Diet Can Ease Arthritis Symptoms

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An estimated 53 million adults and children in the US are living with arthritis, an umbrella term used for more than 100 different joint conditions. Arthritis is most common among women and occurs more frequently as we age.

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month and the Arthritis Foundation encourages everyone affected by arthritis to make lifestyle changes that can decrease symptoms, including changes in diet.

Researchers have found that certain foods with anti-inflammatory qualities may help to decrease arthritis discomfort. Below are tips from the Arthritis Foundation on how to use food to ease your symptoms:

  • Fish: Certain types of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, both of which are inflammatory proteins in your body. Three to four ounces of salmon, tuna, sardines or anchovies, twice a week, is recommended.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Anti-oxidant rich foods like blueberries, blackberries, cherries, spinach, strawberries, kale and broccoli all support the body's immune system and can help fight inflammation.
  • Nuts and Seeds: The monounsaturated fat, protein and fiber found in nuts and seeds all help to fight inflammation. Best bets include walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds.
  • Beans: Full of fiber, protein, folic acid and a variety of minerals, beans may be beneficial.
  • Olive Oil: Two to three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day (used either in cooking or in salad dressings or other dishes) can deliver enough monounsaturated fat, antioxidants and oleocanthal to help relieve inflammation.
  • Onions: In addition to reducing inflammation, onions have also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and heart disease risk.
  • Salt: People living with arthritis are also encouraged to reduce fluid retention by monitoring salt intake carefully. This includes added table salt as well as canned foods, such as vegetables and soups, and processed foods like some snacks and chips which are typically high in sodium.

For help finding a doctor to help you better manage your arthritis symptoms, visit our website.

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