Published: 12/04/2014 - Updated: 04/21/2016
Author: Miriam Reyes
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the joints become inflamed and painful, and it could even limit joint function and movement.
It has been shown that some foods could be useful for arthritis, and although they aren’t a complete cure, they do help to fight and alleviate pain that is characteristics to this disease, as well as preventing its progress or development.
It’s possible that these foods are not quite miracle workers, and they do not replace analgesics, but they can undoubtedly calm pain naturally. If they are consumed properly and habitually they could also considerably improve life quality for people with arthritis.
1. Carotenes to prevent arthritis
This is an organic pigment whose antioxidant action provides health benefits. IT is found in red, yellow, and orange colored fruits and vegetables, like sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, etc. Including carotenes in your diet could reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by up to 50%, according to studies, which is why it is recommendable to habitually consume it.
2. Green tea
Green tea enjoys a famous reputation, being as it is rich in antioxidants. Today, it is used for its ever-growing known benefits. In recent years, green tea consumption has increased in light of its health benefits that have been revealed scientifically. In regards to arthritis, it is an antioxidant known as epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, alleviating joint pain. It is also believed that the catechins contained in green tea promote joint health, preventing cartilage wear.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The natural anti-inflammatory action makes this type of oil a very recommendable fat for people that suffer from arthritis. Habitually consuming it contributes to inflammation reduction and also helps joint health. Different studies have shown that consuming this oil is beneficial, however it is recommended to consume it from natural sources, like fish or seeds like chia and walnut.
4. Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is abundant in nature and not only promotes an optimal immune system but it also takes part in collagen metabolism, an important protein in joints. A diet that lacks vitamin C could foster arthritis development, according to studies. This is why we recommend including it in your diet.
Foods rich in vitamin C are citrus fruits, like oranges, grapefruit and lemons, and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, among others.
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5. Olive Oil
Also advisable for cardiovascular health, olive oil contains oleocanthal, a natural compound that helps reduce joint inflammation. It acts similar to analgesics.
It’s easy to include in your diet, from cooking to salad dressings. Olive oil is a common and very versatile ingredient. We recommend opting for extra-virgin olive oil versions because they are much higher quality.
This is an antioxidant that is found in cherries and berries like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, just to name a few. But anthocyanins are also found in red grapes and eggplant. They prevent the production of substances that promote inflammation, which is one reason as to how it fights inflammation. It is recommended to consume one handful of these berries daily to alleviate arthritis pain.
This root is used in oriental cooking to provide flavor to different dishes. It has a slight kick to it, which when used in moderation provides a very unique taste for foods. In the West however, it is not used too frequently, however, it could be a good idea to add it to your normal diet. Keep in mind that its components are anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat joint pain. Add one slice of ginger to your soup or broth, or a little bit of ground ginger in your recipes should be enough. During the cold months, ginger infusion is perfect for warming the body.
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This spice is popularly known for its use in curry preparations. Turmeric is a mustard-yellow color and is also used in oriental recipes. However, just like ginger, it isn’t commonly used in the West. You could, however, add it to your salads, pastas, and rice, for example. Turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory properties that are useful for helping reduce arthritis pain.
This common food can in fact be beneficial for fighting joint inflammation. Onions are a source of quercetin, a substance with antioxidant properties that could have an effect similar to that of pharmaceuticals. Cherry tomatoes, grapes, and apples do as well. It is recommended to include foods rich in quercetin in your daily diet.
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