May is also National Arthritis Month. We hope that by recognizing this month, that we can bring some awareness to the hurdles those with arthritis are challenged with. We also hope we can share some ways to help decrease any pain you or a loved one is experiencing.

23% of all adults have arthritis. Arthritis is a term for a class of diseases that cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. It can affect people of all ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds.

There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one type, which develops in joints with overuse. Another type is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your joints.

While many people use medications to ease arthritis pain, there are some ways to help through nutrition as well. Following an anti-inflammatory diet may reduce chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as other types of arthritis.

Decreasing intake of gluten, processed sugar, and foods with additives and preservatives will also decrease inflammation. Here is a list of 5 anti-inflammatory foods that doctors and nutritionists suggest to eat more of:

  • Berries
    Loaded with antioxidants, it’s not surprising they are thought of as a superfood. Enjoy them plain, over oatmeal, or in a smoothie to reap the rewards!
  • Fatty fish
    Fish high in omega 3’s such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are your friends! Eating these 3-4 times a week have shown to decrease inflammation after six-week studies.
  • Garlic
    Like flavor? Specific components in garlic could decrease some of the inflammatory markers associated with arthritis. Added bonus? Garlic also increases immunity and lessens the risks of some heart conditions.
  • Broccoli
    It’s no secret that broccoli is one of the healthiest foods out there. In fact, it may even be associated with reduced inflammation. One study that looked at the diets of 1,005 women found that the intake of vegetables like broccoli was associated with decreased levels of inflammatory markers and blocked the formation of a type of cell involved in rheumatoid arthritis development.
  • Spinach
    There’s a reason you’re told to eat your greens! Several studies have found that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables is linked to lower levels of inflammation, Spinach, in particular, contains plenty of antioxidants as well as plant compounds that can relieve inflammation and help fight disease. Spinach is especially high in the antioxidant kaempferol, which has been shown to decrease the effects of the inflammatory agents associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Our home caregivers at Sunland are well versed in all things nutrition and are available to help you, from helping you create a meal plan, to going to the grocery store to prepping your meals. Make life easy. See how we can work with you today!

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