If you or anyone you know suffers from arthritis, you know the struggle is real. With arthritis comes great responsibility: choosing the right diet can make or break your joints (kidding…kind of!). Eating fatty foods can cause unhealthy weight gain and put pressure on your joints that will increase the pain and discomfort. Keep it simple with lots of whole grains, fruits, and veggies. To help you narrow all the choices down, HFR and Samir Becic, author of new book ReSYNC Your Life, brings you the top 10 foods and nutrients to eat to treat your arthritis and your health:
Foods Rich in Calcium: You know how your mom told you if you didn’t drink milk, your bones would break? There’s some truth to be said for that! Dairy products that are low in fat like milk and yogurt are full of calcium and vitamin D, which can help increase the strength in your bones and joints. If you happen to be lactose intolerant, try eating other vitamin D-rich foods, like leafy green vegetables.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential to helping your deteriorating joints in the sense that it slows down the progression of osteoarthritis, something you can develop as you get older. If you want to increase vitamin C in your diet, try eating fruits like strawberries, pineapple, or kiwis.
- Broccoli: Another food rich in vitamin C, broccoli is another good choice for your joints. Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that can help prevent and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Also rich in calcium, broccoli in a no-brainer for your dinner salad tonight.
- Garlic: Get the breath mints out, because you’re going to need them for this one. Garlic contains diallyl disulfide, a compound that can help alleviate arthritis. You can incorporate garlic into your foods by adding some with your chicken or pasta with a little parmesan cheese. Yum!
- Fish: Keep the gum out for this one too, because this source of protein is going to leave your breath stinky too! Fish are full of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the inflammation in your joints and give you relief of pain. Try eating at least 3 to 4 ounces of fish twice a week to achieve these results. You can eat a tuna sandwich for lunch and salmon and potatoes for dinner, healthy and tasty!
- Soy: Similar to fish, soy contains the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but doesn’t have the same fishy aftertaste. If you don’t have it in you to eat fish, try eating soybeans with your meals. Soybeans are low in fat, with lots of protein and fiber.
- Tart cherries: If you suffer from arthritis, you can possibly find some relief with tart cherries. Tart cherries contain an ingredient called anthocyanin that gives the cherries their red color and can help reduce the pain in your achy joints. You can find tart cherry supplements at your local grocery store or can eat the actual cherries themselves from a farmer’s market.
- Green tea: Full of polyphenols (an antioxidant that reduces inflammation), green tea is another easy go-to for healthy joints. Studies have also shown that another antioxidant in green tea that can be beneficial to your joints is epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which can cancel the molecules that come together to cause joint damage. Now you have a valid excuse for a Starbucks run!
- Citrus: An orange a day keeps the doctor away! Fruits like oranges are rich in vitamin C, which we know is a holy grail for treating inflammation in your joints. Try eating an orange or grapefruit for breakfast to help maintain healthy joints and prevent osteoarthritis.
- Grains: Whole grains are going to become your new best friend. In whole grains, there is a protein called CRP, which can help reduce inflammation and reduce risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Eating a breakfast like whole-grain cereal or oatmeal is a great way to get those nutrients without having to sacrifice taste or flavor.