With 54 million patients in America suffering from arthritis, it's one of the most common and irritating chronic conditions.
Many people just accept that they'll never find relief from their symptoms, and only make lifestyle changes to soothe their arthritis pain.
But there are actually plenty of healthy habits that will ease arthritis symptoms, including changing your diet. There's a lot of support for Tumeric when it comes to treating arthritis and joint pain.
Here are five foods to eat if you suffer from arthritis, and five others to avoid:
1. Eat Fish, Not Fatty Oils
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish will ease arthritis pain by reducing inflammation throughout your body. You can enjoy fresh salmon and tuna, or take fish oil supplements to get a steady supply of these healthy fats.
And like omega-3 fatty acids from fish, your body needs omega-6s found in ingredients like corn oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, mayonnaise, and salad dressings.
But you can have too much of a good thing, and overindulging in these foods can trigger painful inflammation.
2. Eat Broccoli, Not Fried Foods
Leafy green vegetables like broccoli are rich in vitamins, so you should already be making them a part of your diet.
But broccoli specifically contains a compound called sulforaphane, which may help to slow the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
The calcium in these veggies will keep the rest of your body in good shape too.
Meanwhile, a 2009 study by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that shrinking the amount of fried food in a patient’s diet also reduced the inflammation that causes their arthritis symptoms.
While this includes fried chicken and other treats, frozen meals are also associated with inflammation and should be avoided as much as possible.
3. Eat Olive Oil, Not Saturated Fats
Fats in olive oil, like oleocanthal, are great for your heart and help fight inflammation.
And yes, "extra virgin" does really mean something. Brands with that label are made only from crushes olives, with no chemicals or filler - so make sure you pick some up.
If olive oil doesn’t suit your taste buds, varieties like safflower and walnut oil are also full of healthy fats.
On the other hand, foods that contain saturated fats have been proven to inflame fat tissue throughout your body.
Arthritis pain is just one side effect of this reaction, which can also affect your heart health.
Cheese is a large source of saturated fat in the American diet, but culprits like red meat, pasta, and processed desserts can be even worse for you.
4. Drink Green Tea, Not Alcohol
A cup of tea will always help you relax, but green tea can also protect your body.
This tea is rich in antioxidants, the free radical-fighting compounds that slow the visible signs of aging. A steady supply of antioxidants can also help keep the cartilage in your joints in good health.
Alcohol, meanwhile, can make your arthritis pain worse.
It’s easy to overlook, but part of your liver’s job is to fight inflammation by helping digestion and detoxifying your body.
When you overwork this organ, for example by drinking to excess, you encourage inflammation which makes your arthritis symptoms even worse.
5. Eat Whole Grains, Not Sugary Treats
Studies have found that a diet with plenty of whole grains will lower the levels of a protein called C-reactive (CRP) in your blood.
Higher levels of CRP are connected to an elevated risk of arthritis, as well as heart disease and diabetes.
While changing from white to brown bread is a good start, enjoying oatmeal and healthy cereals at breakfast is also a healthy choice.
CRP isn't the only reason to avoid white bread: it's also full of sugar.
Certain foods leave compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGE) in your body.
Over time, AGEs damage your body’s proteins, and prompt a reaction that causes inflammation.
Sugary foods including soda, candy, and baked goods with white flour are some of the worst offenders for this reaction, so cut them out of your diet.