What Foods Prevent Arthritis in Elderly Patients
Arthritis refers to swelling or inflammation in one or more joints. There are over 100 types of arthritis and related conditions, and they are believed to be caused by a fault in the immune system that causes the body to attack its own tissues in the joints. Arthritis is common, affecting nearly 60 million adults in the U.S.
The best treatments for arthritis include medication, heat and cold therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and joint immobilization. Lifestyle changes are also important and include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, getting enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet.
Let’s focus more on the foods you should be eating to manage or prevent arthritis symptoms, particularly if you are elderly. While there is no miracle diet for arthritis, you can improve your symptoms by making some healthy changes. Below are the best foods to incorporate into your diet.
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which both fight inflammation. Try to eat three to four ounces of fish each week. You can cook salmon in an air fryer or smoker to make it taste better, or make tuna sandwiches for lunch. They’re healthy and economical!
Dark Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, and collard greens contain vitamins E and C. Vitamin E protects the body against pro-inflammatory molecules, while vitamin C helps the body make collagen. Collagen is an important part of cartilage that helps with joint flexibility. The best ways to get your greens are by sauteing them in a pan, adding them to pasta or soups, and eating them in salads.
Garlic and Olive Oil
Looking for a way to season your foods without butter and salt? Try garlic and olive oil – they will also help improve arthritis symptoms!
Studies show that people who regularly eat foods from the allium family, such as garlic, onions, and leeks, show fewer signs of early osteoarthritis. It’s possible that these foods have compounds that limit cartilage-damaging enzymes in human cells.
Extra virgin olive oil is also loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to NSAIDs. And, when you combine olive oil with vitamin D, research shows that you can protect against bone loss, too.
When reaching for fruit, make sure that you have some berries in your hand! Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc. are high in antioxidants, which can help fight inflammation. Also, berries contain anthocyanins that further reduce inflammation. Eat berries plain, or add them to yogurt or oatmeal in the mornings.
Almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, peanuts, and others contain high amounts of fiber, magnesium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E, and omega-3s, which all have anti-inflammatory effects. They are also good for the heart and packed with lots of protein to keep you feeling fuller longer. Nuts work great as a snack – a handful is all you need to curb hunger and decrease inflammation.
Treat Arthritis Symptoms Today
These are some of the best foods to incorporate into your diet when you’re trying to prevent or ease symptoms of arthritis. If you’re still not feeling relief, there are other options you can try that don’t involve medication, including steroid injections and stem cell injections. Schedule an appointment with Jersey Rehab to explore our therapies for treating arthritis safely and effectively.