There is much research to support the idea that an anti-inflammatory diet can go a long way in fighting the symptoms of arthritis. Arthritis comes in hundreds of forms, with osteoarthritis, and inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis the most common.
Inflammation has the biggest knock on effect on quality of life, with chronic pain and mobility causing the most destruction to people’s daily routine. Whilst there is no specific diet or recommendation from professional bodies around what can help, there is research to support at least trying the following 6.
The key with fibre is what’s called the C-reactive protein (CRP). This is an inflammatory marker that is well known to be lower in people with high fibre diets. Additional benefits mean this inflammatory marker also can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes by helping you to lose weight. There is also a suggestion that high fibre foods such as fruit and vegetables encourage beneficial bacteria living in the gut, which in turn promote lower inflammation.
Nuts have high quantities of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats providing a source of protein and antioxidant vitamins and minerals, important for reducing the risk of heart disease common in people with arthritis. Some nuts and seeds also contain alpha linoleic acid (ALA), a type of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid. Nuts to focus your attention on include Walnuts, Peanuts, Almonds, and Pistachios.
Most of us are already well versed in the benefits of fish and are probably sick of hearing about it. Those omega-3 fatty acids are not to be underestimated and have become somewhat of a golden egg in most people’s weekly routine. Salmon, tuna, sardines and anchovies are the big winners in this swim off.
High concentrations of antioxidant rich minerals are a strong force in the fight against inflammation. The darker the fruit the better usually, with anything containing ‘erries’ in the word providing the right substance. Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries and Cherries can all do the trick, giving you the extra bonus of other great vitamins and minerals.
Olive Oil forms a no brainer in the everyday diet because it provides benefits that go way beyond just lowering inflammation. Heart disease, bone loss, and neurological diseases are all on the list of enemies that olive oil battles head on with great success. 3 1/2 Tbsp a day provide a safe dosage and can even replace the extensive use of NSAID’s in some cases. We recommend finding a good natural olive oil, and it’s sometimes worth paying a bit more. Fresh olive oil should leave a ticklish, peppery sensation in the back of your throat.
Not so well known in the list of anti-inflammatory food fighters, but beans can incorporate many of the benefits the above foods provide. High in omega 3, antioxidants, Alpha-Linolenic Acid and fibre, providing a rich balance. Beans can also form part of a gluten-free diet, where there is much debate around whether this can benefit autoimmune diseases.
We could have summed up the 6 best diets in one word, ‘Mediterranean’. Our Latin friends have no doubt got it right with so much research finding favourable results.
The studies behind all 6 of these anti-inflammatory foods are both solid and comprehensive. There are no guarantees that any of it will have a drastic effect on your arthritis, but it certainly won’t hurt to try. The key is to ensure a good healthy balance of the key ingredients, and not to expect quick results. Persistence pays in the long run, so stick with it and enjoy the benefits of feeling healthy.
If you’ve had success with diet changes and any of the above recommendations we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to our forum or let us know in the comments below!