ATLANTA - Many of us woke up this morning with aches and pains. Sometimes medication, or stretches, or exercise can help. But so can certain foods.
Emory Healthcare physician Dr. Oluseun Olufade treats a lot of people with joint pain. He says if you have osteoarthritis. or any kinds of aches and pains, pay attention to what you're buying at the grocery store. Because food matters.
"I think it's all about the amount, the quantity you take." Dr. Olufade says.
Inflammation plays a strong role in all kinds of arthritis pain. Dr. Olufade says some foods can cause inflammation, others help fight it. A good-for-your-joints food is fish, especially the cold water kind, which is high in essential fatty acids know as omega 3s.
"Omega 3 fish oil is very important,” Dr. Olufade says. “It's found in salmon."
You can also find omega 3s in tuna, and mackerel and sardines. If you’re vegetarian, pick up flaxseed, walnuts, or canola oil. But, Dr. Olufade says you want to limit some oils like corn or palm oil, soybean, and sunflower oils because they contain omega 6 essential fatty acids that can actually increase inflammation.
Other healthy choices? The Arthritis Foundation says pick up some extra virgin olive oil...citrus like oranges, and limes, garlic, broccoli, berries, especially the brightly colored ones, and beans.
Limit high fat foods like bacon, butter and cream.
"If you had to eat a little bit of fatty food, making sure it's unsaturated fats as opposed to saturated ones,” says Dr. Olufade. “Those are usually better for you also."
You may also want to limit red meat and sugary, starchy foods.
“They just tend to add more of a pro-inflammatory process, meaning they increase inflammation,” explain Olufade. “ And the more inflammation you have, the more arthritis pain you'll have."
An extract called turmeric may also east joint pain. In one study, it worked as well as taking 800 milligrams of ibuprofen. It contains an anti-oxidant known as curcumin, which is thought to reduce inflammation.