While there is no cure for arthritis, certain foods can help to reduce levels of inflammation in the body, allowing for opportunities to manage and reduce symptoms.
Though some arthritis sufferers champion a strict vegan diet, an anti-inflammatory diet need not be complicated or unachievable, nor must it require a boycott of all the foods you love. Moderation is the key.
Avoiding saturated fats, refined sugar and alcohol is the first step in curbing inflammation, and may lead to the loss of any excess weight causing additional discomfort to your joints.
Nourishing your body with the following ingredients will help you harness the power of food to fight and manage inflammation:
Olive oil – The cornerstone of every Mediterranean diet, olive oil is teeming with healthy fats and enzymes which work to dampen the body’s inflammatory processes. Avocado and walnut oils are also loaded with healthy omega 3s.
Fish – Fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which can ease joint stiffness. Add oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and anchovies to your weekly diet to tackle joint degeneration.
Nuts – Brimming with healthy monounsaturated fat, a handful of nuts each day will help fight against swelling and high cholesterol levels.
Berries – The anthocyanins found in cherries and other red and purple fruits such as strawberries, blackberries and blueberries are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Leafy veg – Veggies rich in vitamin K, such as broccoli, spinach, lettuce, kale and cabbage have been known to radically reduce inflammatory markers in the blood.
Nightshades and citrus fruits – contrary to belief, there’s little evidence to suggest that these foods increase the likelihood of arthritis flares. Rather, they are a vital and low calorie source of immune-boosting vitamins, which help to neutralise unstable free radicals that can damage cartilage. Nightshades include aubergines, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes.
Meat and dairy: Though it’s important to focus on getting your protein and calcium from vegetables, beans and lentils, incorporating small amounts of meat and dairy into your weekly diet is not likely to cause any dramatic increase in inflammation levels.
Turmeric, Garlic and Ginger: The curcumin found in turmeric gives this spice its bright orange pigment, and contains a natural supply of anti-inflammatory agents. Similarly, ginger and garlic have been used for centuries as pain reduction remedies for inflammatory conditions. Add these immune-boosting powerhouses to vegetable-rich soups and casseroles.
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