At least one out of five Americans, 46 million, suffer from arthritis, a painful disease that cripples and inflames the joints.
According to a “Today Show” article by nutrition expert Joy Bauer, adopting a proper diet for arthritis can treat and even prevent some symptoms. Besides helping to maintain a healthy weight, Bauer says a nutritious diet may decrease the inflammation of joints:
Because arthritis is a disease of inflammation, the most effective and logical treatment is anything that fights inflammation When it comes to specific foods you should eat, an anti-inflammatory diet involves avoiding foods that make inflammation worse (saturated fat, trans fat and simple refined carbohydrate) and eating plenty of foods that reduce inflammation.
Bauer lists a variety of anti-inflammatory foods, including those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, and most importantly, antioxidants such as vitamin C and carotenes, which may even prevent arthritis by protecting the body from free radicals:
Inflammation produces free radicals, those cell-damaging molecules that are formed in response to toxins or natural body processes. The synovium is just as prone to this kind of damage as the skin, eyes, or any other body tissue. Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of free radicals, and are a critical part of an anti-inflammation diet. Research has demonstrated that certain antioxidants may help prevent arthritis, slow its progression and relieve pain.
Certain spices, such as ginger and turmeric, are also an easy and effective way to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet.