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Area Agency on Aging

Posted on: July 16, 2013

Diet for Arthritis

Is there really a diet that can help reduce the pain of arthritis? Andrew Weil, MD, Founder and Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine believes so.

Dr. Weil has found that eating foods known to fight inflammation, a symptom of both rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis, may ease pain. Dr. Weil recommends a weekly diet which includes several servings of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids such as wild Alaskan salmon and other cold-water fish, freshly ground flax seed, omega-3 fortified eggs and walnuts. Season meals with ginger and turmeric as often as possible: these spices appear to possess anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. Weil also recommends eating five to nine daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables from across the color spectrum to help ease arthritis discomfort. You also want to limit foods that cause inflammation which include polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as corn and soy oils) and the partially hydrogenated oils found in many margarines, vegetable shortenings, and processed foods.

If you have RA, Dr. Weil suggests eating fewer animal products: According to a small study, RA sufferers who followed a vegan diet had modest improvement in joint swelling. Of course, if you suspect a particular food is exacerbating your symptoms, there is no harm in avoiding it for a few weeks and then reevaluating how you feel.

Contact your personal health care provider for nutritional guidance and possible medical treatment to meet your own individual needs.

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