Antioxidants for Arthritis
While there’s no question that our eating habits have a big influence on our health, some health experts believe that certain foods can help reduce inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, a number of nutrition experts and health researchers believe that inflammation in the body may be associated with a number of health problems, including arthritis, cancer, heart disease and obesity.
Although the results of this research are still being debated, clinical studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids work the same way in the body as the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen. And most experts agree that trading “junk” or “fast” foods that are processed, sugary or fried for antioxidant-rich foods may lead to a better health overall.
10 Foods that Fight Inflammation
Here are 10 healthy, nutritious foods that the Arthritis Foundation recommends as having anti-inflammatory effects on the body:
- Olive Oil. Extra virgin is best! Try adding 2-3 tablespoons to your daily diet.
- Garlic. Foods from the allium family, such as onions, garlic and leeks are great for reducing inflammation.
- Avocadoes. Avocadoes are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fat and antioxidants, which help protect joints from inflammation.
- Fruit. The brighter, the better! Colorful fruit like strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges are loaded with antioxidants.
- Leafy Vegetables. Some research suggests that Vitamin K-rich vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli dramatically reduce inflammation markers in blood.
- Nuts. Go nuts! Almonds, pistachios and walnuts are all great options and make for a tasty snack.
- Beans. Legumes and beans are loaded with fiber and have the added benefit of being a low-cost protein option.
- Whole Grains. Whole grains are packed with fiber, which helps maintain a healthy weight and lowers C-reactive protein (CRP), a substance in the blood that indicates inflammation. Just be sure to choose grains that are made from the entire kernel!
- Fish. Cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines tend to be the better source of omega-3 fatty acids. Hate fish? Try a fish oil supplement!
- Dark Chocolate. Yes, chocolate! Just be sure to opt for one with minimal sugar and additives, and watch your portions.
For more information on how an anti-inflammatory diet can help arthritis sufferers, see the Arthritis Foundation’s website at www.arthritis.org.