For many years, people have claimed that certain foods in their diet reduced pain and joint inflammation from arthritis. Researchers continue to investigate whether foods and spices actually may play a role in relieving joint pain and, if so, how they work.
Research has shown that mostly it’s just healthy eating, with a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Fruits, veggies and whole grains are natural inflammation fighters that can also help control your weight. “It’s important to stay at a healthy weight to ease up some of the stress on the joints. For every 1 pound of weight you lose, you reduce the load on your knee joint by 4 pounds.
Foods to Try to Ease Arthritis Pain
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. These veggies are part of the cruciferous family, and they are full of a compound called sulforaphane, which helps slow cartilage damage in joints due to osteoarthritis, according to a 2013 study involving mice. Admittedly, it’s an early study. But veggies are always a healthy choice. Try adding broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale or cauliflower to your salad or stir-fry.
- Fatty fish.Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation. Try adding fish to your diet a couple of times a week. If you’re not a big fan of fish, ask your doctor about taking an omega-3 supplement.
- Garlic is a member of the allium family—which also includes onions and leeks. These items contain a compound called diallyl disulfide that may help with a number of diseases—including arthritis.
- Tart cherries.Some people with arthritis have found relief from products made from tart cherries. The ingredient in cherries that helps with joint symptoms is the same one that gives this fruit its red color—anthocyanin
- Turmeric.One of the best-researched inflammation fighters isn’t a food at all, but a spice. Tumeric contains a compound called curcumin.
- Vitamin C. Antioxidants in vitamin C may slow the progression of OA, research finds. A 2011 study from the University of South Florida reported that people who took vitamin C supplements were 11 percent less likely to develop knee OA than those who didn’t take the supplements. You can get vitamin C from strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, or cantaloupe.