If you have arthritis, you know what to expect every day when you get up in the morning: trying to find a comfortable way to sit; grocery shopping, where it’s one painful step in front of the other; or difficulty buttoning your shirt.

But wouldn’t it be nice to be flexible around the holidays? I don’t mean in terms of parties, events, and trips — I mean with your joints.

Eating certain foods reduces inflammation and pain. But first, here are three food groups you should avoid, since these harm your brain, joints, and cartilage:

 

• Anything with artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners

• GMO foods, which are so “hardy” they pierce the gut, leaching toxins into your body and poisoning your bloodstream

• Pesticides (organic is better, especially if you have a PON1 gene SNP)

 

Now, let’s look at six of the best foods to include in your diet if you have arthritis pain:

 

1. Organic ginger

Ginger is highly anti-inflammatory. Researchers found that ginger relieves pain in patients with osteoarthritis, helping 63 percent of participants.

Another study found that ginger can block the manufacture of inflammatory cytokines in the body. Make ginger tea or grate it into meals.

 

2. Tart cherries

Like blueberries, cherries are rich in a compound called anthocyanin, which gives cherries their deep, blue-red hue.

A 2013 study found that patients who drink tart cherry juice found they improved levels of pain and stiffness from arthritis. It’s known to help with gouty arthritis too.

 

3. Garlic

Garlic is good for so many health-promoting effects in the body. It’s cancer preventative and a potent anti-inflammatory food.

In one study of 1,082 twins, researchers found that those who ate the most garlic experienced the fewest symptoms from osteoarthritis.

 

4. Fennel

Fennel has long been used as medicine, dating back to ancient Rome and Greece. Fennel is a delicious way to spice up a salad, making it virtually cancer-preventative and helping to drastically reduce inflammation in the joints and tissues.

 

5. Beet Greens

Dark, leafy greens, such as beet greens, are full of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that reduce inflammation all over the body.

Beet greens (not beets) are extremely high in vitamin K, another potent anti-inflammatory. Two cups of these will deliver about 4,700 mg of potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure.

Sauté beet greens with garlic in some grass-fed butter. They wilt within a minute.

 

6. Spinach

A 2017 study showed how kaempferol (which is found in spinach) reduces inflammation and prevents the progression of osteoarthritis, the wear-and-tear type of arthritis.

Kaempferol also decreases the effects of inflammatory cytokines associated with rheumatoid arthritis, the autoimmune form that affects bone marrow.

 

If you want to be more flexible, now and into the new year, think clean, green, organic, non-nitrate, natural foods as best you can. It may sound difficult, if not stifling, but if you set your mind to it, you’ll notice changes within a month.

 

This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit SuzyCohen.com

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