At least one in four of us has osteo or rheumatoid arthritis right now, and millions more will be diagnosed this year. The great news is that several common supplements and foods have recently been proven to prevent arthritis pain-or deliver relief fast if you’re already achy!
Consume healthy fats.
Eating two avocados and 12 oz. of fish weekly can cut your risk of developing any form of arthritis by as much as 52%. Researchers credit the healthy fats in both foods with neutralizing inflammation-triggering proteins and wastes before they damage joint tissue. And the selenium in fish strengthens cartilage, making it 38% more shock-absorbent.
Try pine bark extract.
A daily 200-mg. dose of the pine bark extract Pycnogenol cut arthritis patients’ pain almost 50% and their need for prescription arthritis meds 58% within three months. This nutrient-rich plant extract ups blood flow to damaged joints, flushing out pain-triggering wastes and speeding healing.
Have a drink.
Drinking one alcoholic beverage a day cuts a woman’s risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Women who drank beer two to four times weekly saw their risk plunge 31%. Small doses of alcohol activate enzymes that help immune cells stay “smart,” so they attack invaders, but not healthy joint cartilage-and the procyanidins in beer enhance that protective effect.
Consume orange produce.
Cryptoxanthin, the pigment that gives tangerines, pumpkins, carrots, and other orange foods their vibrant hue, speeds joint repair, easing arthritis-related aches and pains. Aim for one cup of your favorite orange fruit or vegetable daily.
Use olive oil.
Adding three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to your daily diet could make getting out of chairs, climbing stairs and even squatting a whole lot easier, often within six weeks. Extra-virgin olive oil is the only natural source of oleocanthal, a compound that cuts inflammation and discomfort as effectively as taking 200 mg. daily of ibuprofen.
Indulge in a lavender rub.
Lavender essential oil is well-known for its relaxing aroma. Less known is that the oil also contains a powerful natural painkilling compound called linalyl acetate. Simply applying the oil to tender spots twice a day can calm overactive nerves, soothing your achy joints in as little as 24 hours. Mix five drops of lavender essential oil into a dime-sized dollop of your favorite lotion and massage gently into the skin.
For years, doctors have been telling us milk builds strong bones. Now researchers say it builds strong cartilage, too! The cartilage of women who drank at least 8 oz. of milk daily(cheese and yogurt didn’t provide this protection) was 32% thicker and stronger. The calcium and amino acids milk stimulate the repair and replacement of cartilage weakened by everyday wear and tear.
Consume grapes to tame inflammation.
Arthritis patients who eat two cups of grapes daily can bend, stand, climb stairs and exercise more easily within four months. Grapes have joint-healing compounds that also reduce inflammation inside tissues.
Chop some onions.
Eating just two cups weekly (raw or cooked) can lower your risk of ever being diagnosed with arthritis, and it can help your joints stay flexible and strong even if they do experience wear and tear. Onions contain quercetin and sulfur, nutrients that shield cartilage from damage and encourage healing if it does occur.