Arthritis (joint pain and swelling) is a painful condition that plagues many people, over 50 million sufferers in the United States alone. Joint pain can present itself in many forms including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid (juvenile and adult), spondyloarthropathies (i.e., ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's syndrome), Sjogren's syndrome, fibromyalgia, gout, lupus, infectious-type, and Kawasaki syndrome, all of which affect joint mobility.
At the root of all arthritis is inflammation which is accompanied by redness, stiffness, swelling and tenderness. Inflammation destroys the cartilage and tissues surrounding the joints. Many people rely solely on over-the-counter and prescription medication to control their arthritic symptoms, but find the side effects can sometimes be even more troublesome than the arthritis pain itself. There are other more natural treatment options, one of which relies on eating foods that are anti inflammatory, and eliminating those that promote inflammation.
Proper diet and nutrition is at the heart of health in general, but by eating a diet rich in foods that are anti inflammatory, one can better control their arthritis and other joint pain conditions. As with any diet, it is best to consult with your doctor before beginning, or even consult with a nutritionist who can tailor a meal plan to your specific nutritional needs.
Some of the foods that are anti inflammatory that may be recommended for you to eat include those containing sulfur, such as asparagus, eggs, garlic and onions. Sulfur aids in rebuilding bone, tissue and cartilage. There are so many delicious recipes containing these foods right at your fingertips on the internet.
Other inflammation-fighting foods include leafy greens, which are chock full of vitamin K, fresh veggies, non-acidic fruits, whole grains such as steel cut oats and quinoa, and omega 3 fish like salmon. Other fish that are anti inflammatory include mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. Why would you want to take a daily fish oil supplement when you can eat fresh, delicious fish instead? Avoid cooking it in unhealthy vegetable oils (corn, safflower), which have been linked to inflammatory response in the body, and instead use either coconut or extra-virgin olive oil.
Load up on the fresh vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Top your leafy green salads (spinach) with some walnuts or flax seeds for extra anti inflammatory, healing properties. Avoid tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and bell peppers, all known to cause inflammation in the joints due to their high alkaloid content. While starchy white potatoes should be avoided, sweet potatoes on the other hand, are full of fiber and antioxidants that help fight inflammation. (That also means to put down the potato chips and French fries, both of which are highly processed and contain inflammation-inducing vegetable oils).
Speaking of antioxidants, blueberries are another of the foods that are anti inflammatory. Blueberries (and their side kicks strawberries, blackberries, cranberries and raspberries) contain loads of anti inflammatory antioxidants. Other specific fruits that have anti inflammatory properties include pineapple and papaya. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme excellent in reducing bodily inflammation. Papaya is another anti inflammatory fruit. It is best to avoid all acidic fruits and those ridden with preservatives. Therefore, eating plenty of fresh fruits is always best.
There is an abundance of healthy foods that are anti inflammatory that you can get at your grocery store. Not only is it safer and more natural to eat these foods than to depend on chemical-laden medications, but it is also going to save you money in the long run as well as help to ease arthritis joint pain.
The most important step to a healthier life is the change to a healthy diet. Get more information from the free copy of my e-book to make better choices!