KEY POINTS

  • Arthritis can wreak havoc to health and to daily activities
  • There are ways on how to combat this pain and among them is by eating the right kind of food
  • This spice has been known to help in alleviating symptoms

The word arthritis is a collective term for approximately 200 conditions characterized by swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints or tissues surrounding the joint. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

A Traditional Spice That Helps

Studies reveal that a popular spice has shown much promise in alleviating pain caused by rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Long praised for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is becoming the focus of various studies on pain alleviation. The key ingredient of this popular Asian spice is curcumin, an active compound found in this flowering plant.

A review summary of various controlled tests found that a thousand milligrams per day of curcumin can reduce osteoarthritic inflammation and pain. Its efficacy is comparable to that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like ibuprofen and diclofenac.

In another study conducted in 2016, results show that curcumin may help prevent the breakdown of bones in people with rheumatoid arthritis. You must choose curcumin extract over the whole turmeric, according to the Arthritis Foundation, because the whole turmeric is usually contaminated with lead. The health organization suggests taking 500mg capsules two times daily for best results.

Foods That Help

Aside from dietary supplementation, making some dietary changes can also help ease the symptoms of arthritis. Particular foods have displayed this ability.

Fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, trout, and salmon, for instance, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids which have been proven to possess effective anti-inflammatory properties.

In one study, 33 volunteers were given lean meat, lean fish, or fatty fish four times every week. After eight weeks, the group that consumed fatty fish saw their levels of particular compounds associated with inflammation were reduced.

An analysis of 17 other studies further bolstered the findings of the researchers. Upon examination, they found that having omega-3 fatty acid supplements lowered the intensity of pain in their joints. It also reduced instances of morning stiffness as well as the number of joints experiencing pain. All of these allowed patients with rheumatoid arthritis to decrease their dosage of conventional pain relievers. 

In another study, omega-3 fatty acids lowered numerous inflammatory markers associated with osteoarthritis. Fish is also a rich source of vitamin D, helping patients prevent having deficiency from the nutrient.