Best foods to eat if you have arthritis

2 Min Read

Cayenne, ginger and turmeric can bring marked relief from arthritis pain. These spices work by blocking release of substance P, a brain chemical that transmits pain signals and activates inflammation in the joints.

Important: If you decide to begin “spice therapy,” let your doctor know so he/she can adjust your arthritis medication.

• Cayenne

Cayenne can be eaten as a spice or applied in cream form to painful joints. In a study, up to 80% of arthritis patients were helped by an over-the-counter cream containing cayenne pepper extract (capsaicin).

Capsaicin cream is sold in drugstores under the brand names Capzasin-P, Pain Free and Zostrix.

Caution: Applying the cream to broken skin can cause pain. Also don’t eat cayenne if you have an ulcer.

• Ginger

In a study, ginger eased pain and swelling in 75% of arthritis patients. You can add fresh gingerroot to your cooking. Or take one to three gingerroot capsules a day.

Caution: Consuming more than 3 g of ginger at a time can cause stomach upset.

• Turmeric

This spice contains curcumin, a compound that reduces swelling. In one study, arthritis patients took either 1,200 mg of curcumin or 300 mg of the arthritis drug phenylbutazone. Both groups showed comparable improvement in symptoms, but the drug caused side effects.

Cook with turmeric or take two curcumin capsules three times daily.

Caution: Limit daily turmeric consumption to one meal or six capsules.

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