Arthritis affects approximately one out of every five people in the United States, with a majority of the affected being seniors and older adults. While there is no cure for arthritis, more and more studies are showing that, like heart disease or diabetes, arthritis can be greatly improved by diet. Of particular interest are foods which help to reduce inflammation and promote healthy joints. If your aging parent or loved one is living with arthritis, Naples Home Care Assistance recommends incorporating these foods into his or her diet:
- High sulfur foods. Sulfur is a nutrient which is essential to maintain healthy connective tissues and cartilage in the joints. High-sulfur foods include garlic and onions, eggs, asparagus, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
- Vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C has been shown to slow the process of joint degeneration and promote the development of collagen, which is essential for healthy joints. Vitamin-C rich foods include citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe, leafy green vegetables, cauliflower and some beans.
- Salmon and other fatty fish. Fatty fish are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which are powerful anti-inflammatories. They are also a good source of Vitamin D, which has been shown to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis in particular.
- Curries. If your loved one enjoys Indian food, encourage him or her to dig into those curries as much as possible. Curries rely on a variety of spices including turmeric, which again is a potent anti-inflammatory.
- Olive oil. Like salmon and fatty fish, olive oil is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, but also has the advantage of being rich in polyphenols which also have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Berries. The pigment which makes berries dark contains a chemical called anthocyanin. This is a powerful antioxidant that promotes joint health and is found in cherries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries
- Ginger. Most people associate the use of ginger with the treatment of nausea, but it is has also been shown to help reduce pain and stiffness in the joints and can be used in baked goods or in a tea.
A diet which includes the foods listed above will help reduce the painful inflammation of the joints and promote overall joint health. Taken in conjunction with appropriate exercise and other lifestyle changes, this holistic approach towards arthritis management can mean a better quality of day to day life for your loved one.
If arthritis has made certain activities of daily living difficult for your loved one to complete, contact Home Care Assistance of Naples today and speak with one of our friendly Care Managers. With the support of our Naples hourly caregivers, your aging loved one can continue living safely in the comfort of home with arthritis, while continuing with their regular routines.