If you suffer from arthritis, you know just how painful this condition can be. Arthritis is a term referring to a class of diseases that cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It affects people of all ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds.
According to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in four adults with arthritis—15 million people—report experiencing severe joint pain related to arthritis. Additionally, nearly half of adults with arthritis have persistent pain. Remedies include regular exercise and supplements, but what you eat may also help.
Here are five of the best foods for joint pain:
- Ginger and Turmeric – Certain spices have anti-inflammatory effects, like ginger and turmeric. Turmeric is an Asian mustard-yellow spice found in curry. Ginger contains chemicals that work similarly to some anti-inflammatory medications.
- Tart cherries – Some people with arthritis have found relief from products made from tart cherries. The ingredient in cherries that helps with joint symptoms is the same one that gives this fruit its red color—anthocyanin. A study published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage found that subjects who drank tart cherry juice had improvements in the pain and stiffness of OA.
- Fatty fish – Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation. Try adding fish to your diet a couple of times a week. If you’re not a big fan of fish, ask your doctor about taking an omega-3 supplement.
- Kale – These greens are one of the best foods for joint pain and tissue repair since they are rich in Vitamin C and manganese. They also contain copper that helps build collagen for cartilage and ligaments. In fact, most leafy greens help ease joint pain. They supply water to keep joints and muscles hydrated. They are also full of antioxidants and contain anti-inflammatory properties.
- Nuts – Nuts are loaded with healthy fats and antioxidants that help the body fight off and repair damage caused by inflammation. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that over a 15-year period, those who consumed the most nuts had a 51% lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease compared to participants who ate the fewest nuts.