Arthritis means inflammation of the joints, and the best arthritis diet is an anti-inflammation diet. An anti-inflammatory diet is mostly similar to the so-called Mediterranean diet that involves a lot of vegetables and fruits, fish, whole grains, olive oil, beans and nuts. These are believed to lower blood pressure, prevent inflammation, and help to maintain a healthy body weight. It is also recommended that you avoid processed foods, junk food and foods that are high in saturated fats.
The main symptoms of arthritis include pain and stiffness in the joints, joint swelling and redness, and decreased range of movement in one or more joints in the body. Joint pain and stiffness usually get worse as we age. There are two main types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis that is an autoimmune disorder and osteoarthritis that leads to cartilage breaking down due to wear and tear. An anti-inflammatory diet can help to relieve many symptoms.
Arthritis Diet Top Foods
Some foods are especially important in an arthritis diet. Oily fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that help to fight inflammation. Some of the best sources of omega-3 include mackerel, sardines, salmon, tuna, herring and anchovies. It is recommended that you eat fish at least twice a week. If it is not possible to include fish in your weekly diet, Omega-3 supplements can also help to relieve and prevent joint swelling, pain and stiffness.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, substances that help to repair damage to the body’s cells caused by free radicals. Try to eat several servings of vegetables and fruit every day and include a wide variety of vegetables in your diet. Green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli and cabbage can help to prevent inflammation. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C that plays an important role in keeping the joints healthy. Berries, such as raspberries, cherries, strawberries and blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties.
Olive oil contains omega-3 fats that are healthy to the heart, and it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Other healthy oils include avocado oil and safflower oil. Nuts and seeds are high in monounsaturated fats that can help to prevent inflammation, and they are also a good source of protein and fiber.
Beans are high in fiber and phytonutrients, and they are a good low-fat source of protein. Pinto beans and red kidney beans are especially high in antioxidants. Whole grains are rich in fiber: oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat flower are good options. However some people are sensitive to the gluten found in wheat and in some other grains, and gluten can cause inflammation in those who are sensitive to it.
Nightshade vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant contain many important nutrients, but it is sometimes recommended that you should avoid them if you suffer from joint inflammation. Some people tolerate nightshade vegetables well, but others get relief from inflammation if they avoid the nightshade family. It is a good idea to test if these vegetables cause inflammation in your joints, and if avoiding them for a few weeks helps to relieve arthritis symptoms.