Arthritis, a form of rheumatic disease, is characterized by inflammation and loss of function in some parts of the body. Osteoarthritis damages cartilage, joints, and bones. It’s the most common type of arthritis, affecting more than 27 million Americans according to the CDC.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another form of arthritis that attacks the synovial lining of joints, causing pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function. A growing body of research suggests that dietary changes may help alleviate the chronic pain associated with this condition.
Click through the slideshow to see which eight foods to add to your daily diet.
A substantial amount of research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may prevent inflammation in the body and reduce symptoms associated with arthritis. Researchers from the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health have discovered that the COX-2 enzymes that cause joint inflammation are more active when you eat a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-6 fats are prevalent in the American diet, found in meat, corn, snack foods, and sunflower oil. Try reducing your intake of these fats while increasing your consumption of healthy omega-3 fats, which are found in salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, flaxseeds and walnuts.
Apparently, Mom knew what she was talking about when she told you to eat your broccoli. According to a Mayo Clinic 11-year study, broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables were shown to protect against the development of arthritis.
Although this study examined the chance of arthritis development rather than pain management, it wouldn’t hurt to add cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and bok choy to your regular diet.