Although arthritis doesn’t have a cure, there are certain things you can do to alleviate the pain. Some of these include participating in activities like yoga, acupuncture, or taking medication. However, there is a natural way to alleviate arthritis pain: eating certain foods that have the power to fight inflammation.
Our bodies naturally produce energy and other metabolic processes — which in turn produces harmful byproducts called free radicals. These little atoms can assist with the development of arthritis since they attack joints and can leave them inflamed. Eating cruciferous vegetables can block the inflammatory side effects, and even slow down cartilage damage in joints because these vegetables are full sulforaphane, which is a free-radical fighting compound.
To incorporate more cruciferous vegetables into your diet, try adding brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy, swiss chard, cauliflower, or broccoli to your salad or stir-fry. It’s also relatively easy to add broccoli as a side dish to your meal or to incorporate it into a pasta dish. In addition, these days it’s become quite popular to substitute cauliflower for carbohydrates, so you may want to try some of these recipes.
The human body can make most of the types of fats it needs, however, it doesn’t make omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats can reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of arthritis, says the University of Maryland Medical Center.
To incorporate more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, try incorporating more fish into your meals. Salmon, trout, sardines and mackerel can easily be the main course for your dinners. You can also eat more tuna by making tuna fish sandwiches or tuna noodle casserole. If you’re not a fan of fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts can make excellent snacks during the workday or can easily be incorporated into smoothies.
You’ve probably never heard of the word allium, but you’ve certainly heard of the vegetables that are in this category. Onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots not only add rich flavor to your foods, but they provide a compound called diallyl disulfide, which can fight arthritis. “This compound may have some effect in limiting cartilage-damaging enzymes,” which can cause the inflammation that’s commonly associated with arthritis, says rheumatologist Scott Zashin, MD, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
Olive oil has been shown to reduce pain and stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Diets that are rich in olive oil, like the Mediterranean diet, is an easy way to incorporate more of the product into your diet. Not only that, but the healthy fats found in olive oil can provide you with a similar satisfaction to using full-fat dairy products like butter. Feel free to swap out buttered rolls for bread dipped in olive oil and other spices or add extra flavor to your vegetables by tossing them in olive oil!