Let’s get this out of the way: food won’t cure chronic joint pain caused by conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. But it sure might help you manage it.
Being smart with food choices can help control inflammation to reduce the risk of painful arthritic flare-ups in your joints.
Of course, the same foods don’t always work for everybody. That’s why we’ll take a look at overall eating style, as well as various foods, that should be accessible to most people.
Look for Anti-Inflammatory Foods: In other words, head to the produce section of the grocery store. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidant compounds that can help neutralize free radicals. Free radicals can trigger inflammation.
Plant-based antioxidant polyphenols may also lead to reductions in c-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker in the body. Unprocessed fruit and vegetables, whole grains, spices, tea, oils, and probiotic-rich foods may all help reduce inflammation to limit joint pain.
Monitor Portion Sizes: How much food you eat in one sitting won’t directly lead to inflammation. But do it enough times and it can lead to weight gain. Excess fat cells can promote inflammation in the body while putting extra weight on your joints.
Try controlling portion sizes by practicing mindful eating, taking time to smell food, chew it thoroughly, and giving yourself at least 20-30 minutes before going back for more.
Tame Your Sweet Tooth: Sweet sugary snacks can promote inflammation. If they are consumed regularly during the day, it can lead to long-term inflammatory trouble.
Cutting sugary snacks and beverages cold turkey is tough. Instead, try cutting down one per day until they’re only appearing on special occasions. After a few weeks, your tastebuds should adjust so fruits like apples, pears, and pineapple satisfy your sweet tooth.
Other healthy foods to snack on include nuts and seeds. Research has shown they have positive effects on inflammation compared to items like refined grains and potato chips.
There is no magic cure for joint pain, especially if is the result of rheumatoid arthritis. That said, certain lifestyle measures, like an anti-inflammatory diet, may help limit painful flare-ups and help to restore a higher quality of life.