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The 9 Best Foods for Joint Pain & Arthritis

BY PUREHEALTH RESEARCH | Dec 03, 2021

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Joint pain and arthritis are caused by the swelling of one or more joints, leading to reduced flexibility and limited range of motion. Unfortunately, these symptoms typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis is caused by mechanical wear and tear that damages the cartilage in the joint. This damage leads to inflammation, causing swelling, stiffness, and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where your immune system mistakenly attacks your joints. This inflammation can also affect other body systems. In addition, other diseases can also lead to joint pain, including gout, psoriasis, and lupus.1 2

Evidence shows that certain foods can reduce the inflammatory attack on your joints. So, let’s explore ways to dramatically relieve joint pain and inflammation.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is caused by mechanical wear and tear that damages the cartilage in the joint. This damage leads to inflammation, causing swelling, stiffness, and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where your immune system mistakenly attacks your joints. This inflammation can also affect other body systems. In addition, other diseases can also lead to joint pain, including gout, psoriasis, and lupus.1 2

Evidence shows that certain foods can reduce the inflammatory attack on your joints. So, let’s explore ways to dramatically relieve joint pain and inflammation.

Best Anti-inflammatory Foods

The following foods are excellent for lowering inflammation and rich in nutrients to aid numerous aspects of your health.

1. Fatty Fish & Omega 3

Fatty FishThe best fish loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids are SMASH fish, including salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring, plus tuna. One study showed that eating fish 4 times a week for 8 weeks lowered markers that induced inflammation.3 A review of 17 studies showed that Omega 3 supplements reduced joint pain intensity, morning stiffness, the number of painful joints, and the use of pain relievers used with RA.4

Fatty Fish

The best fish loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids are SMASH fish, including salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring, plus tuna. One study showed that eating fish 4 times a week for 8 weeks lowered markers that induced inflammation.3 A review of 17 studies showed that Omega 3 supplements reduced joint pain intensity, morning stiffness, the number of painful joints, and the use of pain relievers used with RA.4

Similarly, a test-tube study showed Omega 3 fatty acids reduced inflammatory markers in osteoarthritis.5 Also, many studies show a direct link between RA and low vitamin D levels, which could contribute to symptoms. Fish also provides vitamin D and can help replenish this imbalance.

2. Garlic

GarlicGarlic is a phenomenal veggie packed with health benefits. Studies show it has cancer-fighting properties and lowers heart disease and dementia risk.6 7 In addition, one study in 1082 twins found that garlic’s anti-inflammatory effects reduced the risk of hip osteoarthritis. The researchers also noted that one sulfur-based compound helped block the degradation of cartilage.8

Other research suggests garlic may enhance the function and resilience of the immune system, reducing inflammatory markers associated with arthritis.9 So, don’t’ forget to sprinkle some crushed, chopped, or sliced garlic into your foods!

Garlic

Garlic is a phenomenal veggie packed with health benefits. Studies show it has cancer-fighting properties and lowers heart disease and dementia risk.6 7 In addition, one study in 1082 twins found that garlic’s anti-inflammatory effects reduced the risk of hip osteoarthritis. The researchers also noted that one sulfur-based compound helped block the degradation of cartilage.8

Other research suggests garlic may enhance the function and resilience of the immune system, reducing inflammatory markers associated with arthritis.9 So, don’t’ forget to sprinkle some crushed, chopped, or sliced garlic into your foods!

3. Ginger

GingerGinger is excellent for nausea but may also help reduce arthritis symptoms. Studies show that two compounds, paradol, and shogaol, blocked COX-2 inflammatory enzymes involved in arthritis.10 So, feel free to spice up your tea, soups, stews, and more!

Ginger

Ginger is excellent for nausea but may also help reduce arthritis symptoms. Studies show that two compounds, paradol, and shogaol, blocked COX-2 inflammatory enzymes involved in arthritis.10 So, feel free to spice up your tea, soups, stews, and more!

4. Cruciferous Vegetables – Broccoli

BroccoliBroccoli is truly a megastar vegetable. One study in 1005 women showed cruciferous veggies such as broccoli was linked to lower inflammatory activity.11 Studies show that one potent compound, sulforaphane, blocks the pathway that leads to rheumatoid arthritis.12 These cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy, and more can help decrease arthritis symptoms.

Broccoli

Broccoli is truly a megastar vegetable. One study in 1005 women showed cruciferous veggies such as broccoli was linked to lower inflammatory activity.11 Studies show that one potent compound, sulforaphane, blocks the pathway that leads to rheumatoid arthritis.12 These cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy, and more can help decrease arthritis symptoms.

5. Walnuts

WalnutsWalnuts are nutrient-rich and loaded with phytonutrients and Omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce joint inflammation.13 One study in 90 patients with RA showed those who received Omega 3 versus olive oil had lower joint pain and were able to reduce their arthritis medication.14 You can add chopped walnuts to plain yogurt, salads, or spread walnut butter on gluten-free toast for breakfast!

Walnuts

Walnuts are nutrient-rich and loaded with phytonutrients and Omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce joint inflammation.13 One study in 90 patients with RA showed those who received Omega 3 versus olive oil had lower joint pain and were able to reduce their arthritis medication.14 You can add chopped walnuts to plain yogurt, salads, or spread walnut butter on gluten-free toast for breakfast!

