Top 6 Superfoods for Arthritis Sufferers

Osteoarthritis is a painfully debilitating condition that causes inflammation and stiffness within joints due to repetitive overuse. Like many other types of arthritis (including the autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis) diet can play a role in both worsening and improving the severity of symptoms when it comes to soothing painful joint inflammation and even improving overall joint function. For example, doctors often recommend patients suffering with arthritis incorporate
Foods and oils naturally rich in antioxidants (i.e., walnuts, flaxseed, turmeric, and fatty fish) into their diets.

Here’s a list of six superfoods to relieve painful arthritis symptoms:

1. Walnuts
Move over almonds, walnuts are the nut of choice when it comes to lowering inflammation linked to joint disease. Not only are walnuts jam-packed with natural anti-inflammatory compounds, they are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been long linked to easing arthritic joints.

2. Berries
Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries sure do make a fine oatmeal topper or smoothie ingredient, however, these little superberries are packed with the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals needed to naturally combat inflammation. All of these colorful berries are loaded with rutin and quercetin, plant compounds linked to blocking the inflammatory process and easing arthritis-related inflammation.

3. Flaxseed
Oils rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and lignans have long been touted as friends to our joints due to their natural anti-inflammatory benefits. However, recent studies say flaxseed consumed whole, ground, or in oil or capsule form daily can decrease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including joint stiffness and pain. It is true that flaxseed is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (or ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that converts to EPA and DHA (the same active ingredients in fish oil), which is also a well known arthritis aid.

4. Fatty fish
Fortunate news for seafood lovers! Incorporating fatty fish, such as trout, mackerel, salmon, and sardines into your diet will naturally boost omega-3 fatty acids and provide a ton of naturally anti-inflammatory benefits to the joints. A 2009 study published by the National Institutes of Health studied a group of arthritic patients who were fed fatty fish four times per week, for a duration of 8 weeks. The findings revealed the fatty fish eaters had significantly less joint pain and inflammation after the 8 week time period. If you don’t like fish, taking a daily omega-3 fatty acid supplement can also help lower joint pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

5. Ginger
In addition to making a fine cookie (I’m looking at you gingersnaps) this pungent herb adds a beautiful soothing sweetness to curries, teas, cakes and so much more. But ginger has also been called a arthritis aid when it comes to lowering osteoarthritic knee pain in patients. Scientists speculate that ginger contains natural compounds that are able to block the production of inflammatory substances in the body, thus lowering inflammatory symptoms in arthritis patients.

6. Turmeric
The Arthritis Foundation points to several studies that link turmeric to potent anti-inflammatory benefits. When ground, the root of this pungent yellow-hued herb is found to be loaded with curcumin, a chemical that decreases immune system response and naturally lowers stiffness, pain, and inflammation prone to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) patients.
Just be forewarned that high doses of this herb can act as a blood thinner and lead to stomach upset.