Whether you suffer from painful swelling or know someone who does, the common denominator for arthritis is inflammation. Here are some tips that may help alleviate the pain and help you and your loved ones enjoy a life with greater longevity!
All About Arthritis
This painful inflammatory joint disorder is often associated with the older population but can affect individuals of all ages. You may be familiar with the common types of joint pain that include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gouty arthritis. Inflammation is the body’s response to a harmful substance such as a pathogen, damaged cell, or irritant. Acute inflammation such as a cut or wound triggers the body’s inflammatory response to heal by clotting the blood. This may also include swelling and redness, which eventually disappears. However, with chronic or prolonged inflammation such as arthritis, the body is in a constant state of simultaneous healing and cell destruction. As a result, chronic disease may ensue. In the case of arthritis, the body may endure constant pain, redness, and swelling. Depending on the type of arthritis, you may be able to minimize inflammation with appropriate dietary and lifestyle modifications.
1. Eat Outstanding Omegas
Omega-3 essential fatty acids continue to make headline health news. Since our bodies can’t manufacture these fatty acids, we must obtain these essential nutrients from dietary sources in the form of DHA and EPA found in oily fish, walnuts, chia, hemp, and flax seeds. In addition to reducing risk for cardiovascular disease and circulatory conditions, these fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful in alleviating arthritic pain. Make sure to include these foods in your diet often to help disrupt the cells that trigger inflammation.
2. Tame the Pain with Turmeric
Turmeric has been under the nutrition and health spotlight recently for its renowned anti-inflammatory properties. Native to tropical South Asia, this plant has been utilized in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medicinal system, for its healing properties. It is a common ingredient in curry powder and yellow mustard. Turmeric’s active component curcumin, is a compound known to interfere with the chemicals that cause inflammation. Multiple clinical studies have associated curcumin with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In one study, two grams of curcumin extract provided to subjects was found to provide pain relief that was equivalent to ibuprofen for pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. A tasty option is to sprinkle turmeric or curry spice in your favorite dishes to help reduce inflammation and boost color and flavor in your meals!
Take note: Before taking any supplement, it is important to consult with your physician first. Turmeric may increase blood clotting so those individuals taking blood-thinning medications should take caution. Turmeric may also cause changes in blood sugar levels for those with diabetes.
3. Jump for Ginger Joy
Making a frequent appearance in South and East Asian culinary cultures, ginger root imparts a spicy, hot flavor. You may be used to seeing ginger in its various forms that include powdered, candied, pickled, and fresh. This pungent root has also been associated with relieving inflammation, which may be good news for your arthritis. In one study, daily consumption of ginger helped to alleviate muscle pain associated with exercise by as much as 25 percent. Other medicinal uses include relieving nausea, gastrointestinal inflammation, and settling colds. Ginger is a versatile spice that will enhance many recipes: grate fresh ginger into your stir fry, bake into a cake, or try as a tea. You can easily make your own ginger tea by adding fresh slices to boiling water. Add a touch of honey or lemon juice and sip slowly.
Word to the Wise: As with turmeric, ginger may interfere with blood-thinning medications. It may also increase bile for those individuals with gallstones. Consult with your physician to make sure ginger is right for you.
Tame the Flame Smoothie
Put the two herbs together for a powerful anti-inflammatory smoothie!
½ tsp turmeric
A small knob of ginger
1 cup raw baby spinach
1 cup strawberries
1 cup water
Blend all ingredients for a sweet and spicy anti-inflammatory boost!