If you’re one of the millions of people suffering from arthritis, you know that the pain and stiffness can be debilitating. And while there’s no cure for arthritis yet, there are certain foods that can help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with the condition.
In fact, a study conducted by Arthritis Care and Research found that 24% of people with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet impacted the severity of their symptoms.
But with so many options out there, it can be tough to know which specific foods are good for your arthritis and which ones might actually make your inflammation worse…
To get you started on your road to recovery, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best anti-inflammatory foods for arthritis that you should be incorporating into your diet to ease your pain.
Not only for Pppeye, spinach is packed with vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium that help reduce inflammation.
It’s also full of antioxidants that can help fight damage to your cells and reduce the inflammation that’s causing your arthritis symptoms.
The antioxidant in spinach known as Kaempferol appears to counteract the effects of inflammatory agents associated with rheumatoid arthritis, according to research published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine. (1)
Known for its numerous health benefits, garlic is a great way to reduce inflammation and pain in arthritis sufferers.
Allicin, the main compound in garlic, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties, blocking some of the compounds that cause inflammation.
Researchers reviewed the diets of 1,082 twins and discovered that those who ate more garlic had a lower risk of developing hip osteoarthritis. This is likely due to the anti-inflammatory properties of garlic. (2)
With its potent anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is a great way to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis.
Researchers examined ginger extract’s effects on 261 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and after six weeks, 63% of participants experienced an improvement in pain. (3)
Ginger may also help reduce the risk of developing arthritis in the first place by inhibiting the inflammatory cytokines that can damage cartilage.
Used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, turmeric is well-known for its strong anti-inflammatory properties.
This is largely due to curcumin, the main active compound in turmeric, which has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of inflammation in a variety of medical conditions.
The anti-inflammatory power of curcumin is so potent that researchers found it to be more effective than the prescription drug Diclofenac in people with rheumatoid arthritis! (4)
(psst… some of our founders have turmeric every morning with warm water and a sprinkle of crushed black pepper to activate the healing properties…if you feel like giving it a try, add a little lemon and/or Apple Cider Vinegar…)
5. Whole Grains
A diet high in whole grains is a great way to reduce inflammation and pain in arthritis sufferers.
Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, and quinoa are high in fiber and antioxidants, which help to find and eliminate free radicals that can cause inflammation.
Whole grains have been shown to lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the blood, which is a marker of inflammation. (5)
Omega 3s have been widely regarded as one of the best nutrients for reducing inflammation and pain in arthritis sufferers, and for good reason!
Fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation in a variety of tissues, including the joints.
Taking omega-3 daily decreased joint pain intensity, morning stiffness, painful joints, and the use of pain relievers in patients with rheumatoid arthritis according to an analysis of 17 studies. (6)
Fish are also a good source of Vitamin D, and a lot of studies have found that rheumatoid arthritis may in fact be linked to low levels of Vitamin D.
Cherries, especially tart cherries, are high in anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that can improve joint function and reduce inflammation in the body.
The beneficial anti-inflammatory properties in cherries have been compared with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by some researchers.
Several studies have found that tart cherries may relieve joint pain in osteoarthritis (OA) patients and reduce flare-up risk in gout patients.
Recent studies have also suggested tart cherries could improve sleep quality and duration, which is especially important since poor sleep can worsen pain and inflammation levels in those with arthritis.
Broccoli is not only one of the healthiest vegetables around, but it’s also great for reducing inflammation and pain in arthritis sufferers.
It’s full of a substance called sulforaphane, which has been shown to block the formation of a type of cell involved in rheumatoid arthritis development. (7)
Not only that, but a study of over 1000 women found that those who ate a lot of cruciverbal vegetables, like broccoli, had decreased levels of inflammatory markers in their blood.
Nuts are another great source of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids we spoke about before, and they also contain high levels of Vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc, which are all essential nutrients when it comes to reducing inflammation.
Nuts are also fantastic for your heart health, which is extremely important for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as they have twice the risk of heart disease as healthy adults.
In addition to all of these amazing benefits, nuts are also a great source of protein without the inflammation-causing properties of some meat proteins.
10. Green Tea
Okay, it’s not technically a food, but green tea is definitely worth mentioning when it comes to reducing inflammation in the body.
Green tea is full of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation.
According to a 2016 study, patients who received a combined non-drug treatment of green tea and supervised exercise showed significant improvements in disease activity parameters such as CRP, ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), Tender Joint Count, and Swollen Joint Count. (8)
So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, load up on these anti-inflammatory foods to help keep your pain and inflammation under control!
And if you still find yourself struggling with the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis, we’re here to help!
Here at Kineon (formerly Reviiv Light), we’re helping people get back on their feet with the latest in red light therapy technology, that targets the source of pain to support and aid recovery.
We’ve created the Move+, a red light therapy device, to help increase blood flow, reduce inflammation, and reduce pain by stimulating cell signaling.
These benefits have been validated by a series of clinical studies, including hundreds of human trials.
Wearing the Move+ red light therapy device resulted in significant benefits (like reducing pain and inflammation) for most participants, with many still feeling the effects months later.
With just 5 minutes of usage a day, the Move+ provides a safe, effective, red light therapy treatment, so you can support your joint health and get back to moving pain-free again.
For more on red light therapy and arthritis, read:
- Osteoarthritis VS Rheumatoid Arthritis & The Effects of Light Therapy
- Exercising With Arthritis: What You Need To Know
- Top 7 Life Hacks for People Living With Arthritis