Swelling, pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion in your joints. These are all symptoms of an all-too common condition known as arthritis. In fact, arthritis is so prevalent that it affects upwards of 54 million adults and 300,000 babies and children, and it has over 100 different related conditions. This is according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Rheumatoid arthritis, for one, falls under the autoimmune disease category, meaning that the body’s immune system to mistakenly attacking normal cells for no apparent reason. This means there is no medically known cause or cure.
Even so, many arthritis sufferers have found pain relief through certain food choices that include some of the following.
1. Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, and cabbage are all part of the family of cruciferous vegetables. These wonder foods contain carotenoids, vitamins C, E, and K, folate and are a good source of fiber. However, its the compound sulforaphane found in each has been linked to helping slow cartilage damage in joints due to osteoarthritis.
So, cook up some stir fry or make a salad filled with this goodness. You may find that holding that fork or tongs won’t be quite as painful as it used to be.
Garlic may not get you a second date or goodnight kiss, but it could very well help subside some of your physical pain.
Garlic is a member of the allium family—which also includes onions and leeks. Garlic and these other veggies pack a big punch when it comes to nutrients, including vitamin B6, manganese, selenium and vitamin C. Garlic also contains minerals including phosphorus, calcium, potassium, iron and copper.
However, it’s the sulfur compounds found in garlic (that may or may not cause your bad breath) that could be a key ingredient in ridding you of arthritis pain. In fact, studies have found that these compounds reduce inflammation which is a large contributor to arthritis and joint damage.
If there’s such a thing as a magical drink, it’s water. Keeping your body hydrated is essential to ensure that the toxins are being flushed out of your body. Water lubricates your joints to help prevent gout flare ups.
Also, many people eat, thinking that they are hungry, when in fact, they’re actually thirsty, and in turn consuming extra calories that could lead to unnecessary weight gain. Drinking water, particularly before a meal will cause you to eat less, promoting weight loss. And experts say that being overweight can make arthritis, gout, lupus, fibromyalgia and other joint diseases and conditions worse.
While we’re on the topic of water, let’s talk about the very fruit that bears its name front and center: watermelon.
Watermelon is 92 percent water, which, as we know will help flush out all those toxins, lubricate joints, etc., etc. But, it isn’t just the water content that makes this fruit a fantastic choice for arthritis sufferers. Studies have found that Watermelon consumption improves inflammation and antioxidant capacity. It is also high in the carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin, which can reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Move over salsa. Guacamole is in, and ready to take your dipping skills to the next level.
Avocados are rich and creamy, and it’s not the bad kind (think ice cream). The delightful texture of this fruit is due to its anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fat. Avocados are also rich in the carotenoid lutein, which is a powerful antioxidant. As it turns out, lutein and other antioxidants may protect against the development of rheumatoid arthritis by combating oxidative stress.
Avocados are also a good source of vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient that acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. And excessive free radical damage in the joint is the underlying problem of arthritis and the awful pain associated with it.