30 Types Of Food Which Can Block Pain And Inflammation!
As reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of five Americans suffers from arthritis. Loss of function in some body parts and inflammation are the basic symptoms of arthritis which is a rheumatic disease. The most common type is known as Osteoarthritis and it affects more than 27 million people in America. It damages your joints, cartilage and bones. The type of arthritis that affects the synovial joint lining is called Rheumatoid arthritis and it causes stiffness, swelling, pain and loss of function at the affected body part.
Some researches suggest dietary changes so that you can deal with the chronic pain caused by this disease.
Foods play an essential part in treating various chronic diseases. Many of the health issues are accompanied by inflammation, especially the ones ending on the suffix –“itis”, which stands for inflammation. Medications can be helpful in terms of reducing the pain, but on the other hand they cause addiction, have many side effects and never eliminate the real etiological factor for the disease.
Some types of food may increase the pain, while other types may contribute to alleviating the pain, especially the one caused by inflammation. It is due to their ability to fight inflammation, to block the pain signals and even heal the disease.
The most important of all is that implementing healthy food items into your diet is not enough, first you have to stop consuming unhealthy and processed foods such as, potato chips, fast food, lunch meats, baked goods and so on.
These 30 powerful foods will help you relieve arthritis pain
According to a study published in 2012 in the journal “Arthritis” out of Denmark, the common drugs used in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, ibuprofen and cortisone, were compared to ginger extracts. It was found that people suffering from pains and aches as a result of these diseases and who implemented ginger into their diet have noticed great improvements. Namely, ginger reduced their joint and muscle pain, stiffness and swelling for 63% within two months. The researchers attribute this to gingerols, the main ginger’s compounds, that prevent the body to produce hormones which trigger pain.
You can use ginger both heated and row. In both ways it has pain-relieving properties. As it was shown in those studies, ginger has even better effects than ibuprofen. The best way to take advantage of ginger’s amazing health benefits is to prepare a fresh ginger tea. All you need is to slice up five pieces of ginger’s root and steep them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Chewing on a peeled piece of raw ginger effectively releases the pain too.
2. Hot Peppers
Capsaicin is the main ingredient in hot peppers, particularly cayenne peppers, which causes the production of endorphins. These are known as “happy” hormones since they make people feel good and moreover, alleviate chronic pain.
Capscaicin also releases “substance P”, a chemical that body produces when it sustains an injury. It sends signals to the nervous system that the body is injured, thus causing burning sensations which are followed by pain relief in the particular body part.
Include hot peppers into your meals or put ½ teaspoon of cayenne peppers into a glass of water and consume it every day.
Besides being delicious and juicy, cherries also contain anthocyanins, compounds that are responsible for their ruby color. Anthocyanins are mighty antioxidants which are extremely useful for pain alleviation. They fight inflammation and have inhibitory effects on the pain enzymes, just like aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
According to one study, a bowl of cherries every morning reduces the inflammation process by 25%. Another study has shown that runners who used to drink about 12 ounces of cherry juice two
times a day during a whole week before their run, have significantly endured less muscle pain in comparison to the ones who did not.
Some people avoid garlic consumption since it causes funky breath. However, it gives flavor to your meals and most important of all it is highly anti-inflammatory food. It can ease swelling and pain caused by arthritis. In addition, its antioxidant ingredients strengthen the immune system and it is especially important for people who have any kind of chronic disease.
In order to get most of its benefits, consume raw garlic. Add some minced or chopped garlic to your favorite salad, salsa or other foods to reduce the pain.
Although beets have earthy flavor, they become sweet when you cook them. Moreover, they are significantly nutritious and rich in fiber and folate. They contain betanin, which is phytochemical responsible for their red color. It also improves the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve arthritis pain.
In case you do not like cooked beets, peel off their skin and add them to a homemade juice or smoothie – this will sweeten their taste.
6. Wild-Caught Salmon
According to multiple studies, omega-3 fatty acids reduce and even prevent inflammatory processes, lessen the swelling and pain caused by arthritis. The best omega-3 source is wild-caught salmon. A research done in the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health has shown that eating high level of omega-6 fats (that are usually found in corn, snack foods, sunflower oil and meat) to omega-3 fats, increases the activity of COX-2 enzymes, which are responsible for joint inflammation.
If you want to improve your overall health, broccoli is the best choice. However, it is necessary for those who suffer from arthritis due to its high levels of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds which lower chronic inflammation, oxidation stress and relieve the pain.
8. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
It is rich in heart-healthy fats and oleocanthal whose effects are similar to those of the anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal medications. Namely, researchers have discovered that oleocanthal inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory (COX-1 and COX-2) enzymes. Ibuprofen works the same way.
A study which was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, has shown the oleocanthal advantages, especially for rheumatoid arthritis, since it treats both chronic and acute inflammation.
Quercetin is a phytonutrient that fights inflammation and consequently relieves the arthritic pain. It is the powerful and anti-inflammatory compound found in blueberries. Besides arthritis, blueberries and other types of food that contain quercetin alleviate the symptoms of allergies, chronic fatigue, heart disease and various inflammatory ailments.
It is already known that oranges are loaded with Vitamin C. In addition, a study which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has shown that intake of Vitamin C reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis for 30 percent.
