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These Superfoods Can Help Relieve Arthritis

By Paul Rothbart

Osteoarthritis afflicts more than 32 million Americans. It is commonly felt in the hands, knees, and hips, though it can affect other joints. It is caused by the breakdown of cartilage that provides a cushion for the bones of the joint. As a result, the bones rub against each other causing inflammation and pain. It can be distracting and make some tasks difficult. Arthritis is usually treated with pain medication. They are usually effective, but there is a limit to how often you can take a painkiller without side effects. Fortunately, there are natural ways to relieve the inflammation and pain of arthritis. These superfoods have been found to be effective in that capacity.

Cherries

Cherries are loaded with anthocyanins which give them their red color. These are powerful antioxidants that can lessen oxidative stress and oxidation in your joints. This can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. There is also research that shows that cherries may lower the body's levels of C-reactive protein which causes inflammation and is connected to rheumatoid arthritis.

Spinach and Kale

You may know that green leafy vegetables are among the healthiest foods you can eat. Spinach and kale are at the top of that list. They are loaded with Vitamin K which some research suggests may prevent the hardening of cartilage, a contributor to arthritis. Many older adults are deficient in Vitamin K which may be connected to their higher risk of arthritis. 

Salmon

Salmon is a delicious and popular form of seafood. It's also very healthy and contains substances that can fight inflammation. Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to help relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis as well as osteoarthritis. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish such as salmon twice a week.

Garlic

Garlic is commonly used for flavoring and it has many health benefits including fighting cancer, heart disease, and the common cold. Research has found that it may help reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. A study found that people who ate foods from the allium family, which includes garlic, were less likely to develop osteoarthritis than those who didn't.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is recommended as a good oil for sauteing and frying because of its health benefits. Loaded with unsaturated fats, olive oil can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It also contains a substance called oleocanthal. Research has found that oleocanthal may work in a similar way to ibuprofen and naproxen in relieving pain. Substituting olive oil for other fats such as butter may help reduce arthritis pain.

Osteoarthritis is common, especially in older adults. It's painful and can get in the way of many activities. Pain medication is sometimes necessary, but natural relief has no side effects. Try adding these superfoods to your diet. They can help relieve your pain and provide other health benefits.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tulsa, Okla.

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