Do aches and pains have you out of joint? Here’s a cheaper treatment for arthritis, eating the right kind of food and improving your diet.
Concerns culminating in the withdrawal of several selective Cox-2 inhibitors, have many arthritis sufferers turning to the supplement aisle in search of relief.
Scientists have found some very effective anti-inflammatory agents in your own kitchen such as cinnamon and olive oil. Some of them, like ginger, can be bought as a supplement.
With some thought and planning, it’s easy to make these nutrient-dense foods part of your daily diet.
With choices from virtually every food group, you’ll soon be well on your way to arming yourself to battle the pain of arthritis and begin to manage it from the inside out.
Arthritis is often associated with people in their 50s or older. But nowadays, more and more younger people are showing signs of this joint-related disease.
What exactly are the causes of joint inflammation and what are the best arthritis treatment? Inflammation of the joints can result from previous injuries, like tibial plateau fracture, which affects certain sensitive cartilages and muscle tissues.
A person can also develop joint swelling and pain if two or more of his or her family members have gout or any related illness.
Needless to say, age is also one of the most significant factors in determining the onset of swelling of the joints. As a person gets older, his or her bones tend to be weaker and more fragile as one of the results of the natural laws of aging.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean teenagers or the twenty-somethings can be complacent. There are cases of brittle joints among younger age brackets because of extraneous determinants like weight and existing illness.
It is understandable that obese or overweight persons have greater tendencies of exhausting or wearing out their bones.
Since weight is identified as a factor in causing joint inflammation, doctors suggest arthritis treatment can be in the form of improving one’s diet.
There are specific diets, like meals heavy in unsaturated fat and cholesterol, that make a person even more susceptible in experiencing joint pain and swelling.
On the other hand, foods rich in certain minerals and vitamins are one’s best ally in preventing early signs of bone inflammation.
Choose foods with high nutritional value and specifically contain Vitamins K and E, which promote healthier bones.
To alleviate inflammation, a person should boost his or her intake of vitamins B12 and B6.
If beneficial minerals like zinc and copper are not usually found on your daily meal plan, take health supplements that offer these specific nutrients.
There are also certain medications supposedly aimed at combating arthritis. Some of these drugs don’t come without hazardous side effects so it is still best to follow natural remedies to prevent or cure joint inflammation.
Arthritis treatment need not cost someone a fortune. The safest and surest way is still through sticking to a healthy diet, or even particular exercise routines, or whatever a doctor advised a patient to do.
One should not wait to get older before he starts to take care of his bones and joints.
A person may not realize the importance of bone health until he experiences the premature tell-tale signs of joint swelling and inflammation.
Eating To Ease Arthritis Pain
Could diet and exercise provide more reliable solutions?
Here’s a roundup of recent research into those foods that help support healthy joints:
Bromelain is an enzyme that can help ease joint pain and relieve muscle soreness. Scientists at the Dole Nutrition Institute found that fresh or frozen pineapple has as much, if not more, bromelain activity than supplements.
Pineapples also provide an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps promote collagen formation and improve iron absorption, and manganese, which supports metabolism and bone density.
A top source of anthocyanins that reduce inflammation and may protect against gout (an inflammatory form of arthritis). One study found that cherry consumption lowered blood levels of uric acid, which can accumulate in joints, causing pain.
Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli contain sulphoraphane, which triggers the body’s own antioxidant defenses. New research suggests this process may help block effects of Cox-2 enzymes on inflammation.
Broccoli sprouts are one of the most potent sources of these compounds, which you’ll also find in cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.
Red Bell Peppers
If you are in need of vitamin C but aren’t a big fan of citrus fruits, reach for a green pepper.
A single green pepper contains 176 percent of your daily needs for vitamin C and colorful red and yellow varieties have more than double that amount.
That makes them richer in C than citrus fruits, but sweet peppers are also excellent sources of vitamin B6 and folate.
Just one contains more than 470 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs (yellow peppers contain 450 percent and green peppers contain 190 percent).
According to a Boston University study, people getting under 150 milligrams daily of Vitamin C had faster cartilage breakdown.
Other top sources of vitamin C are citrus fruit, pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe, papaya, strawberries, tomatoes, kale, collard greens and sweet potatoes.
Move over, salmon! Black cod has even higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammation.
Flounder, halibut and sardines also contain this healthy fat, as do flaxseed oil, pecans, walnuts, tofu and leafy green vegetables.
An unexpected source of vitamin D, adequate levels of which decrease vulnerability to arthritis pain.
Sunshine enables your body to produce vitamin D; other sources include oysters, sardines and fortified non-fat dairy.
One of the healthier sources of calcium, which helps hold the line against osteoarthritis by slowing bone loss.
Be adventurous! Try collard greens, arugula, soy and beans in addition to some of the better-known calcium sources.
Green and black tea contain flavonoids, antioxidant compounds that may block the production of prostaglandins, which cause inflammation and pain.
Green tea contains hundreds of powerful antioxidant chemicals called polyphenols and has been cited for helping prevent problems ranging from cancer to heart disease.
