According to the National Institutes of Health, about one in five people have arthritis. That means you might have it or you likely know someone who does. For those who want to stay active in retirement, arthritis can get in the way, and the symptoms can be debilitating. Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis, but there are simple ways you can manage the pain.
If you’re going to fight the symptoms of arthritis, minimizing inflammation is the most critical step to finding comfort. Pain medicine is always one option. For those who prefer a more natural route though, a few small dietary changes can make a significant difference. Try incorporating these elements on a daily basis.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acid is the healthiest fat option for you. While some foods can increase inflammation in the body, Omega 3s suppress and decrease inflammation. With the countless studies that have been performed, the benefits of Omega 3s have been confirmed and study participants reported greater strength, as well as reduced joint swelling and tenderness. This is great news for those suffering from arthritis! Curious about what foods to eat to help? Try salmon, sardines, flaxseed and walnuts
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Next time you cook, consider using olive oil instead of vegetable oil or another alternative. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which has antioxidants called polyphenols in it. Polyphenols help protect the body against inflammation. Fish oil is another kind of oil that has a mitigating effect on inflammation, but we recommend taking a fish oil supplement for easy consumption.
Research has shown that some antioxidants can help prevent the onset of arthritis and relieve some of the pain associated with it. For example, Vitamin C helps the production of collagen, which plays a major role in cartilage development. Eating foods like strawberries, mangos, pineapple or broccoli will significantly help with your Vitamin C consumption.
Another well documented antioxidant known for helping arthritis is Selenium. It has been reported that individuals who eat diets with little or no selenium were more likely to have – or develop – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Foods that are high in selenium include: whole wheat pasta, tilapia, crab, shrimp or turkey.
Your dishes don’t have to be boring just because you’re being healthy. Spices are rarely thought of for their nutritional value, but when it comes to anti-inflammatory diets, turmeric and ginger are very potent. Spices can be advantageous to your health. Turmeric, which is best known as a yellow curry seasoning, suppresses inflammatory chemicals in the body. Ginger works similarly to turmeric and anti-inflammatory medicines. Both of these spices are exceptionally flavorful and can add pizazz to even the dullest dishes. Try them in your baked goods, stir frys or even have a ginger drink. Ginger has been known to be a blood thinner too. So, as with anything, if you are already taking blood-thinning medication, please consult a physician before making drastic dietary changes.
What secrets can you share for preventing arthritis from keeping you active?