Best Anti-inflammatory Foods for Arthritis

Although there is no known cure for arthritis, it can be managed symptomatically. Research has shown that certain foods have constituents that are secret anti-inflammatory agents. These constituents have a potent ability to act as antioxidants and inhibit major inflammatory pathways. Isn’t this great? Eating to avoid constant inflammation of joints, of course, it is great.

In this article, we shall examine the best anti-inflammatory foods out of numerous options that can help you manage your arthritis. They are;

Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables such as Broccoli, Spinach, Kale, Brussels sprouts, and other forms of vegetables such as tomato, cucumber, etc. are rich in nutrients and constituents which can help to decrease inflammation. Green leafy vegetables have been shown to have a high amount of vitamin C and minerals such as potassium.

These constituents are potent antioxidants capable of neutralizing the effects of radicals, thus relieving inflammatory response and slowing down the aging process. Because of this, the recommendation of vegetable salads and vegetable-based meals is highly beneficial to people with arthritis. Not only because of its ability to reduce inflammation but also because of its anti-aging properties.

Fish

Fishes are one of the most potent sources of essential fatty acids known, especially for Omega-3. These essential fatty acids are capable of reducing the amount of arachidonic acid in the immune cells and thus blocking the arachidonic acid metabolism.

Arachidonic acid serves as a substrate in the production of inflammatory mediators such as cytokines that play a significant role in the inflammatory response in arthritis. Fatty fishes are highly rich in omega-3, and they include Mackerel, Salmon, Herring, Oysters, Sardines, Tuna, etc. Incorporating oily fish and high-quality fish supplements into one’s diet goes a long way in suppressing inflammatory responses, as seen in people with arthritis.

Fruits

Strawberries, Mango, Grapes, Watermelon, Pomegranate, and other varieties of fruits are blessed with constituents and pigments that have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Mangiferin, the bio-active substance in mango, has an anti-inflammatory effect.

The effect is exhibited by its ability to modulate pro-inflammatory signaling molecules that suppress inflammatory responses in the body. Also, the pigments in fruits like Strawberries (anthocyanin), Grapes (carotenoids), and ascorbic acids are potent antioxidants. They inhibit the activities of radicals in the body, putting a stop to the inflammatory reactions going on in the body. Some of them act as NSAIDs; they inhibit the expression of the Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme.

Spices

Adding Spices to the food we cook can spice our life by improving our health conditions. When it comes to anti-inflammation, a spicy diet has numerous potential benefits worthy of note. Many of the spices available contain anti-inflammatory substances. Through a unique mechanism in the body, these substances block the production and expression of inflammatory mediators like cytokines, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-a), thus halting inflammatory responses in the body, including joints.

As an added advantage, spices give help to fight pain and cartilage degeneration, which overall improves the symptoms of arthritis.
The top amongst the Spices that shows these actions include; Ginger, Garlic, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Chili, and Rosemary. The more you eat a spicy diet, the more they clamp down inflammatory responses going on in your joint.

Beverages

Beverages in terms of Green tea, milk, and coffee presents with antioxidant power, which relinquishes the harmful effects of radicals, shutting its ability to cause inflammation. Also, Green tea has a constituent bioactive substance called epigallocatechin. This bioactive substance has the authority to inhibit a transforming growth factor TAK-1. This inflammatory molecule initiates the signal of inflammation and tissue destruction in joints.

Alcohol might be bad, but the extract of red wine called Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory properties, which is shown through a novel mechanism in the body. Taking red wine in moderate amount would explore the anti-inflammatory ability of Resveratrol to shut down the production of inflammatory mediators. Lastly, Water provides a well-hydrated condition for the joint, and it helps to flush away the inflammation-causing toxins in the systemic circulation that could affect the joint.

Nuts and Seeds

Many nuts are an excellent source of minerals and protein-rich in L-arginine. They are also abundant in the level of antioxidant vitamins and omega-3.
L-arginine displays its anti-inflammatory action by causing downregulation of cytokines by macrophages, which results in inflammatory responses, as seen in people with rheumatoid arthritis. This effect blocks inflammatory cascades to a highly appreciated level.
The contents of nuts and seeds lower the number of Reactive proteins in the blood serum; these proteins are inflammatory markers that have been linked to rheumatoid arthritis.Nuts and seeds are quite versatile, in that they make a very suitable between-meal snack.