6. Berry Antioxidants

BerryBerries have tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and a unique ability to decrease inflammation. One study in 38,176 women who ate 2 servings of strawberries per week was 14% less likely to get elevated blood inflammatory markers.15 Berries’ beneficial compounds include the antioxidants quercetin and rutin. Rutin is commonly used for reducing osteoarthritis symptoms.16 Studies show that both quercetin and rutin help decrease arthritis inflammation.17 18

Antioxidants help reduce joint pain and protect cells from damaging free radicals that lead to disease and premature aging. So, grab a delicious handful at every opportunity, such as adding it to plain yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies!

Berry

Berries have tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and a unique ability to decrease inflammation. One study in 38,176 women who ate 2 servings of strawberries per week was 14% less likely to get elevated blood inflammatory markers.15 Berries’ beneficial compounds include the antioxidants quercetin and rutin. Rutin is commonly used for reducing osteoarthritis symptoms.16 Studies show that both quercetin and rutin help decrease arthritis inflammation.17 18

Antioxidants help reduce joint pain and protect cells from damaging free radicals that lead to disease and premature aging. So, grab a delicious handful at every opportunity, such as adding it to plain yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies!

7. Spinach

SpinachEating more fruits and vegetables has been linked to lower inflammation. Spinach is high in the antioxidant kaempferol. Studies show kaempferol can decrease the markers associated with RA and prevent the progression of osteoarthritis.19 20 So, toss some spinach into your salads and stir fry for mega rewards.

Spinach

Eating more fruits and vegetables has been linked to lower inflammation. Spinach is high in the antioxidant kaempferol. Studies show kaempferol can decrease the markers associated with RA and prevent the progression of osteoarthritis.19 20 So, toss some spinach into your salads and stir fry for mega rewards.

8. Grapes

GrapesDelicious and nutritious grapes are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. And they're rich in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant. One test-tube study showed it helped prevent the thickening of arthritic joints by preventing the formation of rheumatoid arthritis cells.21 Additionally, another test-tube study of a different compound, called Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract (GSPE), showed a substantial reduction in several inflammatory markers associated with arthritis.22

Grapes

Delicious and nutritious grapes are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. And they're rich in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant. One test-tube study showed it helped prevent the thickening of arthritic joints by preventing the formation of rheumatoid arthritis cells.21 Additionally, another test-tube study of a different compound, called Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract (GSPE), showed a substantial reduction in several inflammatory markers associated with arthritis.22

9. Tart Cherry Juice

CherryAnd lastly, tart cherry juice has grown in popularity for its health benefits. Studies show that regular intake of unsweetened tart cherry juice significantly decreases inflammation and symptoms of osteoarthritis.23 24

Eating a healthy diet delivers real rewards across the health board, especially as you get older. Managing your weight reduces the load on your joints. Exercise keeps you flexible, and that movement is the only way your synovial joints receive critical nutrients to heal, so keep moving. And as you can see, these delicious and healthy foods help restore balance to your immune system, reducing and even blocking your joint inflammation and pain. So, load up on goodness and you’ll be dancing the night away in no time!

Cherry

And lastly, tart cherry juice has grown in popularity for its health benefits. Studies show that regular intake of unsweetened tart cherry juice significantly decreases inflammation and symptoms of osteoarthritis.23 24

Eating a healthy diet delivers real rewards across the health board, especially as you get older. Managing your weight reduces the load on your joints. Exercise keeps you flexible, and that movement is the only way your synovial joints receive critical nutrients to heal, so keep moving. And as you can see, these delicious and healthy foods help restore balance to your immune system, reducing and even blocking your joint inflammation and pain. So, load up on goodness and you’ll be dancing the night away in no time!

REFERENCES:
  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353648
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19390588/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17335973/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19217322/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25586902/
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  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3018463/
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  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11437391/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24630682/
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  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19458020/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8003055/
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17906180/
  16. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-270/rutin
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16807698/
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11680812/
  19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23934131/
  20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28806392/
  21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16951511/
  22. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23759204/
  23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23727631/
  24. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279508007_Efficacy_of_Tart_Cherry_Juice_to_Reduce_Inflammation_Biomarkers_among_Women_with_Inflammatory_Osteoarthritis_OA
  25. https://www.mdorthospecialists.com/blog/10-foods-that-can-help-relieve-joint-pain
  26. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353648#dialogId42084152
  27. https://reneenutrition.com/salmon-dinner/
  28. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990#benefits
  29. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/crunchy-and-cruciferous-youll-love-this-special-family-of-veggies/
  30. https://www.istockphoto.com/search/2/image?phrase=walnut
  31. https://healthyfitnessmeals.com/mixed-berry-fruit-salad/
  32. https://depositphotos.com/stock-photos/spinach.html
  33. https://www.istockphoto.com/search/2/image?phrase=grapes+in+a+bowl
  34. https://www.istockphoto.com/search/2/image?phrase=tart+cherries
  35. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322603
  36. https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/features/joints-food
  37. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/nutrition/healthy-eating/12-best-foods-for-arthritis
  38. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-to-avoid-arthritis
  39. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-foods-for-arthritis
  40. https://www.healthline.com/health/joint-pain#causes
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