Want to eat right for your arthritis? Limit sugar, processed foods and saturated fat (the kind in red meat and butter). Get plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean protein (like fish, nuts, seeds and beans). And try adding more of these three arthritis-friendly foods to your diet. Each has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help squelch pain.
Think beyond salmon if you want to reel in the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. A 3-ounce serving of canned sardines contains about 1.4 grams of omega-3 fats and is a good source of vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium to build and maintain strong bones. To save calories, look for sardines packed in water instead of oil.
Spread it: In a food processor blend 2 tins of drained sardines; 1 shallot; 1/3 cup parsley; 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil; 2 tsp. grainy or Dijon mustard; 1 Tbsp. lemon juice; and ¼ tsp. salt (optional) until smooth. Spread on whole-grain bread or crackers.
The antioxidants in matcha, powdered green tea leaves, may reduce inflammation and slow cartilage breakdown. Studies suggest those benefits from green tea’s polyphenols – a type of antioxidant – and matcha boasts higher concentrations than steeped green tea. (Find it at specialty tea shops or online.)
Mix it: Make a smoothie by blending 1 cup low-fat milk; ½ cup plain, lowfat yogurt; ½ cup frozen mango cubes; ½ tsp. matcha powder; and ½ tsp. ground ginger.
Lab studies have found that sulforaphane, a compound in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may block enzymes linked to joint destruction and inhibit inflammation. Broccoli is abundant in vitamin K, which in high amounts may slow the progression of osteoarthritis, according to Arthritis Foundation- funded research at Boston University School of Medicine.
Grill it: Slice a fresh broccoli head into large florets, toss with olive oil, season lightly with salt. Grill over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until tender and slightly charred. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
- Learn More About the Arthritis Diet
- 12 Best Foods for Arthritis
- 3 Anti-Inflammatory Foods
- Anti-Inflammatory Diet