Diet can play an important role in dealing with arthritis. Discover six foods which help ease the pain of inflammation.
Arthritis affects one in every five people in the United States, this according to the National Institutes of Health. Arthritis is a disease of inflammation, and the most effective treatment is anything that fights inflammation. Thought food can’t cure arthritis, it can reduce the severity of the condition.
These six fruits and veggies can help ease the pain of this ailment.
The cantaloupe’s anti-inflammatory abilities are due to its being a rich source of vitamins A and C. These two potent antioxidants neutralize free radicals which are the cause of increase in inflammation that occurs in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and cause most of the joint damage. Scientific studies have also shown that high intakes of vitamin C and beta-carotene reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce airway spasm that occurs in asthma and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Anthocyanins, the pigment that gives cherries their color is also the ingredient that provides their powerful antioxidant properties that ease inflammation. Study participants have shown that regular consumption of tart cherries cut inflammation by 50%. Eating cherries may also help lessen the severity of other inflammatory conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. Anthocyanins were found to have the most potent anti-inflammatory effect among any flavonoid tested.
Papaya is loaded with several unique protein-digesting enzymes including papain and chymopapain (and glutathione, the activator of these enzymes) which has shown to help reduce inflammation. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamins A and E. People with conditions worsened by inflammation, such as asthma and arthritis found that it helps alleviate the severity of their condition when they get more of these nutrients.
The easiest way to eat ripe papaya is to slice it lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and then scoop out the flesh using a spoon.
A cup of red, raw bell pepper slices is bursting with vitamins A and C. Studies revealed that vitamin C-rich foods such as bell pepper and chili peppers provide protection against rheumatoid arthritis (RA) involving two or more joints. Vitamin C is essential for the repair and maintenance of cartilage and bones and in the formation of collagen, an important protein used to make tendons, cartilage and ligaments. Vitamin A is needed to promote healthy bone development. Bell pepper is also rich in vitamin E and beta-cryptoxanthin, two antioxidants which mop up free radicals that cause inflammation while increasing joint flexibility.
The secret to the ginger root’s anti-inflammatory properties come from gingerol, a very potent anti-inflammatory compound which has shown to reduce pain and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis when they regularly consume ginger.
The best way to take this tuber is to grate two teaspoons and mix with very hot water. Steep for five minutes, strain and stir slowly.
In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin A and a very good source of vitamin C, the sweet potato is also a good source of manganese, a mineral essential to healthy cartilage formation. Thus, not only is manganese extremely helpful in fighting arthritis but evidence has also shown that it also helps keep the bones strong as well as prevent osteoporosis. A cup of baked sweet potato with skin is also a good source of vitamin B6. Women with RA have been found to have lower levels of this nutrient which is due to metabolism changes as a result of the disease.