Approximately 54 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. If you suffer with any form of arthritis—from gout to rheumatoid arthritis of osteoarthritis to psoriatic arthritis—you realize firsthand the painful and debilitating symptoms these arthritic conditions can cause in your life. Chronic inflammation, joint pain, stiffness, lack of mobility, and joints that radiate heat can wreak chaos throughout the body and in all aspects of your life. Maybe you’re taking a corticosteroid, analgesic, biological response modifier, or disease modifying antirheumatic medications such as kevzara, advil, excedrin, actemra, simponi, or orencia as recommended by your primary care provider.
However, what you eat can significantly increase or help reduce arthritic pain as well:
They top off a sundae and a cocktail nicely, however, did you know that cherries, and the juice of tart cherries in particular, is a potent fighter of inflammation? If you suffer from chronic joint inflammation associated with arthritic symptoms, a study conducted by researchers at Oregon Health and Science University found that 58 patients who drank tart cherry juice for a duration of 6-weeks significantly reduce inflammatory markers and the symptoms triggered (i.e., redness around joints, joint pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility). You can drink or consume tart cherries, just be sure you’re buying unsweetened varieties.
Nut mixes are a great snack for when you’re on the go. Just ask any hiker, they rarely leave home without a bag of GORP (good old raisins and peanuts). However, you can get more creative by mixing the likes of omega-3 fatty nuts (i.e., pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts) with some unsweetened dried fruit (i.e., dried blueberries, cherries, raisins, and cranberries). All nuts are rich in vitamin-E and heart healthy fats that also naturally lower inflammation associated with arthritis.
3. Red and purple grapes
Grapes may be akin to the foods of the ancient gods, but today many arthritis patients are snacking on grapes for their helpful anti-inflammatory benefits. For instance, grapes that are red or purple in color (just like red wine) are rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant that lowers inflammatory markers in the body and blocks cells that trigger arthritis thickening of joints caused by chronic inflammation.
4. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries…
It’s a berry celebration and arthritis patients have wised up to the many benefits within these dark berries. It’s the blue, black, purple, and blue hues of these juicy berries that hold a triad of anti-inflammatory fighters, namely plant compounds referred to as beta-cryptoxanthin, quercetin, and rutin.
5. Prescribed medications
The above named foods often work as extra support to arthritis patients who may also be prescribed medications from their doctor to relieve pain, inflammation, and joint deterioration. Common drugs prescribed by doctors may include Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, as well as Olumiant, Xeljanz, or Kevzara, in cases where first line medications prove ineffective.