Arthritis includes more than 100 different conditions that affect joints and the surrounding tissue. The most common form of arthritis in the Unites States is osteoarthritis, followed by gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms include pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints. Arthritis affects people of all ages, including children. About 1 in 4 US adults has arthritis.
- Arthritis affects about 1 in 4 adults in the United States. That’s 54 million men and women
- As the US population ages & obesity increases, the number of adults with arthritis is expected to increase to 78 million by 2040
- One-third of adults living in rural areas have arthritis.
- People with arthritis can manage symptoms & reduce pain by learning self-management strategies and being physically active.
- Early diagnosis and appropriate management of arthritis, including self-management activities, can help people with the condition live well without pain.
- Everyone should exercise regularly to stay healthy, including people with arthritis. Physical activity has been proven to reduce arthritis pain and restore function. Learn more about physical activity and arthritis.
- Maintaining a healthy weight has been shown to decrease the risk of developing osteoarthritis and gout and may decrease disease progression and arthritis-related activity limitations
Although there is no diet cure for arthritis, certain foods have been shown to fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost the immune system. Adding these foods to your balanced diet may help ease the symptoms of your arthritis.
Because certain types of fish are packed with inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, experts recommend at least 3 to 4 ounces of fish, twice a week. Omega-3-rich fish include salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring.
Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats which have properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. But it’s not the only oil with health benefits. Avocado and safflower oils have shown cholesterol-lowering properties, while walnut oil has 10 times the omega-3s that olive oil has.
Rich in vitamins K and C, broccoli also contains a compound called sulforaphane, which researchers have found could help prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA). Broccoli is also rich in calcium, which is known for its bone-building benefits.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction.
Beans are packed with fiber. Beans are also an excellent – and inexpensive – source of protein, which is important for muscle health. Some beans are rich in folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium, all known for their heart and immune system benefits. Look for red beans, kidney beans and pinto beans.
Studies have shown that people who regularly ate foods from the allium family – such as garlic, onions and leeks – showed fewer signs of early osteoarthritis (OA).
Nuts are rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and immune-boosting alpha linolenic acid (ALA), as well as filling protein and fiber. They are heart-healthy and beneficial for weight loss. Try walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds.