Can an anti-inflammatory diet relieve arthritis?

There is no cure for arthritis, but new studies show that a healthy, balanced anti-inflammatory diet can greatly improve your health and comfort. Here's what you need to know to get started.

Can an anti-inflammatory diet relieve arthritis?

Things to avoid

Before asking what's in an anti-inflammatory diet, it's helpful to ask what isn't in it. AGE (advanced glycation end products) substances irritate the body and increase joint inflammation. In order to avoid an AGE-ing diet, be sure to avoid the following:

  • Processed foods like baked goods or pasta;
  • Fried foods;
  • Sugar found in candies, sodas, and white flour baked goods;
  • Alcohol and tobacco;
  • Salt and preservatives in food;
  • Foods cooked at very high temperatures (e.g., grilled or fried);
  • For some people, dairy products such as milk and cheese.

What you can do: Implement change slowly, as a baby steps are much more likely to step. They also give you the time to put habits into place you'll need to avoid these types of foods, such as reading labels to know what's in the food you're buying. Replace these foods with fresh fruits, vegetables, and low-fat meat and fish. Over time, you'll naturally begin to eat more simply by avoiding an AGE-ing diet.

Foods that help decrease inflammation

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important to keeping your energy up. However, you can create a diet out of arthritis-fighting foods. For example, fish such as salmon and tuna contain Omega-3's fats which have been shown to help reduce inflammation. These have been shown to help too:

  • Cauliflower: cauliflower is rich in Vitamin K which helps to regulate your body's inflammation response.
  • Olive Oil: olive oil contains oleocanthal, a substance that blocks the enzymes that cause inflammation. Health News reports that 3 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil has the anti-inflammatory power equivalent of 200 milligrams of ibuprofen, meaning it can seriously help manage arthritis pain.
  • Cherries: cherry juice is given to runners after marathons to reduce swelling and inflammation. It works to manage arthritis symptoms as well for the same reasons.

Start to add these foods as part of your healthy, balanced diet.

What else can you do to reduce arthritis pain and increase your health?

Support your healthy anti-inflammatory diet with moderate exercise that is easy on the joints and helps relieve arthritis. These include swimming, water aerobics, stationary biking, and walking. Aim to exercise for 20 minutes three-to-five times per week for maximum benefits.

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