It’s really hard to deal with morning stiffness, inflammation, and joint pains. Interestingly, research has shown that foods and spices may actually play a role in relieving joint pain and other symptoms associated with arthritis.
Registered dietitian Ruth Frechman, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says:
“Mostly it’s just healthy eating, with a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. It’s important to stay at a healthy weight to ease up some of the stress on the joints.”
Here are some of the healthy foods that can help us ease joint pain.
Aloe vera is a wonder plant that is famously known for its ability to relieve sunburn and heal wounds. Also, it contains several anti-inflammatory compounds as well as 75 potentially active components, including aloin and emodin, which act as analgesics to relieve pain.
To use aloe to soothe pain, we can simply apply its gel topically and massage into painful areas. Apart from this, pure aloe vera juice can also be added to shakes or smoothies.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Possible health benefits include reducing nausea, pain, and inflammation.
Its active ingredient called gingerol has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities which can help increase blood circulation, thus providing beneficial effects on healing inflamed areas. Additionally, this popular ingredient in cooking can also help us improve our blood sugar levels, lower bad cholesterol, strengthen brain function, protect us against heart diseases, and even reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Ginger can be used to make tea, chopped or crushed in curries and savory dishes, and dried or crystalized in sweets.
Go Green (Tea)
Green tea is a healthy beverage that is loaded with polyphenols, an antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. It was found to be beneficial in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to studies, green tea’s epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) content can block the production of molecules that cause joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Aside from this, it can also help improve brain function, increase fat burning, and lower our risk of certain cancers including breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer.
Garlic is not only a tasty addition to our savory dish. Regularly consuming this superfood can provide our body with numerous health benefits. It contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines thus making garlic able to fight inflammation and pain.
Additionally, rheumatologist Scott Zashin, MD, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, says:
“This compound may have some effect in limiting cartilage-damaging enzymes.”
Present in turmeric root is an active chemical known as curcumin. It works by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes in two inflammatory pathways. This orange-yellow spice has been found to be able to help slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. It acts more effectively when combined with black pepper, which helps the body better absorb its curcumin content.
Sulforaphane, a compound present in broccoli, has been found to help prevent or slow the progress of the most common form of arthritis.
In a study conducted by researchers from the University of East Anglia in the U.K., results showed that sulforaphane blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction. (Enzymes are proteins that cause chemical changes in your body.)
Moreover, broccoli is also rich in calcium, which is known for its bone-building benefits.