Natural Remedies
for Arthritis

If you are looking for some natural remedies for arthritis, more than likely you are trying to minimize pain, without the need to rely on medication. It is understandable as many of the arthritis medications do have side effects. The good news is that you have a number of choices outside of medication to help relieve your arthritis symptoms. Dietary changes, arthritis supplements, and exercise can all have a positive impact on reducing arthritis symptoms.

Natural Remedies for Arthritis:
Anti-inflammatory Foods

Changing one’s dietary habits is not always the easiest place to start. But, there are small steps you can take to help minimize the inflammatory response in your body by modifying your food choices.

Some foods are known to assist in reducing inflammation in the body. Foods rich in antioxidants can have a direct impact on reducing inflammation. Foods that are high in antioxidants are most often our deep colored fruits and vegetables. Fruits including Acai, blueberries, prunes, pomegranates, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are known to have high antioxidant properties. Vegetables and legumes that contain high levels of antioxidants include kale, spinach, and Brussels sprouts, red beans and kidney beans.

arthritis diet

Of special note is the Açai berry, which has garnered a huge amount of attention as of late. The reason for the attention is that research indicates this berry has an extremely high antioxidant level, significantly higher than any other fruit or vegetable.

Be aware that the processing of the berry has everything to do with maintaining the antioxidant concentration. Freeze drying is the only means of preserving the antioxidant value of the fruit. A huge majority of products that contain Açai have not been processed correctly (because it is expensive) and therefore do not contain a high level of antioxidants. The specific type of freeze dried Açai that is reported in the research is contained in a product called MonaVie.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, many herbs and spices also contain high levels of antioxidants. Spices and herbs such as cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil, and curry powder have all demonstrated to be rich in antioxidants.

It is important to note that eating foods high in antioxidants is not the same as taking antioxidant supplements. Supplements including Vitamins E and C have been studied extensively with limited beneficial results. Thus, to achieve the most benefit from antioxidants, obtain your antioxidants through foods rather that supplements.

Another food source that appears to have anti-inflammatory properties is foods that are rich in the Omega-3 fatty acids. These foods include salmon, olive oil, and flax seed oil. Following a typical Mediterranean diet that is rich in these oils as well as fruits and vegetables have been shown to be helpful for arthritis conditions, specifically rheumatoid arthritis.

Natural Remedies for Arthritis: Inflammatory Promoting Foods

Just as there are foods that help reduce inflammation in the body, there are also foods to avoid. Processed carbohydrates, in for form of sugar and processed white flour, appear to stimulate inflammation in the body. Saturated and Trans fats also have an inflammatory reaction in the body. These types of fats are contained in animal fats such as red meat and dairy products.

Arthritis Natural Treatment: Supplements

In addition to dietary changes, some arhtritis supplements supplements have been demonstrated to be helpful in reducing arthritis pain. Glucosamine has demonstrated more consistent effectiveness compared to other supplements. A specific formulation, called Dona, has demonstrated the most consistent results in studies evaluating its effectiveness on hip and knee osteoarthritis. Research does not support the use of Glucosamine combined with Chondroitin or the use of Chondroitin alone.

A couple of other frequently used supplements include DMSO and MSM. Although individual results vary, research has demonstrated that these supplements are not effective in reducing pain and improving function in arthritis sufferers.

Another supplement, Omega-3 fatty acid in the form of fish oil has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing arthritis related inflammation, specifically related to rheumatoid arthritis. Research has indicated that the benefits do not occur very quickly with symptoms being reduced after taking 3000 mg of fish oil for a minimum of 12 weeks.

Natural Remedies for Arthritis: Exercise

Where research is variable in regards to the use of some arthritis supplements, studies have strongly supported the use of exercise in reducing arthritis symptoms and improving function. Muscles work as shock absorbers, thus doing strengthening exercises have demonstrated to be very effective in reducing joint stress.

Studies support the use of land exercises, such as walking, strength training, and the use of a stationary bike, as well as arthritis water exercise program.

Similar to the use of arthritis supplements, the benefits of an exercise program may not be noticed for two to three months. Consistent exercise over a period of time will produce results. Be patient as an exercise program is not a quick fix.

Miscellaneous Treatment Ideas

Some additional natural remedies for arthritis are common sense and other suggestions may surprise you. For instance, the use of ice therapy (not heat!) is very effective in reducing the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. Many my think heat is the best choice but ice is far more effective in reducing pain associated with inflammation. Apply ice to the painful joint for 10 minutes a few times a day for maximum benefit.

More commonly used ideas come in the form of reducing joint stress. The use of assistive devices such as a cane or a walker can significantly reduce joint stress and pain. If you’ve never used a cane, make sure to use the cane on the opposite side of the painful joint. Thus, if your left knee is painful, use the cane on the right side. Even if your symptoms are not significant, having an assistive device such as a cane available for those times that involve extended walking can help you avoid a potential arthritis flare.

Arthritis suffers have a variety natural remedies for arthritis options. Be diligent and consistent with applying these ideas to help keep arthritis pain from dictating your quality of life.

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