If you suffer from a condition that causes joint pain, you know how painful and difficult it is — and how much it affects the other parts of your daily life.
Several different conditions can cause joint pain. Even young people may experience it as a result of an illness or injury. As you age, you may also have a higher chance of developing a condition that causes chronic joint pain or inflammation. These include, among others, arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout.
The good news is that in this day and age, there’s much more medical care available to people who suffer from joint pain. Many available medications not only bring relief from joint pain and stiffness but also slow the progression of the disease. This, in turn, may let you regain some ability in the affected joints.
But for many centuries, people didn’t have medication to turn to. Instead, they relied on herbal remedies and diet changes. Though some of these aren’t backed by science, others are actually shown to have an effect on joint pain. Here are 20 foods that may bring you relief from both pain and inflammation.
Cherries have been found to be effective at reducing inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis. As an anti-inflammatory treatment, it’s usually recommended to ingest cherries through tart unsweetened juice. You may also find that it reduces your pain as well. Although cherries are the best choice, other dark berries like strawberries and blackberries may help as well.
Fish, particularly fatty fish, is full of omega-3 fatty acids. These are an important part of reducing inflammation and reducing or eliminating pain. Their high levels of vitamin D help improve bone health and decrease the symptoms of osteoarthritis and similar conditions.
18. Olive oil
Olive oil has long been a popular choice to decrease joint inflammation and ease the pain. Studies show it may help reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis by more than 38 percent. It can also slow the development of joint conditions and the deterioration of cartilage.
17. Whole grains
Whole grains are an important part of any diet, but they’re particularly good for those who suffer from joint pain. Whole grains are associated with lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is related to the development of certain joint conditions. Examples of whole grains include oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice, and pasta.
If you’re a fan of Italian food, rejoice — garlic is known as a food that lowers blood pressure and reduces joint inflammation. Other benefits include a lowered risk of heart disease and certain cancers, which are even more reasons to add garlic to your diet.
A study of the effects of ginger on those with high levels of knee pain showed that 63 percent of participants experienced relief. Some researchers think that ginger blocks compounds that cause inflammation to develop, making it a good choice for people suffering from joint pain.
Broccoli is extremely good for you, but it’s especially helpful for those who have joint problems. This is because it’s chock full of sulforaphane, which aids in reducing the symptoms of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis by blocking compounds that promote inflammation.
Walnuts may provide relief from joint pain for the same reason that fish does — they’re full of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, they contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and protein, which may also bring pain relief.
Like cherries, berries (usually classified as “dark berries”) are high in vitamins and minerals that decrease inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. Some of the plant compounds found in berries like blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries appear to block the underlying causes of inflammation.
Spinach has been known for its health benefits since the days of Popeye the Sailor Man. In particular, it’s high in antioxidants like kaempferol, which has anti-inflammatory properties. These may also provide pain relief, and slow down the progression of diseases like osteoarthritis.
Grapes contain a plant compound called proanthocyanidin, which has been linked to a reduction in inflammation and joint pain. They also contain an antioxidant called resveratrol. This can slow the progression of arthritis by blocking compounds that aid in the development of the condition.
Most people don’t link soy and bones together. However, soybeans are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which promote bone health and reduce inflammation. Be sure to stick to soybeans and tofu instead of other soy-containing foods.
8. Red beans
Red beans, like whole grains, contain high levels of fiber that reduce the levels of C-reactive protein. This protein aids in the development of conditions like osteoarthritis. That means high levels of this protein increase the risk of developing certain conditions. Red beans are also rich in other vitamins and minerals like folic acid, potassium, iron, and magnesium.
7. Green tea
Green tea is widely used for its many health benefits, especially high levels of antioxidants. But it also contains compounds that may reduce the risk of inflammation, such as polyphenolic. This can also ease the pain. Other compounds in green tea may help decrease joint damage from arthritis.
Many people heard from their parents that drinking milk leads to healthy bones. This is absolutely true due to high levels of calcium and vitamin D. Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt may help bring relief to joint pain related to arthritis.
Nuts, in general, are great choices for those suffering from joint pain. They contain high levels of vitamins and minerals combined with omega-3 fatty acids, known for being effective at reducing inflammation. They’re also a healthy choice in other ways.
Almonds are another great choice for reducing the effects of joint pain and arthritis. Like walnuts and pistachios, the combination of vitamins and healthy fats boosts the immune system and helps joints and bones stay healthy.
Saffron contains high levels of crocin, a compound known for treating inflammation and reducing the effects of arthritis and similar conditions. For that reason, this colorful spice is a great option for treating joint pain. It’s also a highly versatile ingredient and can be used in many different types of cooking.
Turmeric is another spice that has long been valued for its health-boosting properties. It’s high in compounds that reduce symptoms of inflammation and joint pain. As a highly versatile spice, it can be incorporated into many dishes. Turmeric is a staple of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Citrus fruits are known for their ability to pack a vitamin C punch, but they may also help the effects of arthritis and similar conditions. These flavorful fruits have the potential of relieving joint pain and reducing inflammation as well. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, and blood oranges fall under this category, as well as kumquats, tangelos, pomelo, and yuzu.