But studies also suggest green tea may help prevent or ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Salmon is among the richest sources of healthy fats, making it an ideal source of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, salmon contains calcium, vitamin D, and folate.
Besides helping with arthritis, eating salmon may protect the cardiovascular system by preventing blood clots, repairing artery damage, raising levels of good cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure.
Commonly referred to as one of nature’s ‘perfect foods,’ bananas are perhaps best known for packing potassium, but they’re also good sources of arthritis-fighting vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin C.
They’re easy for your body to digest, and since they’re a great source of soluble fiber, they are an important player in your weight loss efforts, because you fell full after eating one without consuming a large number of calories.
Vitamin D is a tough one to come by in foods, but shrimp fills that bill, since they have about 30 percent of the daily recommended amount in about three ounces – much more than a cup of milk.
Shrimp also contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C, along with other nutrients essential for general health, including iron and vitamin B12.
Hard or soft, fresh or ripened, cheese in all its variety is an excellent source of calcium for bones, and protein for muscles and other joint-supporting tissues. Cheese can be easily sliced to put on a cracker or a sandwich, grated into your favorite recipe, or eaten alongside an apple or pear for a fresh, quick snack.
One of the active constituents in ginger is a phenolic compound known as gingerols. These have been found to have a strong anti-inflammatory effect.
In a study reported in the Osteoarthritis and Cartilage Journal, the participants who took the ginger compound had significantly less pain during movement than those who took the placebo.
This study followed 29 people over 12 months, and also found that swelling in the knees was also reduced.
However, if you are taking blood thinning medication like warfarin, you may need to be careful about the amount of ginger you take, as ginger can thin the blood also. (Australian Healthy Food)
And due to ginger’s strong taste, this might be a preferable way of taking it to get the quantities you need for a significant anti-inflammatory effect.
This rather delicious spice has a number of health benefits. Specific to inflammation and arthritis, cinnamon can help inhibit the release of inflammatory fatty acids. (Australian Healthy Food)
Cinnamon is not commonly used as a supplement here, but in India it has a rich traditional use and may be available as part of an Ayurvedic supplement.
Yellow and Orange Fruits and Vegetables
Some of the carotenoids in yellow and orange fruit and vegetables help reduce inflammation.
Carotenoids are what gives these vegetables and fruit their color. (Australian Healthy Food)
This can easily be integrated into the daily diet. Extra virgin olive oil acts similar to the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen, though it doesn’t have the immediate pain relieving effects that ibuprofen does.
But a compund found in extra virgin olive oil, called oleocanthal has been found to inhibit the COX enzymes like ibuprofen, in what researchers describe as a ‘dose dependant’ manner.
This research was originally reported in the September, 2005 issue of Nature magazine by Paul Breslin and his associates from Monell Chemical Senses Center.
He describes oleocanthal as a natural anti-inflammatory compound that is potentially as strong as ibuprofen.
He suggests that taken over the long term, it will have the same potential benefits that long term use of ibuprofen does.
Their results found that taking 50 grams of extra virgin olive oil is equal to approximately 10% of the dosage of ibuprofen recommended for pain relief for adults. Olive oil also has a host of other benefits, including a heart protective effect.
What to limit? Red meat. British researchers found that too much red meat increased the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Those who ate the most red meat were twice as likely to develop the condition than those who limited their intake to less than 1 ounce per day.
Interestingly, scientists have also found that a diet high in refined grains, sugary soft drinks, processed meat and even diet soft drinks can encourage both inflammation and type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, the consumption of raw juices is an effective and natural remedy for arthritis. Two specific types that come highly rated and recommended are green juices, as well as potato juice.
In fact, potato juice has been used to treat the pain and discomfort commonly associated with arthritis for years on end.
For potato juice, cut a potato into thin slices. When doing so, leave the skin intact.
Place the potato slices in a glass of cold water and leave sitting for a few hours, overnight is best. Then drink.
While the foods cited above have compounds with targeted joint health benefits, Harvard research found a more general link between high fruit and vegetable consumption and lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating less meat and more fruit and vegetables also helps maintain a healthy weight – an important facet of managing joint pain.
If you’re among the majority of people who are either obese or overweight, slimming down can significantly slow progression of joint degeneration and ease pain. In fact, you can reduce knee stress by 40 to 80 pounds with a mere 10-pound weight loss.
To conclude, here are some natural remedies for arthitis that you could try.
Natural Remedy for Arthritis in Brief
- Vitamin E – This antioxidant is used primarily for osteoarthritis.
- Vitamin B is also an effective pain reliever. It works best on the knee and can help stop degeneration that is caused by free-radical molecules, not only in the joints but in other areas of the body as well
- Ginger – Ginger is an antioxidant that acts as an inflammatory with no major side effects.
- Glucosamine sulfate – This builds cartilage with very few side effects.
- MSM – This organic sulfur is used in the reduction of inflammation.
- Nettle leaf – Nettles can reduce a patient’s need for NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) by up to 70 percent.
- Chondroitin – Helps draw fluid into cartilage, improving shock-absorbing ability.