All these beneficial effects make this group of food the right menu for diets in people with arthritis. Some examples of Nuts and Seeds rich in these beneficial contents are; Walnuts, Peanuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Chia seeds, and Flaxseeds.

Grains

Whole grains have been found to reduce the variety of symptoms in arthritic conditions. This effect is due to the antioxidant substances, which is the sole source of health benefits that protect the joint tissues from chronic inflammation.The bioactive substance in whole grains called ferulic acids targets the pro-inflammatory mediators to inhibit the expression of their signaling molecules. This bioactive substance also reduces the inflammatory marker linked to rheumatoid arthritis, the C-reactive protein.
Also, these antioxidants remarkably reduce swelling around the joint and make people with arthritis feel better. However, there are bad grains that induce inflammation, and they should be avoided because of their high inflammatory effect. Avoid refined grains and food made from them such white flour, white bread, white rice, cookies, cakes, desserts, pastries, degermed cornflower, etc.
The good grains that reduce inflammation include; Whole oats, Whole wheat bread, Brown rice, Barley, Bulgur, Millet, Rye, etc.

Oils

The oil contains essential fatty acids, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which are highly rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Out of these essential fatty acids are Omega-3, which is known for its potency as an antioxidant. Besides this, the omega-3 can inhibit the activity of transcription factors important in producing inflammatory enzymes such as cytokines, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), Tumor Necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin.

Through this inhibition, primary inflammatory responses in the joint are shut down. These constituents are also involved in reducing reaction proteins linked to rheumatoid arthritis for inflammation.
It is only best to include oils rich in these essential fatty acids in your diets. Examples of such oil are Olive oil, Grapeseed oil, Walnut oil, Avocado oil, Canola oil, Soyabean oil, etc.

Conclusion

In addition to numerous remedies available to clamp the inflammatory responses seen in arthritis, taking advantage of the bioactive ingredients in our food presents a compact package. Since it is our way of life to eat, this option is not difficult. Incorporating the essential oil, vegetables, fruits, spices, beverages, oily fishes, and whole grains into our diets will significantly reduce inflammation. This will allow us to participate well enough in our daily activities. However, refined grains are not recommended because they can induce inflammatory reactions.
Eat to live!

Herbal Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is excruciating that Rheumatoid arthritis limits our day-to-day activities, with joint pain and stiffness as the main manifesting signs and symptoms. It has left us the option of seeking the intervention of synthetic drugs.

However, the use of synthetic medications presents us with one side effect or the other, which further complicates the limitations causing the inability to be involved in daily activities.

The good news is, the herbal extracts derived from some specific plants and trees have certain biologically active substances which are known for the physiological functions they perform in the body. In contrast to the usual synthetic drugs, these herbal extracts do not generally involve severe adverse effects. They are thus making treatment with them friendly.

Here is a list of herbal remedies to treat the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis and how they work;

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis)

Aloe vera is a succulent plant popularly known for its potent effect in relieving sunburns, heartburns, healing of wounds, and slowing down the growth of cancer. Little do people know that this same plant has a beneficial potency in treating the signs and symptoms accompanied with Rheumatoid arthritis. Aloe vera has the effect of relieving inflammation and inhibiting the progress of damages to the structures of the joint. The anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects of Aloe Vera are due to the active ingredients in its gel, of which the most potent is called Anthraquinone. This active ingredient works by inhibiting the expression of the enzyme Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which is evident in inflammatory responses. However, because of the toxicity of Anthraquinone when consumed orally, it is often recommended applying Aloe vera gel topically to the site of the joint affected.

Boswellia (Boswellia serrata)

The gum resin extracts from the Boswellia tree contain β – boswellic acid, which is responsible for the anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic and anti-arthritic activities seen when used. The anti-inflammatory response is wholly due to the ability of the boswellic acid to inhibit the cytokines and the mediators that initiate inflammation in the place. Shutting down inflammation also helps to reduce or prevent swelling around the joint. The anti-atherosclerotic activity of Boswellia extract enhances the repair of the integrity of blood vessels that might have been compromised. And lastly, the anti-arthritic effect is because the extract of the tree helps in reducing the breakdown of Chondroitin sulphate. This glycosaminoglycan offers protection against the degeneration of the articular cartilage seen in Rheumatoid arthritis.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is a flowering plant that is often used as a spice in cooking because of its strong flavor. However, it is also used as a herbal means of treatment to yield relief of pain in any condition, especially rheumatoid arthritis. The extract of Ginger contains potent chemical ingredients named sesquiterpenoids. This extract’s content is useful in managing the inflammatory response and related inflammatory swelling seen in Rheumatoid arthritis. It is due to the ability of the chemical ingredient to block the channel of the Cyclooxygenase pathway by inhibiting the enzyme Cyclooxygenase-2(COX-2).

