Imagine a super food — not a drug — powerful enough to help you fight osteoarthritis by decreasing inflammation, improving joint flexibility and helping ease pain. Did we mention that there are no side effects? You’d surely stock up on a lifetime supply. Guess what? These life-altering super foods are available right now in your local supermarket.
#1 Bananas and Plantains
Bananas and Plantains are high in magnesium and potassium which increases your bone density. Magnesium is also known to alleviate symptoms of arthritis, so peel a banana or fry up some plantains!
Berries also pack a walloping antioxidant punch! Antioxidants protect your body against inflammation and free radicals, molecules that can damage cells and organs. Pay special attention to blueberries. USDA researcher Ronald Prior, Ph.D., showed that a one-cup serving of Wild Blueberries had more antioxidant capacity than a serving of cranberries, strawberries, plums and raspberries. Whip up a smoothie tonight!
Not only can omega-3s found in fish significantly reduce joint pain and shorten the duration of morning stiffness, but studies, such as those reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, show that increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids also have enabled people taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce their dosage or discontinue use.
#4 Green Tea
Many studies have shown that green tea possesses anti-inflammatory properties. One study showed that mice predisposed to a condition similar to human osteoarthritis had mild arthritis and little evidence of cartilage damage and bone erosion when green tea polyphenols were added to their drinking water. Another study showed that when added to human cartilage cell cultures, the active ingredients in green tea inhibited chemicals and enzymes that lead to cartilage damage and breakdown. Brew a cup from a tea bag, or just pick up a bottle of Lipton Green Tea at the supermarket!
#5 Orange Juice
Vitamin C is important in the development of normal cartilage. A deficiency of Vitamin C might lead to the development of weak cartilage. In 2010, The Arthritis Research Institute of America, Inc. published an important article in the Journal Public Health Nutrition which suggested that Vitamin C supplementation may indeed be beneficial in preventing new cases of knee osteoarthritis.
Soy protein, found in tofu, has been shown to reduce pain and swelling in chronic knee joint pain not attributed to injury or rheumatoid arthritis. Results were found to be more beneficial for men than women. Tofu can be cubed and fried with noodles, or bought prepackaged as tofu pups or tofu burgers. There are even recipes that call for it in fruit smoothies!
#7 Peanut Butter
Vitamin B3, found in peanut butter, is a supplement that may help people with osteoarthritis. One 1996 study (National Institutes of Health) showed that taking vitamin B3 was more effective than a placebo in improving flexibility and reducing inflammation. It’s peanut butter and jelly time!
#8 Whole Grain Breads and Cereals
In one placebo controlled trial, those with rheumatoid arthritis (and by extension osteoarthritis) had less disability, morning stiffness, and pain when they took high doses of pantothenic acid (Brewer’s Yeast) daily.
Lobster is an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin E may be the key to fighting arthritis-like damage. According to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, vitamin E (also known as alpha tocopherol) and other naturally occurring antioxidants in the diet appear to protect against knee osteoarthritis. Researchers found vitamin E has a protective effect against knee osteoarthritis in Caucasians but they did not find the same protective effect in African Americans.
For years, professional coaches have recommended pineapple to athletes to help heal sports injuries. That’s because a key enzyme in pineapple called bromelain helps reduce inflammation.
Super foods are a special category of foods found in nature. By definition they are nutrient dense meaning they pack a lot of punch for their weight as far as goodness goes and the ones we have listed above are selected because they will help your fight against osteoarthritis and help you cut back on your prescriptions. They are superior sources of anti-oxidants and essential nutrients – nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves. For more information on each of these super foods in your day to day life please have a look at our Diet Research section of the Website. Each super food is covered in more detail and there are more foods listed there as well. Many of them are actually organized by the vitamin, such as vitamin E, and you’ll find a list of all the foods that contain E, not just lobster. We hope this list hopes you on the road to relief. Try some of the exercises on our site too!