Here’s what you should be eating to reduce pain caused by arthritis

Arthritis is a major problem that a lot of people face as they get older. Based on the estimates of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 54.4 million American adults who suffer from it. This condition is characterized by pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling that can be so extreme that it can interfere with one’s daily activities. Fortunately, recent studies have shown that it can easily be remedied just by eating the right foods.

Arthritis is an inflammatory problem that affects the joints and its surrounding tissues. This highlights the importance of incorporating foods that reduce inflammation in a patient’s diet. Some examples of foods that remedy arthritis include the following:

  • Yogurt — Countless studies have pointed towards the importance of maintaining gut health to treat arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis. This type of arthritis occurs when the immune system mistakes connective tissues in the joints as foreign objects and starts to attack them. Many people with rheumatoid arthritis also exhibit poor gut health, which could be due to an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria residing in it. Additionally, a U.S. study found that eating junk food increased the levels of bad bacteria in the digestive system of mice and caused them to develop osteoarthritis. By eating yogurt, which is rich in beneficial bacteria, the balance in the gut flora can be restored and arthritis can be prevented or remedied.
  • Oats — Patients who suffer from osteoarthritis often have high cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that changes in diet that reduce bad cholesterol in the body by approximately 35 percent reduced knee pain. Oats are rich in soluble fibers that reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Just one serving of oatmeal per day can significantly reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis.
  • Fish — The omega-3 fatty acids present in fishes like mackerel, salmon, and tuna can alleviate arthritis pain. This is because they have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling. Furthermore, some studies claim that omega-3 fatty acids regulate the immune system so that it won’t be overactive.
  • Steak — Beef and lamb meat are rich in protein and iron. This is great for patients with arthritis since the majority of the time they also suffer from anemia, a condition where not enough red blood cells are available to supply oxygen for the whole body. Iron is a crucial component of these cells since it’s the one that carries oxygen, so by increasing its concentration, more red blood cells can be produced.
  • Organic Milk — Patients with arthritis, especially the elderly, have a higher risk of the osteoporosis. This condition leads to weaker bones so it is important to have enough calcium in the body to prevent them from crumbling. Moreover, calcium is involved in immune functions and tissue repair. To get the recommended daily intake of calcium, all you need to do is drink three portions of dairy.

The Mediterranean diet and arthritis

The Mediterranean diet consists of fruits, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, legumes, nuts, fish, lean meat, and olive oil. Following this diet will give you large amounts of antioxidants, omega-3, and monounsaturated fats that are great for the heart. Furthermore, it is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that are great for patients with arthritis. Previous studies have shown that patients who followed this diet for three months experienced significant pain relief and reduced episodes of inflammation. (Related: Mediterranean diet reduces inflammation and degradation of cartilage in osteoarthritis patients.)

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