Green Tea

Camellia sinensis is an evergreen shrub tree from whose leaves and buds green tea is made. The green tea has an active ingredient called epigallocatechin. This ingredient directly targets a transforming growth factor TAK-1 that is responsible for transmitting the signals causing inflammation and the destruction of tissues seen in Rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, the anti-inflammatory effects of Green tea in easing the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis. Green tea is processed and packaged into tea beverages.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.)

The oil gotten from the eucalyptus tree is often used in dental practices because of its antimicrobial effects. The topical extracts are also used in combating the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis. This is due to the impact of analgesic and anti-inflammation produced by eucalyptol (1,8-cineole). Eucalyptol blocks the production of specific cytokines and prostaglandins mediating inflammation through its anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory action. Thus, the pain is checked, as well as swelling of the affected joint. Eucalyptus oil is often applied externally to the affected part of the body.

 

Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa)

It is a woody vine tree that derived its name from the claw-shaped thorns it possesses. Cat’s claw extract has some compounds such as alkaloids and tannins that are responsible for its pharmacological importance. The active ingredient in this extract is mainly anti-inflammatory, which helps treat two symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The alkaloid content of the extract works by shutting down the production of inflammatory mediators, and thus, blocks the inflammation of tissues and related inflammatory swelling.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

The turmeric is a flowering plant cultivated for its roots used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. The turmeric plant extract is oily; it contains resins and, importantly, yellow-colored substances called curcuminoid. The bioactive curcumin plays a crucial role in inhibiting inflammation through the cyclooxygenase pathway. By this, it can stop inflammation of the joint at both acute and chronic phases of rheumatic arthritis without any known serious side effects.

The Black Adusa (Justicia gendarussa)

The black adusa is an evergreen plant that grows in wet areas; they are shade-loving plants. The extracts of Black adusa contains some constituents which are known for their anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects. These potent constituents include β-sitosterol, Apigenin, and flavonoid vitexin. They serve to bring the arthritic condition into remission, thus displaying their anti-arthritic effect. However, the Apigenin acts as an anti-inflammatory agent by forestalling the expression of inflammatory enzymes through the lipoxygenase pathway blockade.

The Thunder god vine (Tripterygium wilfordii)

It is a perennial plant commonly found in China. The plant is cultivated for its leaves and root, which has been adapted for medicinal purposes. The extract of this very plant contains some immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory molecules, which is useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis. The constituents present in the extract act by inhibiting the inflammatory mediating cytokines and decreasing the arthritic joint counts and scores. Because rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, the immunosuppressive capabilities of this extract make it very much potent.

Myrobalan (Terminalia chebula)

It is a deciduous tree commonly found in India, China, and Sri Lanka. The extracts of this tree have constituents like tannic acid, chebulinic acid, Anthraquinone, and sinnosides. They have an anti-arthritic effect.
Mango (Mangifera indica)
The mango tree has mangiferin concentrated in its young leaves and barks. This bioactive substance has numerous pharmacological importance of which is the anti-inflammatory effect. The anti-inflammatory action is due to its ability to modulate different pro-inflammatory signaling molecules.

In conclusion, observation has shown that the use of synthetic drugs though potent are without some unbearable side effects such as infection, recurrent headaches, nausea allergic reactions, muscle pains, and fever, to mention a few. Natural remedies for treating rheumatoid arthritis presents no severe side effects and is increasingly becoming popular among patients.

The options of natural treatment available include the use of extracts from various plants, which include; Aloe vera, Boswellia, Ginger, Green tea, Eucalyptus, Cat’s claw, Turmeric, Black adusa, Thunder god vine, Myrobalan, Mango, etc. All of these options have Anti-inflammatory, Anti-atherosclerotic, and Anti-arthritic properties, which make them useful in the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis.