Arthritis causes joints to become swollen and inflamed. Nutrition alone is not a cure-all, but a diet that includes these eight anti-inflammatory foods can help manage inflammation and reduce swelling in arthritic joints.
Delicious foods are one of life’s pleasures. So is the range of motion and active lifestyle that comes with flexible, healthy joints. Sometimes, one pleasure can help to support another.
If you have arthritis, you can help to preserve an active lifestyle by stocking your kitchen with foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a simple choice you can make to help delay or manage the development of inflamed, swollen joints. By including these foods in your diet, you have a better chance of helping to keep your fingers, ankles, and other joints limber longer. Try eating some or all of the following eight foods on a regular basis. Your joints will thank you.
- Olive oil. This fragrant oil is rich in oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that helps to control inflammation. Use extra virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil when you cook, and toss a little into your salads to benefit your joints. Other healthy oil choices include grape seed and avocado oils. An added benefit: these oils are good for your heart and brain, too.
- Fish. We all need protein. Unlike red meat, which can actually trigger inflammation, fish is high in the omega-3 fatty acid known to help control inflammation. Good choices include salmon, snapper, tuna, cod, halibut, and bass.
- Nuts. Crunchy nuts are satisfying snacks with great health benefits. Keep walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts on hand and reach for them when you feel hungry between meals.
- Fruits. If you crave a sweeter choice at snack time, choose an apple, blueberries, cherries, pineapple, raspberries, or strawberries.
- Garlic. This favorite of Italian cooks does wonderful things for your joints while it is flavoring your favorite dishes.
- Herbs. The nutrients in herbs are most beneficial when you use them while they are fresh, so gardeners might consider including an herb garden next to the tomatoes and other vegetables they cultivate. Good choices include mint, basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.
- Chocolate. It’s hard to imagine anyone being unhappy about including chocolate in his or her diet. This popular sweet will benefit your joints as long as you choose chocolate options that are at least 70 percent pure cocoa.
- Green tea. This comforting beverage is a healthy choice. Drink it cold during warm summer days. In the dead of winter, there’s nothing cozier than a hot cup of tea and lemon. Knowing that every sip is good for your joints makes that afternoon cup of tea even more satisfying.
Adding these foods to your shopping list will enrich the omega acids and antioxidants in your diet. Choose the freshest options you can find to maximize nutrients. You’ll add appealing color and taste to your menu while you fight joint inflammation and protect your quality of life.
When to seek treatment for your arthritis
Arthritis doesn’t have to spell the end of an active life. If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. We work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons will consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options. Summit is home to innovative joint replacement options. Our Vadnais Heights Surgery Center is one of only two surgery centers nationally to receive The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.
Start your journey to healthier joints. Find your arthritis expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
More resources for you
- Where Can I Find Reliable Nutrition Information Online?
- The Right Diet Can Help Manage Osteoarthritis
- Exercise Goals For Osteoarthritic Joints
- Living Well With Arthritis