It’s true. Certain foods can actually help to ease arthritis symptoms and improve your overall joint health.

Along with the use of medications, a proper diet can curb the inflammatory responses from the body that cause pain. Eating the right foods also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is incredibly important since your hips and knees support most, if not all, of your body weight.

To ease your arthritis pain, try these types of food:

Fatty Fish

Salmon, mackerel and tuna have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Both of these have been found to help reduce inflammation. We recommend a healthy diet that includes fish a couple of times a week. For non-fish eaters, consider fish oil supplements as an alternative.

Dark Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, broccoli and collard greens are great sources for vitamins E and C. Vitamin E works to protect the body against pro-inflammatory molecules. Vitamin C helps the body make collagen, which is a major component of cartilage that aids in joint flexibility.

Nuts

Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts contain high amounts of fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin E and Omega-3 fats which all have anti-inflammatory effects. Nuts are also heart-healthy, which is particularly important for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) since they have twice the risk of heart disease as healthy adults.

Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. Olive oil, combined with vitamin D, has also been shown to protect against bone loss.

Berries

Berries pack a double dose of anti-inflammatory properties. All fruits are high in antioxidants, which can help fight inflammation. Additionally, foods like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries contain anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation.

Garlic and Onions

Believe it or not, but these pungent vegetables contain anti-inflammatory chemicals that have shown to relieve some forms of arthritic pain. As an added bonus, they are also known for their immunity-boosting properties.

Green Tea

This mild-mannered drink contains a natural antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). This ingredient has been shown to stop the production of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body, including those involved in arthritis. Recent studies also suggest that EGCG may prevent cartilage from breaking down, helping to preserve joints longer.

While it’s important to incorporate as many of the items listed above into your diet, there are foods you should try to avoid. Those high in saturated and trans fats – such as red meat, fried food and packaged baked goods – are unhealthy in general and can lead to weight gain, which can make symptoms worse.

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