5 Lifestyle Changes to Help Ease Arthritis + Supplement List

From dealing with chronic pain in fighting disease progression, living with arthritis comes with its challenges and frustrations. When not managed, arthritis can prevent you from doing everyday activities such as climbing the stairs, opening a jar, or even walking. 

However, there are ways you can minimize the impact arthritis has on your life by making some changes in what you eat and how you live. Here are five life-changing tips for people diagnosed with arthritis: 

 

1. Fight Inflammation with the Right Foods 

Eat foods high in polyphenols such as green tea, cloves, dark chocolate, berries especially blueberries, and beans. According to a study led by F. Oliver from the Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine – DIMED, University of Padova in Italy, polyphenols have been investigated extensively for their anti-inflammatory properties in many inflammatory chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. [1]

Olives contain both polyphenols and oleocanthal which also have nonsteroidal and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, include broccoli in your diet which contains sulforaphane which has been studied to slow the progression of osteoarthritis thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

Turmeric and Nettle leaf are also excellent anti-inflammatory herbs. Take them as foods or in tablet/tea form.

2. Avoid Foods That Worsen Arthritis Inflammation 

It’s just as important to avoid foods that further aggravate your body’s inflammatory state as it is to eat foods that fight inflammation. To manage your chronic condition, stay clear of anything that has processed sugars which release inflammatory cytokines; this includes sugar and high-fructose sugar. Avoid saturated fats, trans fat (found also in all animal products), vegetable and seed oils which also trigger inflammation.  Processed meat and refined carbohydrates also cause inflammation. 

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight 

There are many benefits to maintaining healthy body weight; it means even more for people with arthritis. Excess fat adds stress to your painful joints, causing more pain and discomfort.  Less body weight means less pain and better joint function. The more overweight you are, the more signs of inflammation will flow throughout your body. 

 

4. Regular Exercise 

Exercise can help improve joint pain and stiffness, reducing arthritis pain. Exercise not only enables you to control your weight and lessen the inflammation in your body, but it strengthens the muscles around your joints, easing the pain. The best types of exercises for people with arthritis include underwater aerobic exercise, swimming, and range-of-motion exercises. 

 

5. Manage Chronic Pain Naturally 

Apart from a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, you can control inflammation with all-natural remedies such as acupuncture, massages, and even Tai Chi. 

Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific body points to stimulate the nerves and connective tissue. This alternative therapy aims to increase blood flow and activate the body’s natural painkillers. According to a study led by Pei-Chi Chou from the College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University in Taiwan, acupuncture is beneficial to people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the most common inflammatory arthritis, and can improve function and quality of life. [2] 

Recommended Supplements

Some supplements have been proven to reduce inflammation, reduce pain and help heal arthritis. Here is a list of such supplements:

  1. N- acetyl cysteine
  2. MSM – methylsulfonylmethane
  3. Zinc
  4. Ester -C
  5. L-Lysine
  6. Elderberry

If you follow these recommendations, and supplement your diet with these nutritional supplements, you will see that within a number of months you can reduce your pain almost completely and help your joints heal again.

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Galit Goldfarb

References:

[1] J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Mar;98(5):1653-1659. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8664. Epub 2017 Oct 9.

[2] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018; 2018: 8596918. Published online 2018 Apr 12. doi:  10.1155/2018/8596918

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