How to Reduce Inflammation by Improving Your Diet

Seniors eating a heathy salad

Arthritis is a common inflammatory joint condition that causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. This condition will often worsen with age and can result in the need for surgical intervention in severe cases, such as degenerative osteoarthritis.

In honour of World Arthritis Day in October, we are sharing some simple ways to manage arthritis at home. This includes taking medications for arthritis as prescribed by your doctor, gentle exercises to boost joint mobility and muscle strength, and switching up your diet.

One of the easiest ways to help manage arthritis pain is to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Good health often starts in the kitchen and the food we consume has a direct impact on our overall health.

Read More: How Does Diet Affect My Joint Health?

What Are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?

Improving your diet can reduce your risk of many chronic diseases, including arthritis. Anti-inflammatory foods are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which have been associated with reduced markers of inflammation in the body. As you may have guessed, the foods with the highest levels of antioxidants and polyphenols are fruits and vegetables. Studies have also shown that essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids, have a beneficial effect on reducing inflammation.

Five Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Add to Your Diet

If you’d like to improve your diet for better health and increase the number of anti-inflammatory foods you’re consuming, consider adding the five foods below to your grocery list.

Berries: Rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, berries are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Blueberries are a particular favourite, as they’ve been shown to help keep the immune system working optimally due to their high antioxidant levels.

Fatty fish: It’s not necessary to adopt a vegetarian diet to enjoy good health. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which offer a host of protective health benefits, including reduced inflammation. Fatty fish includes salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies.

Cruciferous vegetables: While all vegetables are healthy, cruciferous vegetables stand out from the rest, thanks to their high antioxidant levels. Some cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussel sprouts. Enjoy them raw or lightly steamed to maximize their antioxidant potential.

Extra virgin olive oil: The easiest way to enjoy the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil is to drizzle a little on your salad or use it to make your own salad dressing. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids and antioxidants. Be sure to purchase brands that clearly state ‘extra virgin’ on the label and avoid refined olive oils.

Turmeric: This popular spice has received a lot of attention recently for its health benefits, and for good reason. It contains a nutrient called curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Turmeric is a versatile spice, and can be used to spice up your meals or consumed as a turmeric tea.

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