Chronic inflammation is thought to play a role in degenerative joint disease. It can even lead to the development of certain types of arthritis.
But what if you could fight back against this inflammation by making changes to your diet? It’s true that many studies have shown that certain foods can reduce inflammation inside the body. Reducing inflammation (and lowering your risk of many other health conditions) might also help your joints feel better, too.
Is there a special arthritis diet?
While there’s no miracle diet for arthritis, many foods can help fight inflammation and improve joint pain and other symptoms.
For starters, eat a diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans, but low processed foods and saturated fat.
The Mediterranean diet is frequently touted for its anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting powers. For starters, a diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans, but low processed foods and saturated fat, is not only great for overall health, but can also help manage knee pain and inflammation.
Researchers have found that certain foods may help reduce inflammation in the body. These anti-inflammatory foods include the following: salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, anchovies, scallops and other cold-water fish.
Food to avoid: Red meat and saturated fats such as cheese, butter, fried foods and processed foods. Think “whole” food instead.
Hate fish? Take a supplement.
Why weight matters when it comes to joint pain
Being overweight or obese puts you at risk for developing knee problems, such as arthritis. In fact, several studies have shown that losing weight decreases pain, improves function and increases mobility in people with knee osteoarthritis.
“Being just 10 pounds overweight increases the force on your knees by 30 to 40 pounds with every step you take,” says Kevin Fontaine, PhD, Assistant Professor of Rheumatology at Johns Hopkins University.
You don’t have to lose a lot to have an impact on arthritis. “Almost any weight loss can have beneficial effects, especially in reducing pain,” says Fontaine.
If you’re overweight or obese, start out with a goal of reducing your body weight by only 5%. That’s just 10 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds. Then, repeat by another 5%.
So losing weight is the best treatment for knee arthritis.
What is the fastest way to reduce inflammation in the joints?
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and stiffness, which can help reduce joint pain.
If you are on a plant-based diet, choose plant-based omega-3 sources such as ground flax, flaxseed oil and walnuts.
Or use a supplement—such as fish oil, other Omega 3 fatty acids supplement, or collagen.
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega, Soft Gels – High-Potency Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement with EPA & DHA
Omega 3 Fish Oil – High EPA 1200mg + DHA 900mg Triple Strength Burpless Softgels
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C
Externally, applying a pain gel can offer pain relief for aching joints.
Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel for Powerful Topical Arthritis Pain Relief, No Prescription Needed
Boiron Arnicare Gel for Soothing Relief of Joint Pain, Muscle Pain, Muscle Soreness, and Swelling from Bruises or Injury
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