One out of five people are affected by arthritis pain, yet, many people don’t realize there are several food choices that help reduce arthritis pain.  Though food is not a cure to this painful disease, your choices can make your joints healthier and help reduce weight which helps decreases irritation to the joints.

Foods with omega-3 fatty acids.   Because of the Omega-3 in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines, these foods play an important role in reducing inflammation in the body as do seeds and nuts (walnuts, soy beans, flax seeds, canola oil and pumpkin seeds).  Omega-3s provide a dual benefit because they decrease the production of chemicals that spread inflammation, plus they inhibit enzymes that trigger it.  It is recommended that you have at least one gram of omega-3 each day.  Four ounces of salmon has 1.5 grams of omega 3, a quarter cup of walnuts has 2.27 grams and two tablespoons of Flaxseed has 3.5 grams.

Fatty fish also contains vitamin D which helps prevent swelling and soreness.  Researcbers from the Women’s Health Study followed 30,000 women for 11 years and found that those that received less than 200 units of Vitamin D in their daily diet were 33% more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than women who consumed more.   Drink two glasses of low-fat milk and spend 10-15 minutes a day in the sun to trigger vitamin D production in your body.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Oleocanthal, found in olive oil blocks enzymes associated with inflammation.  About 1 tablespoon a day(119 calories) is optimal to incorporate in your daily diet.

Vitamin C rich foods such as sweet peppers and citrus fruits.  Vitamin C is known to protect collagen, a major component of cartliage.   Focusing on foods such an orange or a cup of broccoli will provide you with 200 milligrams of Vitamin C.  It will also provide you with other plant nutrients that a suppplement can’t offer.

Brazil nuts.  Selenium is a mineral which helps antioxidants clear out cell-damaging free radicals, assists with thyroid regulation and may prevent cancer. Low selenium levels have been linked to rheumatoid arthritis.

Three to four Brazil nuts contain 272 micrograms of selenium whereas 3 ounces of tuna contains 63 micrograms, 3.5 ounces of beef has 32 micrograms and cooked oatmeal has 12 micrograms.

Onions and garlic.  The phytochemicals in these vegetables such a quercetin block inflammatory pathways in a manner similar to ibuprofen or asprin.   One-half cup of a high-quercetin food is recommended daily.  Other sources of quercetin can be found in kale, cherry tomatoes or apples.

Tart Cherries.  A study from the University of Michigan reveals that a daily diet with a 1/2 cup of tart cherries can cut inflammation in animals by 50% and Dallas’s Baylor Research Institute showed that 56% of patients with osteoarthritis had 20% improvement in pain and function after 8 weeks of taking cherry pills.  The pigments that give vibrant color in cherries, grapes, black raspberries and egg plants contain anthocyanins which is a potient antioxidant known to cut inflammation.

Green Tea.  3-4 cups a day of caffeinated green tea, helps take away some of the arthritis related pain. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) decreases inflammation-causing substances in the body that cause joint damage.  These antioxidant compounds found in tea have been found to decrease the incidence and severity of arthritis.

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