Osteoarthritis can cause severe pain and greatly impact your quality of life. The foods you eat could make you feel better.
The pain from osteoarthritis comes when the cartilage that cushions the space between bones wears away. It’s often in the hands, spine, knees, and hips and happens with age and overuse. Once the area is bare, the bones rub against each other, causing the pain.
Medications have often been a method of treatment, but research has shown diet can also help.
Foods to Limit
Before getting to the foods that can help osteoarthritis, first some foods to limit. They can cause inflammation.
- Fried foods
- Omega-6 fatty acids from egg yolks and red meat
- Packaged and processed sugary foods like cakes, crackers, and other baked goods
- Sugary drinks like fruit juice
Foods to Include in Your Diet
No single food can fix osteoarthritis, but some can help reduce the symptoms. Overall, cutting extra calories can help reduce weight which will put less stress on your joints.
Include Fruits and Vegetables
Many fruits and vegetables have antioxidants that can reduce joint inflammation and pain. Apples, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, onions, shallots, and green leafy vegetables are great. Bananas are high in magnesium and potassium which can help reduce arthritis symptoms. Pineapple contains bromelain which is an enzyme that can reduce inflammation. Vitamin B3 in peanut butter can also improve flexibility and reduce inflammation, but it’s high in calories.
Vitamin C is also good for joint health because it can help build collagen and connective tissue. Citrus fruits, red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage, and kale have a lot of vitamin C in them.
Make Sure Fish is Part of Your Diet
The Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish like trout, salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, and sardines are great for your joints. Walnuts and flax seeds are also good sources of Omega-3s.
Good Herbs and Spices
Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties as do ginger and turmeric. They contain COX-2 inhibitors which are naturally-occurring anti-inflammatory compounds. These are similar compounds to the ones in some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
A compound called oleocanthal, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is in extra virgin olive oil. Studies have shown lots of it can have the same anti-inflammatory effects as ibuprofen, but it’s unrealistic to drink that much olive oil and it has a lot of calories. Those same studies suggest longer term use of smaller quantities of olive oil might be good for the body.
For the most impact, use olive oils in place of other cooking fats like butter.
Ready for Relief?
Diet can help reduce the pain that comes from osteoarthritis, but medical intervention can also help. At Pain Stop North Phoenix, we help our patients by offering a comprehensive, well-rounded approach to pain management and treatment. Our team of doctors, family nurse practitioners, chiropractors and massage therapists will provide you with an accurate diagnosis, and the most advanced treatments available today. Contact us today for your personal consultation and to learn more about how we can help!