By Dr. Roy E. Vartabedian
Inflammatory #arthritis is a group of diseases characterized by inflammation of the joints and other tissues. These include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) among others.
Oxidative stress, or the wear and tear process of the internal workings of the body as we process oxygen, can lead to increased inflammation, pain, and progression of inflammatory arthritis. Your diet can play a big role in reducing general inflammation in the body. The right diet rich in nutrients and “anti-oxidants” can help decrease #inflammation, reduce pain, and limit the progression of the disease.
Let’s take a look at the Top 10 best anti-inflammatory foods for arthritis.
1. Salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies and other cold-water fish.
Certain types of fish are rich in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6, two inflammatory proteins in your body. Eat: At least 3 to 4 ounces, twice a week.
2. Colorful foods such as blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, spinach, kale and broccoli.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which support the immune system – the body’s natural defense system – and help fight inflammation. Eat: At least 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of veggies per meal.
3. Walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds.
Nuts are full of inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat, protein and filling fiber, too. Eat: 1.5 ounces of nuts daily (about a handful).
4. Pinto, black, red kidney and garbanzo beans.
Beans have several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. They’re a low-cost source of fiber, protein, folic acid and minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium. Eat: At least one cup, twice a week.
5. Extra virgin olive oil.
Olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, antioxidants and oleocanthal, a compound that can lower inflammation and pain.
Eat: Two to three tablespoons per day for cooking or in salad dressings or other dishes.
Onions are packed with beneficial antioxidants. They may also reduce inflammation, heart disease risk and LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.
Eat: Sautéed, grilled or raw in salads, stir-fries, whole-wheat pasta dishes or sandwiches.
7. Green Tea.
Green tea is packed with polyphenols, antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. Studies also show that another antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate blocks the production of molecules that cause joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Drink: 1+ cups daily.
8. Citrus Fruits.
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and limes are rich in vitamin C. Research shows that getting the right amount of vitamin C aids in preventing inflammatory arthritis and maintaining healthy joints.
Eat: 1+ serving daily.
9. Garlic, leeks and shallots.
These pungent vegetables are all members of the allium family, which are rich in a type of antioxidant called quercetin. Researchers are investigating quercetin’s potential ability to relieve inflammation in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
Eat: Use for added flavor, or cooked with other vegetables.
10. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy and cauliflower contain a natural compound called sulforaphane which blocks the inflammatory process. Research shows diets high in this family of vegetables could help prevent rheumatoid arthritis from developing in the first place.
Healthwise Exercise is proud to bring you information from America's top experts including Dr. Roy Vartabedian, author of New York Times Best Seller: Nutripoints.
See how many of the anti-inflammatory foods you can eat each day and keep inflammation to a minimum. Following these guidelines should help decrease painful symptoms for those with inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis and the others listed in this article.
It’s also important to avoid foods which can actually cause more inflammation. Some of these include: refined sugar, saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, salt, mono-sodium glutamate (MSG), and alcohol.
Try following these tips, and keep a daily journal of your anti-inflammatory foods and foods to avoid eaten—then give your pain and inflammation levels a score on a scale of 1-10 (1-low, 10-high). See the difference your diet can make!
Best wishes for health and success!
Reference: Portions adapted from information by The Arthritis Foundation.
Dr. Roy Vartabedian is a specialist in Clinical Preventive Care and holds a Doctor of Public Health degree from Loma Linda University, and Master of Public Health degrees in Health Education and Nutrition. He is founder and President of Vartabedian & Associates Designs for Wellness, and has worked in the field of health promotion and disease prevention for over 30 years, with patients, managing programs, consulting, and speaking throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. His landmark publication, Nutripoints, a New York Times Best-Seller, has been used in a total of 13 countries in 10 languages worldwide. Visit his website for more information.