Arthritis is a very common condition that is characterized by pain and swelling in the joints. The foods we eat can increase or decrease the amount of inflammation in our bodies. It’s National Nutrition Month, so let’s look at some foods that can help minimize symptoms:
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet means eating more foods that contain antioxidants. That is the key to reducing inflammation. These foods can help reduce inflammation and repair damage to our joints. Foods that are anti-inflammatory and are high in antioxidants include:
- Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. These foods contain the antioxidants known as anthocyanins which give berries their vibrant color.
- Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, Swiss chard, and other greens. In addition to antioxidants, they also contain folate, fiber, and multiple vitamins & minerals which are great for your body.
- Fatty Fish like Salmon, Mackerel, Tuna and Sardines have good fats and Omega 3 to help with inflammation.
- Legumes are an effective and inexpensive way to increase your antioxidants.
- Red or purple cabbage. It has high antioxidant content and is rich in vitamin C, K and A.
Eating a healthy diet with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables can help with day to day joint pain and swelling.
On the other hand, foods that are processed contain a lot of fat and sugar and can keep your joints inflamed. These foods should be minimized or avoided if you suffer with symptoms of joint inflammation.
The important thing to understand is that eating anti-inflammatory foods just once in a while isn’t going to make your joint pain better. It’s your daily habit of including healthy anti-inflammatory foods and excluding processed foods that is going to make a difference to joint inflammation.
Dr. Yaser A. Metwally is board-certified by both the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. He received his fellowship of Reconstructive Surgery from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery.