Life Lessons: Eating away arthritis pain

Posted: 5:00 AM EDT Mar 27, 2013

For arthritis sufferers, every single move can cause pain and stiffness, but did you know what you eat could make your joint pain better or worse?

There's some amazing research out there that shows some foods can really help with the symptoms of arthritis -- these are things like kale, Brazil nuts and spices like ginger and Tumeric.

Conversely, some foods can worsen symptoms like red meat and corn oil.

The research says there are lots of foods that can work to reduce inflammation.

Dorothy Kitchen is familiar with all of this. She has had arthritis for more than 15 years. She doesn't want surgery and doesn't like drugs.

Dorothy says, "I'm not a pill-taker, you know what I mean?" But something she does try to do: eat healthy.

Research shows the foods you choose could help or worsen your achy joints.

Dr. Kirti Kalidas, a licensed naturopathic physician says, "There are plenty of anti-inflammatories out there."

The first: fatty fish. The omega-threes decrease the production of chemicals that spread inflammation, but some fish can aggravate symptoms.

Clams, oysters, mussels, anchovies, and mackerel contain a compound that converts to uric acid. Too much can worsen gout symptoms.

Another good joint food: extra virgin olive oil.

According to one study about three tablespoons acts like one-tenth of a dose of ibuprofen.

Good food number three: green tea.

One study found an antioxidant known as E-C-G-C lowers inflammation-causing substances in the body that cause joint damage. Drink three to four cups a day, but don't add sugar! Studies suggest it increases inflammation and can also lead to weight gain.

Every extra pound you carry around your belly puts ten pounds of pressure on your joints!

Dorothy does her best to eat healthy and get lots of exercise.

"I just made up my mind not to be frustrated!" she says.

Another good food for your joints: onions and leeks. They contain an antioxidant that may inhibit inflammatory chemicals much like aspirin and ibuprofen do.

Eat away arthritis pain