Fight rheumatoid arthritis with superfoods like blueberries, ginger and olive oil
05/21/2022 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
Fight rheumatoid arthritis with superfoods like blueberries, ginger and olive oil

Arthritis is a progressive, debilitating autoimmune disease with no cure. But according to a study, eating the right superfoods, such as blueberries and ginger, can help prevent arthritis.

Fighting arthritis with superfoods

According to the study, superfoods like blueberries, ginger, olive oil and green tea offer protective benefits against rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers compiled a list of foods that are scientifically proven to fight the symptoms of the debilitating condition. They advised people with arthritis to incorporate these foods into a nutritious diet to slow down the progressive, debilitating autoimmune disease.

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The authors listed the foods by grouping them under eight categories:

  1. Fruits
  2. Cereals
  3. Legumes
  4. Whole grains
  5. Spices
  6. Herbs
  7. Oils
  8. “Miscellaneous”

Detailed below are some of the anti-inflammatory foods included in the list:

Berries

Berries are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which may partially account for their ability to minimize inflammation.

In a study of 38,176 women, researchers found that those who ate at least two servings of strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of inflammatory markers in the blood.

Berries also contain quercetin and rutin, two plant compounds that offer many health benefits. To enjoy these amazing benefits, consume berries like blackberries, blueberries and strawberries.

Dried plums

Intense colors mean that the fruit contains lots of fiber and antioxidants. Look for dark blue and purple fruits like blackberries, grapes or plums and bright red, orange and yellow fruits like apples, papaya or pineapple.

Fatty fish/Fish oil

Fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout are full of omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that fatty fish have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

In a small study, 33 participants were fed either fatty fish, lean fish or lean meat four times each week. After eight weeks, the group that consumed fatty fish had decreased levels of specific compounds linked to inflammation.

According to an analysis of 17 studies, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements helped decrease “joint pain intensity, morning stiffness, the number of painful joints and use of pain relievers” in people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Fish is also rich in vitamin D, which can help prevent deficiency. According to several studies, rheumatoid arthritis may be linked to low levels of vitamin D, which could contribute to symptoms.

The American Heart Association recommends including at least two servings of fatty fish in your daily diet to benefit from their anti-inflammatory properties.

Garlic

Garlic offers many health benefits.

According to some studies, garlic and its components have cancer-fighting properties. They also contain compounds that may help lower dementia and heart disease risk.

Studies also suggest that garlic may enhance the function of certain immune cells, thus strengthening the immune system.

In one study, researchers examined the diets of 1,082 twins and found that those who ate more garlic had a reduced risk of hip osteoarthritis. The experts believe this is thanks to garlic’s potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger

Ginger is a flavorful superfood. In a 2001 study, researchers examined the effects of ginger extract on 261 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. After six weeks, 63 percent of the volunteers experienced improvements in knee pain.

Consuming fresh, powdered or dried ginger could help minimize inflammation and reduce symptoms of arthritis.

Grapes

Grapes are nutrient-dense superfruits that are also rich in antioxidants.

In a study, 24 male volunteers were given either a concentrated grape powder equivalent to about 1.5 cups (252 grams) of fresh grapes or a placebo daily for three weeks. Results showed that the grape powder effectively decreased levels of inflammatory markers in their blood.

Grapes also contain many compounds that could help with arthritis. One such compound is resveratrol, an antioxidant present in the skin of grapes.

Olive oil

Olive oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

In one study, 49 participants with rheumatoid arthritis consumed either fish oil or an olive oil capsule each day for 24 weeks. At the end of the study, the levels of a specific inflammatory marker had decreased in both groups: by 38.5 percent in the olive oil group and between 40 to 55 percent in the fish oil group.

In another study, researchers examined the diets of 333 volunteers with and without rheumatoid arthritis. Results revealed that olive oil consumption was associated with a lower risk of the disease.

Replace other kinds of cooking oil with olive oil to reduce arthritis symptoms.

Improving diet and lifestyle is key to preventing arthritis

The researchers also recommend switching from a meat diet to a plant-based diet. Fruits and vegetables can help reduce joint stiffness and pain by lowering the levels of cytokines — inflammatory chemicals released by the immune system.

Aside from following a plant-based diet, the researchers also recommend taking probiotics and quitting bad habits like drinking alcohol and smoking.

According to study author Dr. Bhawna Gupta, consuming dietary fiber, fruits, vegetables and spices regularly and eliminating foods that cause inflammation can help you prevent or manage rheumatoid arthritis.

Sources:

DailyMail.co.uk

MedicalNewsToday.com

Arthritis-Health.com

Healthline.com

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