Arthritis-induced inflammation can greatly decrease an individual’s quality of life. As such, many people who suffer from this health condition want to do everything they can to reduce the pain and stiffness they experience.
In combination with medical treatments, patients with arthritis often find that dietary changes make a significant difference in the severity of their symptoms.
Let’s explore several anti-inflammatory foods to try, as well as a couple of inflammatory foods to avoid if you have arthritis.
Usually, a few simple dietary changes can make a big difference in the degree of pain and stiffness those with arthritis experience. Try a few servings of these food items each week for inflammatory reduction.
- Fish: Fish products like salmon, herring, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent at reducing inflammation in the body.
- Soy: If you don’t eat fish, soy products like tofu or edamame are another great source of omega-3s.
- Natural Oils: If you cook with oils, try switching out vegetable oil and other cooking greases with olive, avocado, or walnut oil (unless you have a nut allergy) to reduce inflammation while still cooking delicious foods.
- Dairy: Certain dairy products like cheese, and yogurt are good for reducing inflammation. However, try to eat products with as few additives as possible for the best effect (ex: reduced sugars).
- Whole Grain: Swap out white bread, pasta, and rice for whole-wheat or whole-grain products. They’re a more complex carbohydrate and contain fewer sugars than simple carbs.
- Garlic: Not only does garlic enhance the flavor of food, but it’s also a natural antibiotic as well as an anti-inflammatory herb.
Inflammatory Foods to Avoid
In addition to enhancing your diet with anti-inflammatory foods, there are a few items you may want to avoid in order to make the most of your healthy new diet.
Foods that are heavily processed, high in sugars, and/or cooked in vegetable oils tend to trigger inflammatory responses. The same can be said for simple carbohydrates, red meat, and alcohol, so limiting your consumption of these items will likely reduce the inflammation brought on by arthritis.
As always, if you have a medical condition like arthritis, it’s important to keep you with regular visits to your rheumatologist and general care provider. Discuss any dietary plans you’re thinking about trying during your visit. This way, you can make positive changes with medical guidance.