Ginger and Turmeric
Like fruits and vegetables, spices contain beneficial phytonutrients that can have powerful effects on health. Certain spices seem to have anti–inflammatory effects, and therefore should be considered for arthritis treatment. Among the most promising are turmeric — the Asian mustard–yellow spice found in curry — and ginger. Because ginger contains chemicals that work similarly to some anti–inflammatory medications, the benefits of ginger for arthritis pain are not surprising. Get creative: grate fresh ginger into stir fries, steep ginger with tea, or bake healthy ginger muffins.
Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that help reduce inflammation by inhibiting production of certain inflammatory chemicals. These compounds contribute to the health of connective tissue, and are even more powerful than vitamin C for defusing dangerous free radicals that can irritate body tissues and cause inflammation. Some of the best foods for anthocyanins include cherries, berries (blackberries, blueberries, elderberries, raspberries, boysenberries, strawberries, etc.), black currents, eggplant, red and black grapes, and plums.
Vitamin C is one of the nutrients most responsible for the health of collagen, a major component of cartilage. In addition, research suggests that people who eat a diet low in vitamin C may have a greater risk of developing some kinds of arthritis. For those reasons, it is important to make vitamin C-rich foods — such as guava, bell peppers (yellow, red, orange, and green), oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, pineapple, broccoli, kidney beans, kiwi, and cauliflower — a part of your daily diet. (High-dose vitamin C supplements can actually be harmful for osteoarthritis sufferers, so talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.)