Foods That Reduce Inflammation
Learn which foods help manage swelling and inflammation in the body and ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain.
8 Diet Tips to Treat Inflammation
There's truth in the adage "you are what you eat." It's especially relevant when managing inflammation and reducing swelling in your joints. While some foods can make things worse, there are plenty of tasty anti-inflammatory foods that can ease swollen joints and ankles, finger pain, and even symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Click through to find out what you can put on your plate to keep you moving.
If you haven't started cooking with olive oil yet, now's the time. It's incomparably rich in oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that keeps inflammation down. Ditch the vegetable oil for healthier options like olive, grape seed, and avocado oils. Use extra virgin olive oil in cooking and on salads and get your food working faster for you. It's good for your heart and your brain, too.
Save a Cow, Eat More Fish
Red meat has earned its bad reputation for a reason. It's higher in cholesterol and salt, which can trigger inflammation. To get your protein, switch to fish – like salmon, snapper, tuna, cod, halibut, and bass – that are high in omega-3 fatty acid. If you're absolutely craving a steak, opt for grass-fed beef. It's higher in healthy omega acids.
Snack Time: Nuts & Fruits
Between meals, try nuts and fruits. Walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts are all great choices. So are an array of fruits like apples, blueberries, cherries, pineapple, raspberries, and strawberries.
A Stinky Treat
Garlic. It tastes so good that we put up with the bad breath afterward. But our powerful little friend also packs a wallop in the healthy-foods department and works great for swollen joints. Combine garlic with herbs listed on the next page for some good cooking. And for date night, use some mint leaves to clean up your breath. They'll help your swelling, too.
Fresh is best because it keeps the nutrients in. Choose from basil, chili peppers, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and the wonderfully powerful turmeric. Chop up an array of herbs with some garlic, and combine with olive oil for a tasty, all-purpose marinade. Incorporate ginger, too. It's a fighter.
Thankfully, eating healthy doesn't mean missing out on the sweet stuff. Chocolate – yes, chocolate – that is at least 70% pure cocoa is the way to go. Other desserts low in fat and heavy in the fruits and nuts mentioned earlier are also great ways to keep inflammation down.
Besides reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer, green tea works like liquid vegetables as it stages an anti-inflammatory fight inside your body. Hot or cold, add some lemon juice to perk up the tea's flavor and kick up the antioxidants. Oh, and don't skip your water. As if you needed another reason to get your eight glasses in a day.
Simple Choices Make a Difference
We all should eat healthy, but when our food helps treat swelling and inflammation it only makes better sense.
Coupled with other treatments and therapies, a diet rich in omega acids and antioxidants could keep inflammation down so you can start living pain free.
When you make your shopping list, remind yourself that fresh is best because that's when nutrients are at their highest. And keep these healthier choices in mind when dining out too. Skip the carne asada burrito and go for sushi: fish, ginger, and garlic all in one spot.