Did you wake up in this morning kinda sore and hearing your bones and tendons creak and crack?
That’s arthritis and inflammation – and there’s something you can do about it other than down a bunch of over the counter drugs.
The most powerful natural anti inflammatory medicines are fruits, herbs, and seeds you might already have in your kitchen.
In this article, I’m going to show you 6 healthy foods you can eat (and HOW to eat them – this is important) so you can do everything you can to reduce any inflammation and pain in your body.
Want a diet to follow? Based on studies, Harvard recommends the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils.
Of course, you can always make sure you eat lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils (you’ll see they’re potentially the most powerful natural anti inflammatory resources out there), and stay away from sugar, fried foods, sugary sodas (replace with kombucha or water kefir), processed carbs like commercial bread, and processed meats like fast food.
Cherries, Blueberries, and Apples
Fruits such as cherries, blueberries, and apples, contain powerful natural antioxidants which lower uric acid levels, which might help reduce physical joint pain.
They’re also high in natural polyphenols – and studies suggest that eating antioxidants and polyphenols longterm can help avoid osteoporosis. However you should avoid taking polyphenol supplements which might inhibit iron absorption, and potentially make your problem worse.
Pineapple is one of most powerful natural anti inflammatory fruits available because it contains the enzyme bromelain, an anti-inflammatory substance which studies have shown reduces inflammation like drugs, but without the side effects.
While the University of Maryland Medical Center says bromelain produced mixed results when used to treat arthritis, eating more pineapple certainly won’t hurt!
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar is wonderful stuff! Aside from the beneficial bacterial that are great for your digestive system, ACV also contains acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes. For your joints and bones, it’s a good source of polyphenols, which studies have shown might reduce arthritis.
There’s mixed results about whether apple cider vinegar is the most powerful natural anti inflammatory available, but it’s beneficial for your gut as well as your joints, so you won’t go wrong giving it a try.
Only consume raw organic apple cider vinegar WITH the mother (a collection of beneficial bacteria). You can learn how to make it with this $5 video or buy this brand here. Start with 1 tablespoon in 8 oz water to see how it does for you.
Studies have shown that ginger root has powerful natural anti-inflammatory properties similar to drugs. One study gave participants 2 grams of ginger supplementation for 11 days and “proved that daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain.” You can either eat it fresh or drink ginger root tea – be sure to avoid anything processed.
Turmeric has been heavily researched, and according to studies, it’s potentially most powerful natural anti inflammatory. The curcumin in turmeric gives the root its anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Studies have shown, however, that turmeric itself does not have enough curcumin to have an impact, however, when mixed with black pepper, the amount of curcumin absorbed is 2,000 times more than just the root itself.
We’ve successfully used organic turmeric with black pepper on our farm to reduce inflammation with a pony who broke his shoulder.
Omega 3s (Salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds, fish oils)
Eating lots of Omega 3s, found in fish meat (such as salmon, fish oil, flax seeds, and chia seeds), help reduce inflammation without the same side effects as drugs. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, one animal study even showed that they reduced inflammation that was caused by pharmaceutical NSAIDS such as Motrin.
The Arthritis Foundation says that flax is one of most powerful natural anti inflammatory seeds, and recommends adding it to smoothies or salad dressing to get your omega 3s on the go!
The information in this article was reviewed for accuracy and efficacy by a licensed occupational therapist on 7/18/2017.