Joint pain is a common malady debilitating many people. Millions of Americans suffer from joint pain, and arthritis is the leading cause of disability among adults in the country.
For people who struggle with daily pain in their joints, the search for relief can be constant. The good news is there are some natural and tasty options that may help keep joint pain at bay. Certain foods contain anti-inflammatory components that are beneficial for joint-pain sufferers. Here are six foods that can help relieve inflamed joints.
Studies have shown cherries reduce inflammation due to the anthocyanins that give them their bright red color. If cherries aren’t your flavor, other dark berries like blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries also provide similar benefits for your joints.
The Mediterranean diet has a wide array of health benefits, and it can help with joint pain as well. Some research has shown the diet can reduce pain in osteoarthritis sufferers. The diet generally consists of fruits and vegetables, unsaturated fats like olive oil, high amounts of fish, and low amounts of red meat. It is believed to have benefits similar to using nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.
Certain kinds of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and pain. Good sources of omega-3 are salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, and herring. Omega-3 can also be found in other foods, including soy, walnuts, pecans, and flaxseed.
Turmeric may not be a common spice for many people, but adding it to your diet could just be a matter of trying more exotic foods. It is commonly found in curry, as well as other Middle Eastern and South Asian foods. Studies have found the spice can be effective in relieving joint pain. It can be used as a supplement or just consumed in delicious food.
Extra virgin olive oil and other healthy oils have properties that can reduce inflammation and help with joint pain. Oleocanthal, which is found in olive oil, can have similar effects as nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin. Olive oil and other oils also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
According to Greg McCammond, executive chef at Mountain View Rehabilitation and Care Center, diet is an important part of joint pain management. “We use a lot of salmon, blue and blackberries, whole butter, green and herbal teas, tuna, yogurt, green curry and a lot of olive oil,” he says. “If you see a sheen on top of the toilet after you go, that’s a good sign that you’re getting an abundance of lubricating oils.”
Whole grains can reduce inflammation by lowering the level of a certain protein in the blood. This protein, called CRP, is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other ailments. A variety of foods are rich in whole grains, including oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and other foods. Stick to whole wheat bread, rather than white bread, and pick whole grain cereals.
Living with joint pain can make some activities difficult or even impossible. Fortunately, eating right can help reduce this pain. Talk with your doctor about how to treat your joint pain and whether dietary changes can improve your quality of life. Then it’s time to eat, drink, and enjoy relaxed joints.