All About Arthritis - The Short Story!
According to the National Institutes of Health, one in five US adults suffer from the debilitating effects of arthritis. Anything which has anti-inflammatory effects on the body can help fight this disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in particular affects one percent of the population, and attacks joints, especially in the hands, wrists and knees. It can affect older adults, but is known to attack the young as well. It causes painful stiffness and swelling in the joints and can be debilitating.
Oxidation plays an important and normal function in our bodies. But free radicals produced by this process can wreak havoc. Researchers have long known that oxidation plays an important role in the formation of joint damage that causes RA and other forms of arthritis.
The most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout. Rheumatoid arthritis is the thinning of cartilage surrounding the joints. Osteoarthritis is joint wear and tear, and gout is caused by an accumulation of uric acid in the joints, leading to erosion, deformity and pain.
Though arthritis sufferers would rather avoid activity, low impact exercise such as Pilates is highly recommended for the relief of stiffness and pain. many doctors now recommend exercise over pain medications.
What we eat may not keep arthritis away, or cure it, but it can go a long way to keeping the painful symptoms at bay. Research has shown that fresh fruits and vegetables provide effective relief from arthritis pain.
What to Look For
Antioxidants such as vitamins A and C are especially helpful in reducing the symptoms of arthritis.
Recent research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed carotenoids helped lower the risk of developing arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
Anthocyanins such as cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin are two phytonutrients that also reduce the symptoms of inflammation and arthritis. Bromelain is yet another compound that reduces inflammation and arthritis pain.
Top Fruits and Vegetables for Arthritis
- Cherries are loaded with antioxidants. Studies show that cherries consumed daily help decrease the pain and inflammation of arthritis.
- Papaya is exceedingly high in vitamins C and A. It also contains the nutrient papain. Together, these antioxidants significantly relieve the symptoms of inflammation and arthritis.
- Pineapple is especially rich in arthritis relieving compounds, especially bromelain and vitamin C.
- Cantaloupe is high in antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as carotenoids.
- Carrots are an outstanding resource for carotenoids, as well as antioxidant vitamins A and C.