Fill your cupboards with these anti-inflammatory foods to improve your joint pain, whether you suffer from gout, rheumatoid or osteoarthritis…
Alas, there’s no magic meal that cures arthritis – it is incurable. But you could manage your symptoms with smart food choices. Think wholegrains, fresh fruits and veggies packed with the very nutrients known to reduce painful inflammation everywhere – from your stiff hips and knees to your sore wrists or swollen joints. Staying trim by eating healthy will also reduce the stress on your joints, so let’s see what’s on the menu…
Snack on strawberries and raspberries for desert or drink a blueberry and blackberry smoothie. Tart cherry juice can also lower your risk of a gout flare up and relieve osteoarthritic joint pain, so why not pour yourself a refreshing glass? See, anthocyanin gives red berries their colouring – and the same nutrient could make your arthritic joints less painful or stiff.
Roast it, crush it in a garlic press or chop it into slices – add fresh garlic to your dressings and salsas, butters, soups or casseroles for a delicate nutty flavour and a little arthritic pain relief. Garlic contains diallyl disulphide which reduces the cartilage-damaging enzymes and fights inflammation to protect your arthritic joints.
Think steamed salmon or mackerel, trout or tuna – fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation in your arthritic joints, reducing your swelling and pain. Better yet, a weekly portion of fish for 10 years could cut your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in half. Steam your fish the healthy way or grill it, but avoid frying it in unhealthy saturated fat.
Not a fish fan? Ask your doctor about taking an omega-3 supplement instead, which you can keep in the freezer to get rid of the fishy aftertaste. Alternatively, try soybeans that are high in protein and fibre, tofu or edamame beans.
It’s given Indian curries a kick for centuries, but this tasty yellow spice can help you manage your chronic arthritis pain by blocking cytokines and damaging enzymes – reducing your joint pain and swelling. Try it with black pepper, which helps your body to absorb it better.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage are full of sulforaphane – helping to prevent or slow down the damage osteoarthritis does to the cartilage in your joints. Why not chuck some into your next stir fry or salad, alongside kale and cauliflower?
Mix Aloe Vera juice, never sap, with a spoonful of apple cider vinegar and ginger to create a natural remedy to ease your painful arthritic joints.
Breakfast on oatmeal or wholegrain cereals, chow down on brown rice or snack on butter-less popcorn – full of inflammation-fighting antioxidants known as polyphenols, helping to relieve the gastric problems linked with rheumatoid arthritis. Wholegrains, such as these, lower the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in your blood, reducing the pain and discomfort in your joints.
Suffer from rheumatoid arthritis? Well, you’ll likely shy away from rhubarb, tomatoes and oranges for fear of a flare up. But vitamin C rich fruits like oranges, grapefruits and limes might protect against osteoarthritis pain – after all, vitamin C is a key ingredient of cartilage.
Eating well gives your body the nutrients it needs to fight painful inflammation in your arthritic joints. But you can also improve your painful symptoms by staying trim with exercise – being a healthy weight reduces the chance of your arthritis progressing, because there’s less burden on weight-baring joints such as your back, knees, hips and ankles.
The pressure on your knee joints is 5-6 times your body weight when you walk, so even a small weight loss can make a big difference if you have arthritis. Why not get up and about with a rollator or tri-walker, with looped cable breaks that are arthritic friendly, adjustable and easy to use.
Of course, it’s always wise to chat to your GP about any new exercise plan and managing your arthritis.