
Doctors can assist in determining a target weight and developing a program to reduce joint stress, improve mobility, reduce pain, and prevent future damage.

2. Anti-inflammatory Foods

Inflammation can also cause knee pain and weakness, so eat anti-inflammatory foods like spinach, ginger, turmeric, olive oil, avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon, tart cherries, blueberries, and sweet potatoes. On the other hand, inflammatory foods such as soda, sugary foods, white flour products, white rice, and foods high in saturated fats should be avoided.

3. Get Enough Exercise

Exercises improve knee condition by strengthening knee muscles, bones, and joints. Knee bends, lunges, step-ups, straight-leg raises, hamstring stretches, single-leg squats, and Swiss ball squats are all beneficial. Perform these exercises 4-5 times per week for 30 minutes. A suitable exercise program with a trainer or partner can boost motivation in arthritis patients. Walking, cycling, Tai Chi, water activities, and swimming are all recommended low-impact exercises.

4. Vitamin D

Because it is a threshold nutrient for perfect joint and bone health, lacking this vitamin increases the risk of minimal trauma fractures and bone loss. Furthermore, if the body does not have enough vitamin D, it will be unable to absorb enough calcium. The body produces this vitamin when exposed to sunlight, so spend at least 15 minutes in the sun each day, early in the morning. Dairy products, cod liver, oil, fish-fortified cereals, and egg yolks are good sources of this vitamin. Your doctor may also advise you to take supplements.

5. Use Hot and Cold Therapy

Heat and cold treatments can help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Heat treatments include taking a warm shower or bath in the morning and placing an electric blanket or moist heating pad on the affected joint. For example, wrapping gel ice packs or frozen vegetables in towels can help relieve joint pain. Capsaicin, which is found in topical ointments and creams, provides warmth and can alleviate joint pain.

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6. Calcium 

Because calcium is essential for bone health, a lack of it leads to bone thinning and weakening, thus osteoporosis. Because our bodies do not produce calcium naturally, it must be obtained through supplements and dietary sources. Edamame, cheese, milk, blackstrap molasses, almonds, dark leafy greens, sardines, calcium-fortified cereals, and fortified orange juice are all good sources of calcium. If you take it as a supplement, ensure it contains vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption. Your doctor will advise you on the appropriate dosage.

7. Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment in which thin needles are inserted into specific points on the body to reroute energies and restore balance. The ACR/AF conditionally recommends it because of its potential to lessen arthritis pain. Despite the lack of evidence, the risk of harm is low. For proper treatment, finding a licensed and certified acupuncturist is critical.

8. Use Meditation to Cope with Pain

In conjunction with meditation, relaxation, and breathing techniques, Tai chi and yoga can help reduce arthritis pain by reducing stress and improving coping. The ACR/AF recommends these techniques for reducing inflammation and pain. Some people with RA may benefit from mindfulness meditation. Stress, anxiety, and depression are common complications of chronic pain conditions such as arthritis.

9. Epsom Salt

People with weak knees or knee pain due to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis have extremely low magnesium levels. As a result, because Epsom salt contains a high concentration of this mineral, it can significantly reduce the severity of the problems. Because it promotes calcium absorption, it reduces inflammation around the knee joints. It allows muscles to function properly. 2 tablespoons should be dissolved in half a cup of water, and a washcloth should be soaked in the solution. Then, apply it to the knees and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. This should be done twice a week. You can also take an Epsom salt bath once or twice a week. Place a cup of salt in a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes.

10. Follow a Healthy Diet

A plant-based diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods can strengthen the immune system and improve overall health. It has antioxidants, which eliminate free radicals and help reduce inflammation. On the other hand, a diet high in red meat, processed foods, saturated fat, added sugar, and salt may make arthritis pain worse. These foods can worsen being overweight, having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or having heart disease. Even though current OA guidelines don’t recommend vitamin D or fish oil supplements as treatments, eating these nutrients as part of a balanced diet may help overall health.

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11. Add Turmeric to Dishes

Turmeric, a yellow spice used in Indian cooking, contains curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Turmeric has been shown in animal studies to reduce arthritis pain and inflammation. According to an animal study, a small amount of turmeric added to dinner is a safe option. More research is needed to comprehend its effects fully.

12. Fish Oil

Bone density and knee strength can be improved by taking fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). In addition to relieving pain and stiffness in the joints, it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Those who ate cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel twice weekly or took up to 6 grams of fish oil (at least 30% DHA/EPA) twice daily saw improvements in cognitive function, according to a study published in The International Journal of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience in 2006.

13. Get a Massage

Massage therapy is an effective treatment for knee pain and joint strengthening. Rubbing warm coconut, mustard, or olive oil on the affected area improves circulation and provides nutrients. An experienced massage therapist is recommended for chronic knee pain. Although the ACR/AF does not recommend massage therapy, it may provide indirect benefits such as stress reduction. Consult a massage therapist with arthritis treatment experience or a physical therapist to learn self-massage.

14. Vitamin C

Collagen, the primary component of knee cartilage, cannot be synthesized without vitamin C. Bone growth, bone matrix quality, and collagen synthesis cannot occur without it. Additionally, it increases bone mass density and reduces the likelihood of fractures. You can take supplements in the form of capsules and chewable tablets as directed by your doctor, or you can up your levels naturally by eating foods like lemon, oranges, papaya, kiwi, strawberries, spinach, berries, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

15. Consider Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements like boswellia, bromela, indevil’s claw, ginkgosting, nettle, and under god vine may help with joint pain but haven’t been proven to treat arthritis. Because the FDA does not regulate herbs and supplements for quality, purity, or safety, it is critical to purchase from a reputable source and consult a doctor before trying new supplements, as some may cause side effects and dangerous drug interactions.

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Scientific Basis of Botanical Medicine as Alternative Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis | SpringerLinkJoint Pain and Arthritis | CDC