To put it simply, there are two basic types of arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that inflames and damages cartilage covering the ends of bones in joints. It mostly affects hands, feet, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles.
Osteoarthritis is the natural wear and tear of cartilage that comes with aging. It can be amplified with obesity and joint overuse. Weight-bearing joints, such as the knees, hips, and lower back, are most at risk.
Eating foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and maintaining a healthy weight can help relieve pain associated with arthritis. Below are some nutrients and recipes to consider. If you would like to learn more about Hy-Vee's dietitian-led weight management group, click here.
Salmon and Other Foods with Omega-3s
What omega-3s do: Omega-3 fatty acids aid hormone functions that manage inflammation. Research shows they may help reduce the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis.
Other foods with omega-3s: salmon, tuna, walnuts, canola oil, chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, olive oil
Sweet Potatoes and Other Foods with Beta-Carotene
What beta-carotene does: Beta-carotene an antioxidant that protects cells against free radicals associated with chronic disease. Studies link it to reduced inflammation.
Other foods with beta-carotene: broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, kale, red and yellow bell peppers, romaine lettuce, and spinach.
Hyvee Culinary Expert TipShave 15 minutes off the prep time by using Hy-Vee Short Cuts Spiralized Sweet Potato Noodles—no washing the spiralizer, either. Look for them in the produce department.
Berries and Other Foods with Vitamin C
What vitamin C does: Vitamin C protects cells and helps build tendons and ligaments. Vitamin C has been associated with reduced inflammation.
Other foods with vitamin C: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, grapefruit, green and red bell peppers, mangoes, onions, oranges, spinach, and tomatoes.
Milk and Other Foods with Vitamin D
What vitamin D does: Research links low vitamin D levels in the blood to more likelihood of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Other foods with vitamin D: canned tuna, certain mushrooms, mackerel, salmon, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks
Catechins in Green Tea
What catechins do: Catechins are naturally occurring plant chemicals that function as antioxidants. They have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on joints. A few cups a day is generally considered safe, but those you watch caffeine intake might need to drink less.
Other foods with catechins: apples (with skin), dark chocolate, cherries, guava, pears, fava beans, and sweet potatoes