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Healthy Foods that May Help Reduce Osteoarthritis Pain

Those that may experience osteoarthritis pain have often been told that there is nothing that can be done, short of heavy medications (which have pages of side effects) or, in some cases, surgery. However, if you talk to a nutritionist, you might be pleasantly surprised that there are some foods that have natural anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis. Recent research in England has shown that there are also some foods that may prevent or slow down the arthritis progression.


According to a study in 2010 that was published in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Diallyl disulphide is one of the active compounds found in certain vegetables that are labeled as cruciferous and are part of the sulforaphane group that helps to block the body’s inflammatory reaction that can lead to osteoarthritis. Some of these foods that contain these little miracle compounds may surprise you. Onions and garlic are considered allium vegetables and broccoli is a sulforaphane.

The study is showing a relationship between the allium vegetables and the body’s inflammatory reaction and a protective association of the compounds within the vegetables. The study is still early in its stage, with only small laboratory results; however they are also adding that this information could only be a part of the story of treatment for arthritis.

The list of vegetables that could assist in reducing osteoarthritis pain as well as blocking the body’s reaction is some that we eat almost every day. While the studies may be in the beginning stages, there is no harm in adding the healthy vegetables to your dietary regiment; especially if you begin experiencing benefits. If the cruciferous vegetables you have the choices that include: broccoli sprouts, brussels sprouts, broccoli, raw cabbage (the best are the red varieties and Savoy). In the vegetable category: scallions, onions, garlic, chives, leeks and shallots.

Other more in-depth studies for anti-inflammatory fruits have included dark cherries. Dark cherry juice, especially organic, has been shown to reduce the inflammatory responses of the body after extreme exercise and sports. Drinking dark cherry juice before, during and after the routines, the studies have shown a significantly reduced pain and could therefore, be considered for use for osteoarthritis as well. The juice is incredibly tasty and could be an excellent substitute for a non-nutritional sugary drink.

It is always best to choose fresh, organic vegetables; if possible, locally grown. Frozen and canned varieties often have preservatives and additives that are not healthy. Precooked (ie: boiled) can also remove some of the healthy nutrients. Of course, if you have the ability, growing your own vegetables is the best choice of all. In that way, you can guarantee that there aren’t any pesticides or unhealthy additional chemicals. One other thing to note: when purchasing vegetables, make sure they are non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) these are foods that have been genetically altered to make them grow faster, be pesticide resistant, etc. and, have no proven long term studies. There are a plethora of vegetable recipe choices that even offer a number of the combinations of these healthy items. My favorite is a blend of steamed broccoli along with sautéed onions and garlic.


The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.