Six superfoods to ease joint pain as experts share 'ultimate' arthritis diet

Senior woman with arm pain.
There's no cure for arthritis -Credit:Getty

Across the UK, millions are grappling with the daily challenges of arthritis and joint issues.

Whether you're dealing with pain, inflammation, stiffness, or mobility problems, these symptoms can be a constant battle. While there's no magic bullet to cure arthritis, certain lifestyle choices can help alleviate its symptoms.

Diet plays a crucial role in managing the condition effectively. The Arthritis Foundation has highlighted the Mediterranean diet as the top choice for those seeking to manage their arthritis symptoms, as reported by the Express. This dietary approach isn't a "miracle" solution, but it is hailed as the "ultimate arthritis diet" by experts.

"While there's no miracle diet for arthritis, many foods can help fight inflammation and improve joint pain and other symptoms," they note.

"For starters, a diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans, but low processed foods and saturated fat, is not only great for overall health, but can also help manage disease activity. If this advice sounds familiar, it's because these are the principles of the Mediterranean diet, which is frequently touted for its anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting powers."

Further, research indicates that adopting a Mediterranean diet can offer several advantages:

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Protect against chronic conditions, ranging from cancer to stroke

  • Help arthritis by curbing inflammation

  • Benefit your joints as well as your heart

  • Lead to weight loss, which can lessen joint pain

To maximise the benefits of this diet, there are six food groups you should aim to consume in abundance. The organisation recommends the following foods as the most beneficial for those dealing with joint issues.

1. Fish

Oily fish is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids -Credit:Getty

The Arthritis Foundation highlights oily fish as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that combat inflammation. Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, anchovies, scallops and other cold-water fish are top picks for this purpose.

It's suggested to eat between three to four ounces of fish twice a week. If fish isn't your thing, fish oil supplements could be a viable alternative.

2. Nuts and seeds

Experts recommend a daily handful of nuts, with walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds being particularly beneficial.

One study found that over a 15-year period, men and women who consumed the most nuts had a 51 percent lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease (like rheumatoid arthritis) compared to those who ate the fewest nuts.

3. Fruits and vegetables

While many of us are familiar with the five-a-day guideline, the Arthritis Foundation suggests we should actually strive for nine or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day.

They explain: "Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants. These powerful chemicals act as the body's natural defence system, helping to neutralise unstable molecules called free radicals that can damage cells.Research has shown that anthocyanins found in cherries and other red and purple fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries have an anti-inflammatory effect."

Fruits and veggies packed with vitamin C and K can help alleviate arthritis pain.

4. Olive oil

Olive oil.
Olive oil is brimming with heart-friendly fats -Credit:Getty

The experts state that olive oil is brimming with heart-friendly fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties akin to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They suggest consuming two to three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily, if possible.

5. Beans

Beans are chock-full of fibre and phytonutrients, which aid in reducing CRP, an inflammation indicator found in the blood. Small red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans come highly recommended.

6. Whole grains

These can be sourced from wholewheat flour, oatmeal, bulgur, and quinoa. The foundation adds: "Whole grains contain plenty of filling fibre - which can help you maintain a healthy weight. Some studies have also shown that fibre and fibre-rich foods can lower blood levels of CRP, an inflammatory marker."

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