Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Arthritis

Arthritis has many forms. However, the symptoms remain largely the same. It’s the leading cause of disability among adults in the U.S., affecting roughly 54 million adults and 300,000 babies and children.

Thankfully, a healthy combination of anti-inflammatory foods and supplements help control inflammation and ease even the most debilitating symptoms of arthritis. So, we’re going to look at the most beneficial, anti-inflammatory rich food money can buy.

Fish

Fish — specifically fatty fish — has been scientifically shown to decrease lipids related to inflammation.

Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are full of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating them on a regular basis can reduce the duration of morning stiffness, lower the number of painful or tender joints, and reduce the intensity of joint pain.

If you’re looking to minimize your symptoms of arthritis, science says eat fish. Baked garlic-butter salmon, oven-baked trout, or oven-roasted Spanish mackerel once a week should be more than enough to help you and your joints get back on the dancefloor.

Green Tea

The health benefits of green tea are well documented. It can improve brain function, increase your body’s ability to burn fat, and may even lower your risk of some kinds of cancer.

If you haven’t guessed, it’s anti-inflammatory properties can help counteract some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, green, black, and white teas can all help you manage your arthritis symptoms.

So, next time you need a pick-me-up, choose tea.

Garlic

Garlic does more than make tomato sauce sing, it helps beat back arthritis symptoms. Better yet, garlic has been suggested to have both cancer-preventative potential and significant enhancing effects on the immune system.

As a cooking ingredient, garlic tastes good on just about anything. But if you’re tired of the typical dishes made with garlic, try a savory side of buttery garlic mushrooms.

Ginger

Ginger really is a wonderful thing. It’s a delicious way to kick-up everything from sushi to cookies. On the medical side, ginger has long been an at-home remedy for nausea and upset stomachs.

But, can ginger help those suffering from arthritis? Good question! The answer is a resounding yes. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory activities are so effective that a University of Miami study came to the conclusion that it may one day act as a substitute for the current, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Add it to a green smoothie, brew it in a tea, or use it to season your braised beef. Whatever you do, just eat more ginger!

Berries

Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries are loaded with polyphenol compounds like anthocyanins. These compounds ease the symptoms of arthritis. In particular, blueberries are a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Berries are more than just allies in your fight against arthritis. They help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Spinach

Eating greens is doubly important for someone trying to reverse the course of arthritis. Spinach especially. Popeye’s favorite snack is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

While many recommend drinking your daily dose of spinach in smoothie form, simply eating more of it should suffice. Sautéed spinach with garlic and olive oil is easy and delicious, as is Italian spinach and mushrooms.

Olive Oil

Though there’s still a lot more research to be done, the studies available have managed to draw a straight line between the consumption of extra virgin olive oil and the management of inflammatory disease symptoms. In fact, olive oil impedes the production of the chemical messengers that cause the pain and swelling of arthritis inflammation.

Cook with it, use it to make salad dressing or even drink it straight. The more, the better.

Soy

Vegetarians rejoice! Consuming soy products have a noticeable anti-inflammatory effect on the body. A study found that the more soy the studied women consumed, the less inflammation they experienced.

So, how does one even begin to incorporate more soy into their dietary routine? You can use it as a substitute for meat in honey soy tofu, you can add it to your chicken stir fry, or you can make your very own soymilk.

Cherries

Cherries aren’t just delicious, they’re also a great source of calcium, vitamin A, and potassium. Moreover, they’re an important weapon in your anti-inflammatory arsenal.

Loaded with Vitamin C, and polyphenols, studies have shown that a cherry-rich diet decreased markers for:

  • Oxidative stress;
  • Inflammation;
  • Exercise-induced muscle soreness, and;
  • Arthritis.

Broccoli

Your parents were right. Broccoli is essential. The green stuff is a cruciferous vegetable that shares a family tree with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage. Plus, it's chock full of life-enhancing nutrients.

When it comes to anti-inflammatory properties, broccoli has few rivals. A study of broccoli florets concluded that the popular vegetable boasts high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

Omega-3

If you don’t like the taste of fish, consider picking up a bottle of omega-3 supplements.

Fish oil or cod liver oil has been a popular and effective, inflammation-fighting supplement for a long time. More specifically, omega-3 supplements are leaned on to combat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Studies have shown that supplementing your diet with omega-3s can significantly decrease joint tenderness and stiffness as well.

Glucosamine

Many believe that the regular dietary supplementation of glucosamine can slow the deterioration of cartilage and relieve pain in those battling osteoarthritis. Though the results of scientific trials have been mixed, glucosamine supplements have been shown to reduce pain and improve function in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.

The recommended daily dose of glucosamine is about 1,500 mg, with positive effects being felt after one month.

Chondroitin

Often paired alongside glucosamine supplements, chondroitin is sourced from the cartilage of animals. Many claim regular consumption of chondroitin supplements can reduce pain and inflammation, plus improve joint function in osteoarthritis sufferers.

Science tends to agree. A 2006 study on the effect of glucosamine/chondroitin intervention discovered that several patients experienced significant pain relief. Though there have been contrary findings in other studies, chondroitin remains a go-to supplement for those looking for relief from their arthritis symptoms.

Jeff Laitila / www.Sushicam.com / Getty Images

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