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How can your diet help with arthritis? Eat the top 12 best foods for it!

Published: 21/03/2016

Nuts and seeds are part of a well-balanced diet

Although there is no diet cure for arthritis, studies have shown that certain foods can fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost the immune system. Your arthritis symptoms may be eased with the addition of these foods to your diet:

1) Oily fish: certain types of fish are packed with inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, and so dieticians recommend two servings of fish a week. Omega-3-rich fish include salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring
2) Try eating heart-healthy soy beans (tofu or edamame) which are also low in fat, high in protein and fibre and are good for you all round
3) Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. Avocado and safflower oils also lower cholesterol and walnut oil has 10 times more omega-3s than olive oil
4) Gout attacks may be reduced after an intake of cherries: research has shown that this fruit may have an anti-inflammatory effect. Anthocyanins can also be found in other red and purple fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries
5) Low-fat dairy products, like milk, yogurt and cheese are packed with calcium and vitamin D, both of which may increase bone strength. Vitamin D has been shown to boost the immune system and is essential for calcium absorption
6) Broccoli contains vitamins K and C and also contains sulforaphane, which researchers have found could help prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA). In addition, broccoli is rich in bone-building calcium
7) Green tea is packed with polyphenols, antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. Studies also show that another antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) blocks the production of molecules that cause joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
8) Citrus fruits are packed full of vitamin C, which may help to prevent inflammatory arthritis and maintain healthy joints with osteoarthritis (OA)
9) Whole grains (found in foods like oatmeal, brown rice and cereals) lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood. CRP is a marker of inflammation associated with heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
10) Beans are packed with fibre, a nutrient that helps lower CRP, and protein which is important for muscle health. Some beans are rich in folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium, all known for their heart and immune system benefits
11) Studies have shown that garlic, onions and leeks may stave off early osteoarthritis (OA). Researchers believe the compound diallyl disulphine found in garlic may limit cartilage-damaging enzymes in human cells
12) Heart-healthy nuts are rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and immune-boosting alpha linolenic acid (ALA).  Nuts are also filling due to the protein and fibre content, beneficial for weight loss.

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