The Ultimate Arthritis Diet

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In general, we are talking about the Mediterranean diet, which is full of anti-inflammatory foods, emphasizes fish, vegetables and olive oil, among other staples.

A smart arthritis diet should be full of anti-inflammatory foods. Here are the top foods you should consume.

1. Omega-3 Foods

Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation. Wild-caught fish, including benefit-packed salmon, is your No. 1 food of choice. After that, for omega-3 fats, grass-fed beef, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts are great choices. You can eat a healthy snack like some walnuts and raisins, wild-caught salmon for dinner, and put some flaxseeds or chia seeds in a morning superfood shake, but just make sure you get those omega-3 fatty acids.

2. High-Sulfur Foods

The second thing you want to do diet-wise is consume foods that are high in sulfur. Sulfur contains a form of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) that reduces joint inflammation and helps rebuild your tissues.

Researchers at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences studied the efficacy of MSM in osteoarthritis pain of the knee and found that MSM decreased pain and function impairment compared to the placebo-controlled group.

The top foods high in sulfur are onions, garlic, asparagus and cabbage. So you can eat sautéed cabbage with some garlic, some onions with your grass-fed burger, and of course, asparagus as a side dish or any sort of cabbage, coleslaw or sauerkraut. Those sulfur-rich foods help reduce arthritis symptoms.

3. Bone Broth

The next thing you want to add to your arthritis diet is bone broth. The healing power of bone broth is remarkable. It’s loaded with a form of collagen that contains the amino acids proline and glycine, and both proline and glycine help rebuild tissues.

Nutrition researchers from the Weston A. Price Foundation explain that bone broth also contains chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.

So especially if you have any type of degeneration of the joint, bone broth works great. Try my Homemade Chicken Bone Broth Recipe or Beef Bone Broth Recipe to get started.

4. Fruits and Vegetables

Last but not least, you should eat lots of fruits and veggies on the arthritis diet. Fruits and veggies are packed with digestive enzymes and anti-inflammatory compounds. Some of the best include papaya, which contains papain, and pineapple, which contains bromelain — both help reduce arthritis’ inflammatory symptoms. Other raw fruits and vegetables are fantastic as well.

A 2011 study in published Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that inflammatory markers decreased when test subjects were given papaya. Researchers believe that papaya may help reduce disease-causing inflammation for people with inflammatory medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, although further research is needed. Papain has also been shown to help reduce inflammation in people with disease such as asthma or arthritis.

A 2004 study found that people with diets low in vitamin C, and therefore low in fruits and vegetables, had a three times greater risk of developing polyarthritis, an inflammatory condition that affects multiple joints.

That should make up the bulk of your diet: organic, omega-3 rich meats; healthy vegetables; healthy fruits; and some nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.

Now, here’s what you want to stay away from on the arthritis diet:

  • Excess sugar: Excess sugar causes inflammation.
  • Hydrogenated oils: Hydrogenated oils, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, even canola oil are inflammatory oils. Stay away from those.
  • Conventional grains: Consuming certain conventional grains like gluten, flour products and wheat products cause joint inflammation and make arthritis worse.

So for those reasons, on your arthritis diet, you want to stay completely away from those foods if you want to start healing arthritis. In addition, if you have sensitivities or you have a severe autoimmune disease, sometimes nightshade vegetables contribute to arthritis symptoms as well. So remove those, too.

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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.