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What are some foods that help with inflammation and arthritis?

May 14, 2013

Sean Ryback
FT Mission Hills

"Many of us have the challenge of facing unwanted inflammation in our body and arthritis in our daily lives. This breakdown of cartilage along with our body’s negative immune response most commonly happens in our major joints, causing pain and irritation. How do we fight it? The sweet answer: chocolate! The phytochemicals in cocoa have been linked to reducing inflammation in the body.  Find yourself some chocolate that has a cocoa content of 70% or higher to harvest this great benefit!"

Vanessa Ocasio
FT Auburn

"A diet full of fish, fruits and vegetables will provide you with the omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals that have been found to be great anti-inflammatories.  Think of wild-caught salmon and dark-green and brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, chard, and blueberries.

"Taking fish oil supplements is a great way to get omega-3 fatty acids if you don’t eat fish or don’t eat it often.  Make sure you talk to your doctor first and do your research.  Not all fish oil supplements are created equal."

Dr. Janet Brill
FT Nutritionist

"It's well known that atherosclerosis (the process of plaque buildup in the arteries) is an inflammatory disorder (as is rheumatoid arthritis), therefore there has been much recent research interest involving the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids. Scientists have determined that eating a diet high in omega-3 fats decrease inflammation.

"Eating a daily dose of ground flaxseeds (two tablespoons), provides about three grams of omega-3 ALA (the plant form of omega-3), an amount that exceeds the 2.2 grams a day recommended by the National Institutes of Health.  Flaxseed oil is one of the few known plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, so try using some in place of other oils. It's great in salad dressing or as a flavoring for vegetables or grains.  And you can add a tablespoon of canola oil to your daily diet, another leading plant source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, to get an additional 1.3 grams."

Josh Bate
FT East Greenwich

"Some foods that may help alleviate inflammation are often found right in the produce area or nutrition section of your local grocery. To some surprising extent these are probably foods you may be eating daily already and simply adding in a little more, while staying within your caloric goal, could just be the answer.  Blueberries, sweet potatoes and green tea are among the long list of foods that will help fight against not just inflammation but toxins and carcinogens as well.

"Blueberries are high in phytonutrients and packed full of antioxidants that counter inflammation, and can aid in protection against cancer and dementia. Sweet potato has a team of beta-carotene, manganese, vitamins b6 and c all working in synergy to fight off your inflammation.  Green tea, not only good for metabolism, is considered a potential anti-inflammatory agent due to its flavonoids.

"All of these are nutritious, vitamin and nutrient dense foods that should be part of a well balanced, healthy diet."

Liz Heatter
FT New Canaan

"Apples: Not only can an apple a day keep the doctor away, but it may also help to hold your arthritis at bay. Apples contain boron, a mineral that appears to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Moreover, when boron was given to people who already have the disease, it helped relieve pain."


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