Foods can Ease Arthritis Pain and Discomfort.
First of all, Arthritis is not an old people’s disease. It affects both young and old. Unfortunately, it is easy to see arthritis as an older people’s illness because of its symptoms – in terms of aches and pains. Now, arthritis pain can get worse as people get older, and that goes for many other diseases. I still remember my mother’s painful battle with rheumatoid arthritis; it worsened with time and was honestly very distressing to watch. I wish I knew better then, but I didn’t. Anyways, if you want to learn how to ease arthritis pain and discomfort with foods, please keep reading. Great to know that most of these foods are equally anti-inflammatory.
10 Anti-inflammatory Foods that may Relief Arthritis
Make fish your main protein (that is if you eat fish and open to the idea). And if you don’t eat fish, that’s ok; plant proteins are phenomenal. But, eat red meat in limited quantity. Fatty fish may include salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc. These types of fishes contain omega 3 fatty acid, which in turn has anti-inflammatory properties, and excellent for you. Grab my easy peasy salmon recipe with green sauce here.
The aroma and smell of fresh ginger will catapult your dish to the next level. Uniquely, the benefits of gingers in the fight against arthritis is way more than those aromas! Studies have shown that consuming ginger (in any form – fresh, dry, or powdered) can ease arthritis pain and discomfort due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
I see turmeric as ginger’s sister; they look and feel the same but not the same. Turmeric is yellowish/orange in color and can easily stain your hands or surfaces. So, be careful when handling turmeric. I always wear gloves when I handle it. This anti-inflammatory herb can help reduce inflammations of any kind. Be it from arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and more. There are plenty of ways to use turmeric as well; I add them to immune-boosting smoothies, salad dressing, and soups. I make turmeric tonic too, (check my Instagram story highlight labeled “turmeric tonic”) There are supplements, too, talk to your doctor about that! The bottom line is turmeric, alongside these other ingredients, can ease arthritis joint pains use them consistently.
I remember when my mom would eat fresh garlic and I never liked it because the after smell lasts forever. Each time she open her mouth, it would smell. Garlic has several health benefits, and if you are not already eating garlic, you may be living under a rock (of course, not really). Okay, let’s tally some of the health benefits of this herb. Garlic has cancer-fighting properties, it is an immune-booster, can help reduce high blood pressure, and garlic is anti-inflammatory! This herb is fantastic and healing, and can ease arthritis pain!
Superfood spinach is a potent anti-inflammatory vegetable Other leafy greens such as kale, collard, are incredible too. Constant consumption of spinach can help reduce inflammations as a result of arthritis. You can make a spinach berry salad, spinach – avocado smoothie, or try what I call spinach power blend. Read this 2017 research findings on how spinach reduced osteoarthritis.
Make berries your new chocolate, eat them all the time, and you will see how wonderful these are. Berries are uniquely packed with nutrients, especially antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation. Thankfully, we have various berries to choose from – strawberries, blueberries, raspberry, blackberry, etc. Likewise, you can use them in salads, smoothies, and snacks. I make this super easy berry spinach salad from time to time.
Go cherry. I love cherry the fresh ones are expensive, so whenever I make my coconut milk oatmeal topped with stewed cherries, I used frozen cherries. Experts say that tart cherry juice used in a study reduced inflammatory markers in women. Do not sleep on cherry, and be mindful of cherry juice loaded up with sugar. Read more on how tart cherry juice reduced rheumatoid arthritis.
Grapes have health-promoting nutrients and antioxidants. And these are anti-inflammatory too. You can snack on these or add them to salads, breakfast bowls, etc. Whether seeded and seedless, grapes are amazingly refreshing and beneficial to health.
My son loves broccoli so much; that’s his favorite vegetable. Broccoli is easy to cook, I mean, you can steam it, and that’s it! You can also enjoy it fresh! We enjoy fresh broccoli salad with grapes a lot. Studies show that broccoli is linked to reduced inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Eating more broccoli will surely help your arthritis.
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Use EVOO, aka, extra virgin olive oil instead of regular olive oil. EVOO can help the pains of rheumatoid arthritis get better. Extra virgin olive oil is also heart-healthy and can reduce the risk of heart disease. Use EVOO in salad dressings and sautéing vegetables.
Nuts (such as walnuts)
Walnuts are loaded with omega 3 fatty acid and great for reducing inflammation caused by arthritis. Cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts are great too. Nuts are excellent snacks, and I love to top them on salads sometimes.
