If you’re someone who struggles with arthritis, you’re not alone. According to the CDC, arthritis impacts 58.5 million U.S. adults each year.
The risk of arthritis increases with age. Nearly half of adults aged 65 years or older report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
What we eat can impact our arthritis symptoms. Certain foods can actually help ease pain and improve your overall joint health.
Here’s how: A proper diet has the power to curb the inflammatory responses in the body that can cause pain.
These foods can also help you manage other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or obesity.
To ease your arthritis pain, try incorporating these suggestions.
Add Fish to Your Weekly Menu
Fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna have a host of benefits. They are a great source of healthy fat and protein. Fish also contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both of which have been proven to help reduce inflammation.
Nutritionists recommend eating fish a couple of times a week. If you don’t eat fish, fish oil supplements can be a good alternative.
Canned tuna or salmon makes for a quick, easy, and inexpensive lunch.
Try Dark Leafy Greens in Salads
Spinach, kale, and broccoli are all great sources of vitamins E and C. Vitamin E works to protect the body against pro-inflammatory molecules. Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, which aids in joint flexibility.
Swap iceberg lettuce for kale in a salad or add a handful of spinach to your smoothie.
Snack on Nuts
Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts contain high amounts of fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin E, and Omega-3 fats which all have anti-inflammatory effects. Nuts are also heart-healthy, which is particularly important for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) since they have twice the risk of heart disease as healthy adults.
Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of green beans or try salt and pepper pistachios for a savory snack.
Munch on Berries
Not only are berries a sweet treat, but they also pack a double dose of anti-inflammatory properties. All fruits are high in antioxidants, which can help fight inflammation. Plus, foods like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries contain anthocyanins, which can reduce inflammation.
Add blueberries to a cup of yogurt or grab a handful of blackberries for a quick snack on the go.
Incorporate Olive Oil in Recipes
Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. When combined with vitamin D, olive oil has also been shown to protect against bone loss.
You can use olive oil in place of vegetable oil in recipes or drizzle a bit of olive oil on some whole-wheat toast.
Add Flavor with Garlic and Onions
Looking for a flavor boost with health benefits? Garlic and onions contain anti-inflammatory chemicals that have been shown to relieve some forms of arthritic pain. As an added bonus, they are also known for their immunity-boosting properties.
Try using garlic and onions as the base of a tasty soup or pasta dish.
Sip Green Tea
Green tea contains a natural antioxidant that has been shown to stop the production of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body, including those involved in arthritis.
Recent studies also suggest that one of the compounds in green tea may prevent cartilage from breaking down, helping to preserve joints longer.
Try a cup of green tea in lieu of your morning cup of coffee or for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Visit with Your Healthcare Team
It’s important to talk to your doctor if you have joint pain and other arthritis symptoms. Early and effective treatment is important to minimize symptoms and prevent the disease from getting worse.
Questions about senior living?
Contact us to learn more.