(Natural News) When you have arthritis, going grocery shopping can suddenly become a lot more complicated. Certain foods can either reduce your inflammation or aggravate it. You can ease your arthritis pain and symptoms by eating a diet full of anti-inflammatory foods. At the same time, you will want to avoid foods that promote inflammation. Here is a simple shopping guide for the types of food you should and shouldn’t eat if you have arthritis.
Common foods with anti-inflammatory properties
Foods that contain plenty of antioxidants typically have anti-inflammatory properties. Eating a steady diet of these food items can help alleviate your arthritis pain and help you manage its symptoms.
- Colorful fruits. If you see a fruit with intense and vibrant colors, it is probably packed with antioxidants. Blackberries, plums, and grapes are dark blue and purple fruits that are loaded with beneficial antioxidants. You can also try eating fruits that are bright red, orange or yellow, such as apples, pineapples, and papayas. (Related: Papayas can be used to reduce inflammation across your entire body.)
- Dark leafy vegetables. You can find a gold mine of antioxidants in vegetables such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard.
- Fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that can help fight inflammation. Fish such as salmon and tuna are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Beans. Beans are the perfect meatless alternative for your body’s protein needs. Beans and other members of the legume family are all capable of reducing levels of the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein.
- Tea. Tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. Get a boost of antioxidants by drinking a cup of green or black tea.
- Ginger and turmeric. You can add these spices to any of your favorite dishes to reap the benefits of their anti-inflammatory properties.
Common foods that can aggravate inflammation
These foods can be big inflammation triggers. Avoid them as much as you can, but if you are left with little choice, then try to eat them sparingly.
- Red meat. Saturated fats can cause high cholesterol and swelling. Meat is generally high in saturated fats, but red meat, in particular, is the worst offender. Additionally, when meat is grilled, broiled, roasted, or fried, it tends to have high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that can stimulate inflammation.
- Fried foods. Fried foods, such as fried chicken, donuts, and French fries are also chock-full of AGEs and trans fats that can trigger systemic inflammation.
- Processed foods. Baked goods and prepackaged meals are normally full of trans fats that act as preservatives. Read the labels of your food items before you eat them. Learn to avoid foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils on the food labels.
- Sugar. Many food items contain sugar, but you’ll especially want to avoid refined sugar. Refined sugars can often be found in pastries, chocolates, candies, sodas, some fruit juices, and sweets. Eating these food items can trigger the release of cytokines in the body. Cytokines are proteins that can cause inflammation. Other forms of sugar you should avoid include corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, and maltose.
- Cheese and high-fat dairy foods. You’ll find high concentrations of saturated fats and AGEs in cheese, butter, cream cheese, margarine, and mayonnaise. Try to minimize your consumption of these food items, but if you have to eat cheese, opt for hard cheeses rather than soft cheeses.
- Refined grains. Consuming refined grains, such as white breads, white pastas, and crackers, can lead to spikes in your blood glucose levels. This can then result in an increase of multiple inflammations-markers in your body. Always choose whole grain food products over refined grain products whenever you can.
If you want to learn more about antioxidant-rich foods, you can read more articles by going to Antioxidants.com.