Those suffering from arthritis suffer from a large number of symptoms associated with the disease. Pain is often part of everyday life here, but it can be alleviated by certain foods and improve the course of the disease. Senseinews explains which foods are helpful for arthritis!
What is arthritis and what foods help with arthritis?
The term arthritis covers a wide variety of inflammatory joint diseases. A distinction is made between infectious arthritis (e.g. caused by bacteria) and non-infectious arthritis.
The most common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. Depending on their age, it affects around one to two percent of all adults. It is one of the non-infectious arthritises: In this form, the immune system is disturbed and attacks the joints and the body's own tissue. The reason for this has not yet been clarified.
Arthritis can appear suddenly and then often increases and decreases in flares. Symptoms of arthritis are usually unspecific at the beginning, such as tiredness, exhaustion and loss of appetite. As the disease progresses, joint symptoms such as pain, stiffness, swelling, redness (in the affected areas) and inflammation occur. Sometimes arthritis also spreads to and attacks the organs.
Unfortunately, arthritis is still not curable, but those affected can alleviate some symptoms through diet and positively influence the course of the disease. It's all about eating anti-inflammatory foods and eating healthy fats.
Foods for Arthritis: The Top 10
1. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids
One of the best foods for arthritis is fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, or trout. The contained omega-3 fatty acids have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. Our expert explains exactly what omega-3 fatty acids are: "Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. The body cannot produce them itself; they have to be ingested through food. They are found in rapeseed oil, walnut oil and fish oil. There are different types of omega 3 fatty acids: while the alpha Linolenic acid is more likely to be supplied by plant foods, fish or certain microalgae contain the longer-chain omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA." explains nutrition expert Linda Marx.
Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids could reduce the intensity of pain in acute arthritis, as well as the stiffness of the affected joints in the morning. In addition, the test persons had to take fewer painkillers than the comparison groups (1).
In addition, another study showed that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish have an anti-inflammatory effect on the joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis
The spicy tuber is a real superfood. Studies have shown that turmeric, whether fresh or powdered, can reduce the intensity of arthritis pain by up to 50 percent. Half a teaspoon of the powder daily is said to have this effect.
The curcumin contained in turmeric not only inhibits inflammation, but also has an antioxidant effect. Due to its chemical structure, curcumin can neutralize free radicals and thereby render them harmless. People sometimes turn to dietary supplements to reap the health benefits of turmeric.
The problem: In order to increase the bioavailability of the products, some manufacturers add black pepper extract (piperine). However, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) considers too much piperine to be questionable. If you still want to take nutritional supplements, you can, for example, take Phytholistic capsules in organic quality with 40 times the bioavailability. The product does not contain any piperine at all.
Garlic is also a pain-relieving food for arthritis. Just like omega-3 fatty acids, certain components of garlic have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. Studies have shown that regular consumption of garlic both boosts the immune system and reduces the likelihood of developing arthritis in the first place.
But garlic is also a real miracle bulb in other ways: Garlic cloves contain so-called phytoncides, natural antibiotics that work against pathogenic microorganisms without burdening people with side effects.
The ingredient allicin in garlic is even effective against bacteria and fungi that are resistant to common medicines. In addition, garlic protects the heart and blood vessels, lowers high blood pressure, regulates fat and cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of vascular blockages such as thrombosis.
Ginger is not only a panacea for colds, sore throats, nausea and digestive problems, but also helps with pain caused by acute arthritis. In a study of 261 patients with arthritis in the knee, 63 percent saw a reduction in pain after consuming ginger extract for six weeks.
The small ginger bulbs not only contain the healthy and pain-relieving gingerol, but also a number of other important nutrients and trace elements such as e.g. B. potassium, calcium, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C and phosphate.
But also ginger powder, fresh ginger tea or ginger in food has been shown to help reduce the production of inflammatory substances.
Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables, consists of 91 percent water and is therefore very low in calories. There are just 3.6 grams of carbohydrates in 100 grams of spinach, which is why the green leafy vegetables are well suited for a low-carb diet.
Spinach also contains important vitamins and minerals. These include, but are not limited to: vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, folic acid, calcium and vitamin A. It is therefore no wonder that spinach is also a good food for arthritis.
Initial studies on mice have found that spinach can also have a positive effect on the symptoms of arthritis due to its high antioxidant content. However, the studies are still in their infancy and it is not yet clear whether they can also be used to draw conclusions about humans. Nevertheless, spinach is and remains a very healthy food that you should eat more often.
Walnuts are real nutrient bombs because they contain many vitamins and essential minerals. 100 grams of walnut kernels contain around 8.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, the nut kernels are rich in zinc, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and calcium.
The delicious nuts also have anti-inflammatory properties, making them a great food for arthritis.
Make sure to store the walnuts in a cool place (e.g. in the fridge) and in the dark, as they quickly become rancid due to their high fat content.
Berries, especially strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are super healthy fruits and a great food choice for arthritis. They are high in antioxidants, which protect our cells and can also help prevent joint problems like arthritis and osteoarthritis (7).
In addition, berries are very rich in vitamin C, which is good for our immune system, calcium, potassium and iron.
Like many other types of cabbage, broccoli is known for its health benefits.
Broccoli provides a lot of vitamin C, almost twice as much as cauliflower, and thus protects against colds. In addition, there is about 115 milligrams of calcium in an average serving. That is why broccoli is a valuable source of calcium, especially for vegans and people with lactose intolerance.
In addition, all types of cabbage, including broccoli, are anti-inflammatory, making them good foods for arthritis.
Grapes are not only a great snack for in between, they also have an anti-inflammatory effect and contain many antioxidants. A study with 25 male test subjects has now shown that grapes were able to reduce the levels of inflammation in the blood.
In addition, grapes contain vitamins C and E, and the two ingredients resveratrol and OPC (oligomeric procyanidins). These have a positive effect on blood circulation and thus prevent heart and circulatory diseases.
10. Olive oil
Olive oil is also a good choice as a food for arthritis. Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, olive oil can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Studies suggest that olive oil may both reduce the chance of developing arthritis and reduce inflammation in the body.
In addition, olive oil is also known for its positive properties on the cardiovascular system. It helps reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.
Arthritis is an inflammatory joint disease. Those affected suffer from severe pain, stiff joints and swelling. The most common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. Depending on their age, it affects around one to two percent of all adults. Arthritis can occur suddenly and the pain intensity often increases and decreases in episodes. Unfortunately, there is still no cure for arthritis, but many sufferers have been able to relieve their symptoms with certain diets and foods.