Odds are you know someone living with arthritis. In America, one in five adults suffers with swelling and joint pain; that is 50 million people total. But it isn’t just adults; about 300,000 children have arthritis, too. There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, the most common of which are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout and fibromyalgia. All forms of arthritis can destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues, creating difficulty with physical movement. The condition is the nation’s leading cause of disability.
One way to help ease the symptoms of arthritis is through proper nutrition. If you have arthritis, your doctor has probably advised you to limit your intake of sugar, processed foods and saturated fat (the kind in red meat and butter). It is also good for you to increase the quantity of fruits, vegetables and lean protein (like fish, nuts, seeds and beans) you consume in your daily diet.
There also are certain foods that have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Eating these foods may give arthritis sufferers some relief from the pain that comes with the disease.
1. Sardines—These tiny fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which offer anti-inflammatory benefits, and are a good source of vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium to build and maintain strong bones.
2. Matcha—This form of powdered green tea leaves, which contain polyphenol, a type of antioxidant, may reduce inflammation and slow cartilage breakdown. Matcha contains a higher concentration of the antioxidant than steeped green tea.
3. Broccoli—A compound in this and other cruciferous veggies, sulforaphane, may block enzymes linked to joint destruction and inhibit inflammation. In addition, broccoli contains vitamin K in abundance, which in high amounts may slow the progression of osteoarthritis.