Arthritis is recognized as a form of rheumatic disease and can be characterized by various symptoms, including pain, loss of function in particular parts of the body and inflammation. A type of this disease called "osteoarthritis" is capable of damaging the joints, cartilage and bones, and is the most common form of arthritis today, impacting the lives of at least 27 million Americans, according to data provided by the CDC. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is another form of this disease that affects the lining of the joints, causing stiffness, pain and swelling, as well as trouble with some functions. Some research studies suggest that there are foods that can relieve arthritis symptoms and dietary changes could help to improve the lives of sufferers.
1.) Olive Oil
One of the first foods that can relieve arthritis symptoms that people should consider is olive oil. The Mediterranean diet and other similar food choices have been shown to reduce stiffness and pain in patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Olive oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties in its oleic acid, containing omega-3 fatty acids, and polyphenols. Simply mix your own salad dressings at home to get more out of olive oil, incorporating your favorite spices and herbs.
When your parents always told you to eat your greens, they knew what they were talking about. According to scientific studies, cauliflower, broccoli and other cruciferous veggies were shown to be useful in protecting against arthritis. Though the study considered arthritis development instead of managing pain, it can't hurt to add some cruciferous vegetables to your diet.
When it comes to finding foods to relieve arthritis symptoms, ginger is another great bet. For thousands of years, this ingredient has been used in treating migraines, colds, nausea and more. Though various clinical studies have reported a mixture of results regarding the impact of ginger on arthritis, evidence has been provided that supports its anti-inflammatory benefits.
4.) Omega-3 Fats
A significant amount of research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids could prevent inflammation within the body and reduce the symptoms that are associated with arthritis. Researchers on nutrition, health and genetics found that the COX 2 enzymes present within joint inflammation can become more active when consuming omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 can be found in corn, meat, snack-foods and sunflower oil. Try to reduce your intake of these foods while increasing the amount of omega-3 fats you get.
5.) Vitamin D
A particularly impressive study which involved no less than 29,000 women without a history of arthritis found that individuals who regularly consumed vitamin D in their diet suffered a lower chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis issues in the future. Aside from oily fish, there are very few foods available that contain vitamin D as part of their natural ingredients, which can make increasing your intake trickier. Certain foods such as bread, and dairy products can be fortified with vitamin D. However, dairy products have been known to aggravate arthritis pain and inflammation. So, instead, get as much sunlight as possible, as this is the best source of vitamin D.