Routinely incorporating all the foods listed above can help in the fight against arthritis (Get more information on foods that can help arthritis, here) [bctt tweet=”In other to relieve arthritis pain and discomfort, you have to go farther than medication. That is, you must also incorporate healthy meals and physical activity (very essential) And when it comes to exercising, do what works for you – morning walks, running, or dancing.” username=”NkechiAjaeroh”]
If the weather becomes too cold, like during winter, then exercise at home. It would work incredibly well if you stay consistent. But the bottom line is to move your body.
7 Foods (Ingredients) to Avoid if you have Arthritis.
Eat less processed sugar– eating sugar, mostly processed sugar, found in many desserts/pastries may trigger arthritis inflammation. If certain ingredients say “sugar-free” and still have “sucrose” and “fructose,” it is better to avoid them! Dates are a great sugar alternative, maple syrup also another great alternative.
Studies have shown that saturated fats can trigger specific tissues and make inflammation worse, best to avoid saturated fats or at least use them at a minimum! Saturated fats can be found in the majority of pizzas, cheeses, and full-fat dairy products. Red meat also has saturated fats.as well as processed meats like hot dog, bacon, etc.
Be sure always to read food labels to know what you are purchasing, and whenever possible, substitute for plant-based products. Personally, I will say eat more fish and less red meat. Look for other healthier ways of cooking pasta dishes if you regularly use a lot of full-fat milk, cream, or cheese. Check out my macaroni Jollof recipe.
Research upon research has shown the adverse effect of trans fat, yet, sadly, major fast-food retailers continue to use them. From commercially produced French fries, to frozen pizzas, frozen breakfasts, cookies, crackers, etc., have this ingredient, sadly. The best way to catch the culprits is always to read the food labels. In other words, do not trust what’s inside until you know what’s inside.
Most baked goods such as cakes, cookies, and pies (unless you made it yourself and excluded trans-fat/oils). Not only are trans-fat bad for your arthritis, but they can also cause or worsen heart-related diseases. Read more about bad trans-fat from this Mayo clinic article. Relatively avoid trans-fat by avoiding these foods listed below, too:
- Non-dairy coffee creamer
- Stick Margarine.
- Microwave popcorn.
Omega 6 Fatty Acid.
There is omega 3 fatty acid, and then there is omega 6 fatty acid; the latter is typically found in sunflower seeds. In other words, consuming sunflower oil in excess may not be a good thing if you have arthritis. Also, safflower, grapeseed, peanut all have omega 6 fatty acid, and the best bet would be not to go way overboard. The majority of the store-bought salad dressings may have omega 6 fatty acid. A quick turnaround would be to make your salad dressing. Check out my citrus dressing and green (cashew) salad dressing. Read more about omega 3 and omega 6 in nuts and oils.
Processed or Refined Carbohydrates.
Refined carbs are one of the foods to eat less if you have arthritis because they do not help the inflammation rather may hurt it. Feasting on a lot of white bread, instant packaged mashed potatoes, instant rice, etc., may cause more harm than good.
Some common substitutes to white bread may include whole wheat bread, and instead of using packaged instant mashed potatoes, you can buy fresh potatoes, boil them and then mash them up! And when it comes to rice, do not be afraid of brown rice. These days there is plenty of brown rice that cooks quickly and tastes yummier! I love and use Ralston’s farm brown rice all the time! Check out my golden brown jollof rice recipe with this rice here.
Some research has shown that gluten may promote inflammation, while a gluten-free diet may help your arthritis. Main sources of gluten include wheat, rye, barley, malt, etc. Everyday foods that contain gluten may consist of bread, pasta, noodles, cereals, flour tortilla, etc. Obviously, it would be a big deal to instantly get rid of gluten; however, if it will be worth trying if you think it will help. Maybe talk to your doctor before making that decision. On the other hand, here are some easy substitutes to consider: rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, cauliflower, and most vegetables.
The best tip would be to use alcohol in moderation or eliminate it completely. I do not have anything against alcohol, but I am also glad that my body does not tolerate it. Too much alcohol can cause inflammation and as well as over-burden the liver. Cutting alcohol can help reduce or ease arthritis, pain, and discomfort!
[bctt tweet=”In the end, a healthy lifestyle is a primary natural remedy to ease arthritis pain and discomfort. Ensure regular exercise, heart-healthy meals (Mediterranean diet). Plus, of course, taking the medications prescribed by your physician.” username=”NkechiAjaeroh”]
Do you or anyone you know suffer from arthritis? Which of these foods do you eat regularly? And which do you hope to start implementing soon to ease arthritis pain? Please share in the comments.
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