11. Bok Choy
It is also known as Chinese cabbage and it is loaded with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Namely, it contains more than 70 substances which have antioxidant properties, such as hydroxycinnamic acid for instance, which fights free radicals and inflammation. It is one of the foods extremely rich in Vitamin K which helps the body to regulate its inflammatory responses.
12. Green Tea
It contains antioxidants and polyphenols which reduce inflammation and slow down the cartilage destruction. According to a certain research, green tea contains EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), which blocks the production of the molecules that are responsible for joint damage in patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
Grapefruits are loaded with Vitamin C which prevents inflammation and helps the patients with osteoarthritis to keep their joints healthy.
Beans are must for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Their fiber can lower the high CRP – (C-reactive protein), which is produced by the liver and it is highly increased in the presence of inflammations in the body. High level of CRP is considered as a non-specific diagnostic marker. Beans are cheap and perfect source of protein, zinc, iron, folic acid, magnesium and potassium.
They are rich in anthocyanidins which are potent antioxidants that give the fruit its reddish color as well as the color of other foods such as raspberries, cherries, eggplant and grapes.
A research and a study done at Harvard School of Public Health have shown that consumption of strawberries lowers the levels of CRP. Although that study was focused on heart issues, experts assure that it applies to arthritis too, due to the anti-inflammatory properties of anthocyanidins.
Beta-cryptoxanthin is the main ingredient of this vegetable. It is a mighty antioxidant very similar to beta-carotene, which is found in carrots too. This antioxidant converts to vitamin A in body and prevents arthritis.
A research which was done in 2004 in UK from the University in Manchester has shown that people who consumed foods that contain beta-cryptoxantin more than others were highly protected against arthritis.
You can munch celery, especially to prevent the cravings for unhealthy food. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities which help the body to fight bacterial infections and inflammation.
18. Brussel Sprouts
A 2013 study out of UK showed that these cruciferous vegetables are rich in sulforaphane which slows down the cartilage damage due to osteoarthritis. You can add brussel sprouts to a salad or stir-fry.
Turmeric is known for one of the best anti-inflammatory substances thanks to its main compound know as curcumin. Turmeric is a spice and can be added to all kinds of dishes against arthritic pain. According to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, curcumin can contribute to alleviating the pain caused by chronic inflammatory joint ailments. However, the authors noted that there are not enough data regarding its side effects and safety. Nevertheless, people in India have used it for centuries for treating all kinds of inflammatory diseases among which arthritis as well.
It is beneficial for arthritis sufferers for several reasons:
After being consumed for decades as an anti-inflammatory food, scientists have discovered that pineapple’s main ingredient bromelain, which is a digestive enzyme, has immune-modulating properties. In other words, it means that it regulates the immune responses which often create inflammation. Pineapple is loaded with Vitamin C and prevents inflammatory arthritis and helps people to keep their joints healthy.
Bananas are highly nutritious and provide the body with energy. However, this amazing food also helps you to deal with the arthritic pain. Bananas contain potassium and many other minerals and vitamins which are essential for our body, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and folate, all of which alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
Since mangoes cannot be found throughout the whole year make sure you pick up a few when they are in season. Mangoes improve the functions of many body’s systems and treating arthritis. Mangoes contain high level of antioxidants and vitamins, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E. They contain beta-carotene which gives them an orange color and which prevents the arthritis to get worse. You can add them to a fruit salad or stir-fry.
23. Sweet Potatoes
Since sweet potatoes are orange they contain beta-carotene too. They are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and minerals too. In order to get most of their benefits consume sweet potatoes more than white ones as much as you can.
Walnuts contain the highest level of omega-3 fatty acids of all nuts. The studies have shown that they significantly lower the level of CRP, the inflammation marker associated with cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Besides relieving arthritis pain the regular consumption of walnuts reduces the blood tension and lessens heart stress. You can eat them every time you feel hungry or add them to your meals.
The best source of iron and various vitamins are apples. The iron participates in hemoglobin formation in the blood and improves its capacity of carrying oxygen, which on the other hand lowers joint inflammation. You can eat apples on their own, add them in a salad or make a juice. Whatever you choose make sure you consume them on regular basis to maximize their ability to relieve arthritis pain.
People who suffer from arthritis should include lentils into their diet. Besides relieving arthritis pain they also lower the chances of overeating, making you feel full for longer. Moreover, they also regulate levels of blood sugar. Buy raw lentils and prepare them on your own to get most of their benefits.
Another perfect way to deal with arthritis symptoms is eating shrimp, unless you are allergic to shellfish. It is rich is omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, particularly beneficial for treating arthritis pain. In addition, shrimp is loaded with protein, minerals and vitamins, such as B12, zinc, niacin and iron. You can it shrimp either on its own or you can add it to sauces.
Spinach has various flavonoid compounds which contribute to fighting inflammatory processes. It contains calcium, healthy fiber, and Vitamin K which regulates the body’s responses to inflammation. Add raw spinach to your salad or spinach leaves to pizza or scrambled eggs.
Almonds are highly rich in fiber and contain healthy fats too. This combination helps the weight loss. In addition, according to some researches almond’s mono-saturated fats reduce the inflammation markers, such as CRP and are loaded with Vitamin E too. Choose almonds as your snack or add them to your dishes.
Tomatoes are delicious, juicy, versatile and really effective arthritis pain relievers. Their lycopene content reduces inflammatory pain. Raw tomatoes are the healthiest, but lycopene is released during the process of cooking, so cooked tomatoes are recommended for people who suffer from arthritis.