[Below is my transcript of my video about natural treatments for arthritis and the arthritis diet, along with supplemental information on the topic.]
Arthritis is something that affects a lot of people. In fact, it’s believed that approximately 350 million worldwide have arthritis, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 52 million in the U.S. alone suffer from arthritis symptoms.
Rheumatoid arthritis is really autoimmune in nature and actually starts in your gut, which is surprising to a lot of people. So I’m going to share with you the top natural arthritis treatments that are effective in terms of diet and supplements. I’ll also mention the things you want to stay away from when following the arthritis diet.
The Arthritis Diet
A smart arthritis diet should be full of anti-inflammatory foods. Here are the top foods you should consume.
Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation. Wild-caught fish, including benefit-packed salmon, is your No. 1 food of choice. After that, for omega-3 fats, grass-fed beef, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts are great choices. You can eat a healthy snack like some walnuts and raisins, wild-caught salmon for dinner, and put some flaxseeds or chia seeds in a morning superfood shake, but just make sure you get those omega-3 fatty acids.
2. High-Sulfur Foods
The second thing you want to do diet-wise is consume foods that are high in sulfur. Sulfur contains a form of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) that reduces joint inflammation and helps rebuild your tissues.
Researchers at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences studied the efficacy of MSM in osteoarthritis pain of the knee and found that MSM decreased pain and function impairment compared to the placebo-controlled group.
The top foods high in sulfur are onions, garlic, asparagus and cabbage. So you can eat sautéed cabbage with some garlic, some onions with your grass-fed burger, and of course, asparagus as a side dish or any sort of cabbage, coleslaw or sauerkraut. Those sulfur-rich foods help reduce arthritis symptoms.
3. Bone Broth
The next thing you want to add to your arthritis diet is bone broth. The healing power of bone broth is remarkable. It’s loaded with a form of collagen that contains the amino acids proline and glycine, and both proline and glycine help rebuild tissues.
Nutrition researchers from the Weston A. Price Foundation explain that bone broth also contains chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.
4. Fruits and Vegetables
Last but not least, you should eat lots of fruits and veggies on the arthritis diet. Fruits and veggies are packed with digestive enzymes and anti-inflammatory compounds. Some of the best include papaya, which contains papain, and pineapple, which contains bromelain — both help reduce arthritis’ inflammatory symptoms. Other raw fruits and vegetables are fantastic as well.
A 2011 study in published Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that inflammatory markers decreased when test subjects were given papaya. Researchers believe that papaya may help reduce disease-causing inflammation for people with inflammatory medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, although further research is needed. Papain has also been shown to help reduce inflammation in people with disease such as asthma or arthritis.
A 2004 study found that people with diets low in vitamin C, and therefore low in fruits and vegetables, had a three times greater risk of developing polyarthritis, an inflammatory condition that affects multiple joints.
That should make up the bulk of your diet: organic, omega-3 rich meats; healthy vegetables; healthy fruits; and some nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.
Now, here’s what you want to stay away from on the arthritis diet:
- Excess sugar: Excess sugar causes inflammation.
- Hydrogenated oils: Hydrogenated oils, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, even canola oil are inflammatory oils. Stay away from those.
- Conventional grains: Consuming certain conventional grains like gluten, flour products and wheat products cause joint inflammation and make arthritis worse.
So for those reasons, on your arthritis diet, you want to stay completely away from those foods if you want to start healing arthritis. In addition, if you have sensitivities or you have a severe autoimmune disease, sometimes nightshade vegetables contribute to arthritis symptoms as well. So remove those, too.
The Best Supplements for Arthritis
Now, here are the best supplements in the natural treatment of arthritis to add to your arthritis diet.
1. Fish Oil
No. 1 is a fish oil supplement. Fish oil benefits health in so many ways, including treating arthritis. An 18-month study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine evaluated how borage oil and fish oil fared against each other in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis. It was discovered that all three groups (one taking fish oil, one taking borage seed and one taking a combination of the two) “exhibited significant reductions” in disease activity and no therapy outperformed the others!
I recommend 1,000 milligrams a day of a high-quality fish oil.
Number two, turmeric benefits arthritis patients because it’s a very powerful anti-inflammatory herb. A study out of Japan evaluated its relationship with interleukin (IL)-6, the inflammatory cytokine known to be involved in the rheumatoid arhtritis process, and discovered that turmeric “significantly reduced” these inflammatory markers. This suggests that regular turmeric use could be a potent strategy to prevent the onset of arthritis from developing to begin with!
You can take turmeric and sprinkle that on your food (or cook with it), and that works great — but actually taking it as a supplement can be very effective in the natural treatment of arthritis. I recommend about 1,000 milligrams a day of turmeric.
3. Proteolytic Enzymes
The third superfood or super-supplement you should be using is proteolytic enzymes. Proteolytic enzymes like benefit-rich bromelain are supplements you take on an empty stomach, and along with fish oil, they are probably the most effective thing you can do to get immediate relief from arthritis.
A study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that proteolytic enzymes helped reduce inflammation and treat pain in collagen-induced arthritis.
Glucosamine chondroitin, or glucosamine sulfate, is very effective at actually giving your body the sort of nutrients and things it needs for rebuilding healthy joints, which is way it’s a natural remedy for bone and join pain.
MSM is a form of sulfur you can take in supplement form that’s also effective, as stated earlier, which is why sulfur-rich foods are effective at treating arthritis.
Therefore, if you suffer from arthritis, make sure to follow the arthritis diet and supplement recommendations. If you’ve enjoyed this video and article, make sure you subscribe here to my Dr. Axe YouTube channel.