It seems that what you eat really could have an impact on this debilitating disease.

Arthritis is one of the most common diseases in the world, covering a group of illnesses that cause, pain, inflammation, and loss of mobility and function. In fact, there are an estimated 50 million adults in the US living with arthritis right now. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of the disease, affecting the joints and causing swelling, tenderness, and loss of function. What’s more, it’s incurable, meaning that sufferers must live with painful symptoms, managing them through medication and lifestyle.

Osteoarthritis becomes more common as we age and put more wear and tear on our joints. But many senior sufferers are unaware of how much of an impact what they eat could be having on their quality of life. Research has shown that red meat, fried foods, refined sugar, and dairy are just some of the foods that can cause arthritis symptoms to flair. Luckily there are a range of foods that can have the opposite effect, allowing sufferers to ease their symptoms through diet.

We take a closer look at the best foods for reducing osteoarthritis pain, below.

Garlic

The staple of many of our favourite Mediterranean and Eastern dishes has been shown to have a positive effect on arthritis symptoms. Garlic contains a compound called, diallyl disulphide, which researchers believe may inhibit cartilage-damaging enzymes in the body. It has also been linked with reducing inflammation.

Oily Fish

Seafood favourites like mackerel, tuna, and salmon contain high levels of omega-3, an inflammation-fighting fatty acid. Try to add oily fish to your diet two to three times a week, or, if seafood isn’t for you, ask your doctor about supplementing your diet with an omega-3 capsule.

Turmeric

A staple of Indian curries, turmeric is one of the most heavily researched foodstuffs out there and has been proven to have a whole range of health benefits. It has been used medicinally for centuries in traditional Indian medicine and now modern scientific research is supporting its use as an anti-inflammatory.

Cruciferous Veg

This green veg family includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. All are packed with a compound called, sulforaphane. This has been linked to the slowing of cartilage damage in osteoarthritis. On top of which, they are a great source of fibre and vitamins. Pack your diet with these healthy green veggies.

Cherries

Anthocyanins are a compound found in cherries that give the fruit its distinctive red colour. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect within the body, helping to ease the symptoms of arthritis. This compound can be found in other red and purple fruits like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries.

Green Tea

Choose green tea for a brew that is not only a comforting warm drink, but one that offers an amazing range of health benefits. It contains, polyphenols and EGCG, antioxidants thought to reduce inflammation and slow down joint damage. Replace your morning coffee with green tea to improve your joint stiffness every day.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is not only great for your overall health, it is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can improve symptoms and slow the progress of osteoarthritis. You can find vitamin C in a range of healthy and delicious foods, including, citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, and bell peppers.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil, like oily fish, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and research has linked it to reducing inflammation within the body and slowing the development of osteoarthritis. Try and include two tablespoons of inflammation-beating olive oil in your diet, every day.

Living with osteoarthritis can be incredibly difficult, especially for older people who have previously been active and healthy. But a diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of living a healthy lifestyle. In fact, as an osteoarthritis suffer, it’s more important than ever to live and eat well. Stay active, eat healthily, and seek out expert medical advice, to stop your symptoms controlling the way you live your later life.