Joint pain might not seem like that big of a deal until you find everyday activities like walking and reaching up to grab a coffee mug from the cupboard excruciating. Of course, you want to do everything you can to reclaim your mobility and reduce your discomfort.
Your body is a complex machine, and everything you put in your mouth affects your overall health, including your food choices. You might know that some problematic substances can increase your flares, but your meals can also heal. Here are the best foods for joint pain — add these anti-inflammatory powerhouses to your arsenal today.
If you can’t get enough curry when you crave comfort favorites, you are doing your body a world of good. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory substances out there. It earned the top spot on the best foods for joint pain list — try to get some in your diet every day.
What if you don’t indulge in Indian cuisine all that often? This root herb makes a glorious tea. You can make turmeric tea by mashing the root with honey and adding boiling water. It tastes divine by itself, but you can also make variations with holy basil, ginger or other herbs.
One addition you should definitely make is black pepper. The piperine in this substance increases the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000%. It also adds a hint of tangy bite to your brew or meal.
Did your childhood caregivers tell you to drink ginger ale every time you had a tummy ache? Their hearts were in the right place, even if what they put in your cup didn’t contain much of this root herb. Ginger is another anti-inflammatory root herb, but many commercial colas don’t have any of the extract.
If you have arthritis, start adding more of this root to your grocery cart without delay. It contains compounds that function the same way as COX-2 inhibitors, such as Celebrex and Bextra.
Ginger imparts a mild, slightly sweet flavor. You can add the mashed root to teas or even chew on a raw, skinned piece when you get a flare.
You might think of a pineapple under the sea as Spongebob’s home, but this fruit is also one of the best foods for joint pain. Did you ever wonder why people put slices on fatty cuts of meat like ham? Pineapple contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory substance that helps break down protein fibers.
A 2016 meta-analysis indicates that bromelain reduces transforming growth factor-beta, a compound associated with inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and osteomyelofibrosis. You can add pineapple to fruit salads or parfaits. If you make flavored fruit water, add a few slices to infuse it with anti-inflammatory goodness.
You might know that berries are rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. In particular, the anthocyanin pigments that make raspberries and blueberries so vibrant have some of the highest oxygen radical absorptive capacity (ORAC) of any substances.
You can add berries to your morning cereal or smoothie. Alternatively, grab a handful as a healthy snack or post-meal dessert.
5. Broccoli and Kale
Broccoli and kale come from the same plant family and offer some of the highest levels of B-vitamins and antioxidants of any greens. About 2,500 years ago, farmers started selecting desired characteristics of this form of wild mustard.
You can go the green drink route, but salads offer superior crunch and flavor. Both veggies also take on a mildly sweet taste if you char them on the grill with a hint of olive oil.
6. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies consistently confirm an association between consuming more of these substances and reduced inflammation.
One study published by the National Library of Medicine indicates that omega-3’s decrease inflammatory cytokine and eicosanoid levels. Another investigation shows that it inhibits the activation of the body’s inflammatory response.
7. Nuts and Seeds
Like fatty fish, many nuts and seeds like chia and walnuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These best foods for joint pain offer a decided advantage to the vegan crowd — they are cruelty-free and plant-based.
You can sprinkle nuts and seeds in soups and salads and use them to top other dishes. These high-protein snacks also make the ideal afternoon pick-me-up to carry you through your 3 p.m. slump.
What Are the Best Foods for Joint Pain? Try These Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouses
If you want to decrease joint pain, it helps to eat the best foods. Please add these anti-inflammatory powerhouses to your diet today.