Treating Joint Pain with Anti-inflammatory Foods

Many factors can lead to chronic joint pain. More often than not, the root cause is systemic inflammation, not old age. The pain that you experience is your body’s way of telling you that it’s irritated and needs some help. So instead of brushing it off or tuning it out with a pill or two, take the time to listen. One way to address the condition is to group foods as “Inflammatory Hot foods” vs “Anti-inflammatory Cooling foods”.  A summary of these food categories is given below:

Inflammatory Hot Foods – Avoid These:

  • Fried foods
  • Red meat from corn-fed animals raised with antibiotics and/or hormones
  • Partially hydrogenated (trans) fats (found in margarine, chips, processed baked goods)
  • Saturated fats (e.g., animal fats such as butter and lard)
  • Corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil or soy-based oils
  • Soft drinks, including both diet and regular soda and fruit juices
  • All forms of sugar, including natural and refined
  • White flour and other processed grains
  • Most fast-food and prepackaged meals

Anti-Inflammatory Cooling Foods – Eat More of These:

  • Dark green vegetables (including spinach, kale, and seaweed)
  • Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamin C and E supplements
  • Raw nuts and seeds (including almonds, pecans, and walnuts)
  • Omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and anchovies (or supplements containing EPA/DHA)
  • Cold-pressed oils such as virgin olive, macadamia nut, grapeseed, and avocado
  • Soups made with free-range poultry or meat bones
  • Limited amounts of gluten-free whole grains, especially amaranth, millet, and quinoa

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