Does your diet play a role in your arthritis pain?
As someone with arthritis, I’m no stranger to individuals wanting to give you advice, showing you the latest article they read, or telling you about their great-aunt’s best friend’s luck with a certain diet. All joking aside, there actually is a correlation between arthritis and certain foods or diets, though not as much as one might claim.
Two of the most popular diet suggestions for arthritis suffers include going gluten-free or cutting out nightshade (tomatoes, eggplants, red bell peppers) vegetables. Both of these diets have little scientific proof to support their success. However, a key component of arthritis is that the disease affects each individual differently. That being said, these diets have worked wonders for some, while showing no changes in others.
Given some of the underlying structures of certain foods, there are some proven benefits of diet and arthritis. Below is a list of foods that have one or more of the following: anti-inflammation properties, little to no processing, disease fighting, fiber, protein, pain, and more.
-Fish or Fish Oil Supplements: Fish is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids which are proven to fight inflammation (amongst their many other benefits). Additionally, the properties in cold-water fish (or fish oil supplements if you don’t like the taste of fish) fight against joint swelling, pain, duration of morning stiffness, and disease activity.
-Nuts and Seeds: These foods are full of the healthier mono-saturated fats, which, in moderation, also fight against inflammation.
-Cherries: Cherries and pure cherry concentrate is a popular tip with arthritis sufferers. This is because cherries mimic NSAIDs (pain medicine) without the side effects.
-Vitamin-K: Vitamin-K rich foods reduce inflammatory markers in a person’s body. These include foods like kale, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, and spinach.
-Olive Oil: In addition to being heart-healthy, olive oil benefits arthritis like nuts and seeds in that it also has mono-saturated fats. The best type of olive oil to eat is extra virgin olive oil as it has less processing and refining as other oils.
-Beans: Beans and other legumes are chock full of fiber, providing a number of benefits in itself. However, fiber is shown to lower the CRP in a person’s blood. CRP is the indicator within the blood for inflammation levels in the body.
What other foods have you found make a difference in your arthritis symptoms?
Photo credit: DH Wright