If you have arthritis, you already have some damage to your bones or joints. Although there is no way to completely erase the damage, there are ways to help alleviate some of the pain and protect your joints from further deterioration by changing your diet or adding beneficial nutrients.
Choose Foods Rich in Omega-3 Acids
Arthritis results from a chronic inflammation in the body. Anti-inflammatory foods help keep inflammation under control, thereby lessening pain from the condition. Incorporate foods that are high in omega-3 acids like wild salmon, herring and mackerel. Use oils such as olive oil and flaxseed oil in your cooking. Other protein sources that are high in omega-3 acids are nuts and seeds, especially walnuts and Brazil nuts. Avoid inflammation triggers such as red meat, refined grains and sugar.
Eat Calcium-Rich Fruits and Vegetables
In addition to their anti-inflammatory properties, many fruits and vegetables are a good source of calcium, which is one of the building blocks for strong bones and healthy cartilage in the joints. But other nutrients in fruits and vegetables such as Vitamin K in leafy greens and boron in prunes may make the calcium more beneficial than the calcium in many dairy foods. Good sources of these nutrients are spinach, kale, broccoli and romaine, almonds, raisins and many others.
The most absorbable form of Vitamin D is D3. Vitamin D is essential for calcium to be absorbed properly. These two nutrients work together to maintain healthy bones and joints. The food sources of Vitamin D are eggs, fatty fish, fortified cereals and dairy. Enjoy your coffee in 10-15 minutes of morning sun and your body can produce all the Vitamin D it needs for the day. A specialist from Alberta Back and Neck Rehab and Sports Injury Clinic advises arthritis sufferers to ask their physicians to test their Vitamin D level. If it is too low, you can add a supplement of about 2000 international units (IU) of D3 per day.
Herbs With Anti-inflammatory Properties
Many herbs and herbal supplements have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. Turmeric and ginger are the most commonly used herbs for this purpose. However, there are many others such as pine bark extract, grapeseed extract and boswellia, to name a few. Most herbs are alkalizing and anti-inflammatory, so using them to flavor your food may improve your arthritis pain as well. Most are also available as supplements. Before using them, check with your doctor to ensure they are compatible with any medicines you take.
It is best to eat a wide variety of these nutrient-rich foods each day. All these nutrients working together over a prolonged period are what helps decrease inflammation, heal joints and ease pain.