Arthritis comes in many forms. In rheumatoid arthritis, for instance, the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks joints. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage between joints wears away. But no matter the type, arthritis is always a disease of inflammation.
Anything that helps fight inflammation in the body could be an effective way to treat it — including food!
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that a Mediterranean style diet could help with arthritis, according to Prevention.com. Though the number of studies showing this are limited, experts believe that the diet can help reduce inflammation in the body, and thus tame arthritis.
Here are five foods to help treat arthritis and manage its symptoms:
1) Cold water fish
Fish like salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and halibut are packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids. These fatty acids reduce the inflammation in the body by suppressing the production of certain proteins and enzymes which wear away cartilage.
These foods can reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and numerous studies have shown that participants who consumed an diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids had more strength and less fatigue.
Participants also experienced reduction in joint swelling, tenderness, morning stiffness and pain, compared to those on a regular diet, according to nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY show, Joy Bauer.
So add these fish to your diet and enjoy them at least twice a week to reap the health benefits. According to the American Heart Association, each serving should be 3.5 ounce cooked, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish.
2) Olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil contains fats that can protect the body against inflammation. EVOO is rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can help reduce arthritis-related inflammation.
Add olive oil it to your salad dressings, drizzle it over your dishes, and enjoy it in your cooking. Just make sure you use it in place of other oils and fats and not in addition to them! Moderation is key here.