Suffer from arthritis pain? These common foods could help

Janice Holland's picture

Adults suffering from the chronic pain of arthritis may be searching for non-alcoholic and non-narcotic alternatives that will provide noticeable changes in their level of discomfort.

You may be surprised to learn there are natural ways to relieve the pain associated with arthritis. There are certain foods believed to significantly reduce inflammation and help people better manage the disease. Add these common foods to your diet to decrease arthritic pain, thereby improving your quality of life.

Vegetables rich in vitamin C: It appears that individuals who consume a diet deficient in vitamin C are more likely to develop certain types of arthritis. Eating vegetables rich in vitamin C can help build collagen, a key component in cartilage, which helps to cushion joints.

Vegetables rich in vitamin C include broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, red cabbage, sweet peppers (green, red and yellow) and white potatoes with their skins intact.

Fruits rich in vitamin C: Like vegetables rich in vitamin C, fruits high in vitamin C are great additions to the diets of those suffering from arthritis. These fruits also have high antioxidant levels which may help ward off other illnesses.

Research has shown that vitamin C not only helps boost your immune system, it also helps decrease inflammation in the body and protects against certain types of cancer. If you are really committed to adding extra vitamin C to your diet, remember that food sources are better than supplements as supplements may not contain the necessary plant nutrients needed to gain optimal benefits from the vitamin.

Fruits rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemons, oranges), kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple and strawberries.

Fruits and Vegetables Rich in Carotenoids: Caretnoids are powerful antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables. In terms of arthritis, the most beneficial is beta-cryptoxanthin, which may help reduce the swelling and inflammation associated with certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids include apricots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, carrots, kale, mustard greens, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes and sweet red peppers.

Those fruits and vegetables rich in the carotenoid, beta-cryptoxanthin, include apricots, corn, oranges, papayas, persimmons, pumpkin, red peppers, tangerines and winter squash.

Berries: Most berries contain an abundance of bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids such as quercetin and anthocyanidins are antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects. Quercetin acts as a natural non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication similar to aspirin or ibuprofen. Additionally, anthocyanidin helps reduce inflammation. Both antioxidants have been proven to decrease the chemicals in our bodies that cause inflammation.

Berries containing bioflavonoids include black currants, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, elderberries, lingo berries, raspberries and strawberries.

Green tea:Green tea, one of the most consumed beverages in the world, contains antioxidants that can benefit your health. Green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which can lower the body’s production of substances that cause joint inflammation and joint damage from arthritis. Caffeinated green tea contains more of the beneficial nutrients than the decaffeinated brand so choose the caffeine for the best results.

Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other fish can help decrease the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Research shows that Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, help those suffering from arthritis by decreasing the production of cytokines, an enzyme that wears away cartilage.

Fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include anchovies, cold water salmon, herring, mackerel (except king mackerel), Pacific oysters, rainbow trout and sardines.

Some other good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include canola oil, flaxseed oil, Omega-3 fortified eggs, pumpkin seeds, soy beans, tofu and walnuts.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil contains antioxidants that help safeguard the body against inflammation. It is a good monounsaturated fat that can decrease the body’s production of enzymes causing inflammation. Olive oil is not a low calorie food, however, so do not over use it – just one or two teaspoons a day is sufficient.

Turmeric:Turmeric is an Asian spice with nutritional benefits. Research indicates turmeric may help reduce inflammatory-causing chemicals in the body. Suppression of those chemicals helps manage the pain and inflammation related to arthritis. Turmeric is typically used in curry dishes.

Chili Peppers: Chili peppers contain capsaicin, an ingredient contained in many crèmes and supplements marketed for pain relief. While these items have been shown to reduce pain in people suffering from arthritis, research has not yet clearly identified if ingesting capsaicin through food has the same effect. Since it is a common spice relatively easy to find in a variety of foods, many natural health professionals recommend those with arthritis supplement their diets with capsaicin-rich foods such as chili peppers and other hot peppers.

While it is known eating certain foods cannot cure arthritis, it is clear many of the nutrients found naturally in food can help decrease the inflammation and pain associated with it. These changes in diet can help make your joints healthier and greatly improve the quality of your life.