By Chioma Umeha
If you take medication, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist before making major changes in your diet, since some foods can have harmful interactions with certain drugs.
Research suggests that these anti-inflammatory foods may be particularly beneficial for arthritis sufferers:
• Oily fish, such as herring, salmon, mackerel, and tuna. The omega-3 fatty acids in these fish – or fish oil supplements – are considered to be among the most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds in food. Studies show that fish oil combats joint pain and morning stiffness, according to the University of Maryland. One study also found that people with RA were able to lower their dose of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) if they took fish oil.
• Shellfish. Another source of omega-3 fatty acids is shellfish, such as mussels. Researchers reported improvements in walking pace, grip strength, joint stiffness, and pain in people with OA when they ate mussels. An analysis of 17 randomized studies also found that omega-3 supplements reduced joint pain in RA patients, University of Maryland reports.
• Tart cherries. A 2012 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine conference in San Francisco reported that tart cherries “have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food,” according to CBS News. The scientists found that in a study of women with inflammatory OA, drinking tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks significantly reduced markers of inflammation. An earlier study of OA patients found that a daily dose of tart cherries (in the form of extract) reduced OA pain by more than 20 percent for the majority of men and women in the study.
• Olive oil. A small study of people with RA found that supplementing their diet with fish oil and olive oil resulted in greater relief of joint pain, hand grip strength, morning stiffness, and fatigue than taking fish oil alone, compared to a placebo group of patients who were given soy oil.