. High in antioxidants
. Significant anti-inflammatory effect
. Help to reduce pain associated with arthritis
Diet can impact your management of arthritis and one of the best food groups in that regard is fruit and vegetables. Berries in particular are considered to be of great benefit and we will look at the therapeutic and nutritional value of berries, strawberries and blueberries.
The Arthritis foundation states that ‘Berries top the charts in antioxidant power, protecting your body against inflammation and free radicals, molecules that can damage cells and organs.’
And according to this study:
‘Dietary fruits, especially berries are a rich source of several phytochemicals and nutrients which may explain much of their physiological effects as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Commonly consumed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are a rich source of several polyphenols.’
Berries are quite often found in plant based foods, so any diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables is a great start. What antioxidants do is essentially protect and repair cell damage and arthritis is essentially the wearing away of ageing joints so it’s a perfect match.
As stated here, berries bring with them a potent anti-inflammatory element: ‘Fruits, such as berries and pomegranates are rich sources of a variety of dietary bioactive compounds, especially the polyphenolic flavonoids that have been associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.’
Berries help to manage pain and discomfort
One of the issues with arthritis is the pain and discomfort that comes with it. Staying active and losing weight, which releases stress on your knees and joints, is an excellent remedy but food also plays a part. This study suggests that the compounds found in strawberries are a useful weapon in alleviating some of the pain that comes with knee arthritis.
‘Given the economic burden of obesity and related conditions, including knee OA, our study suggests that simple dietary intervention, i.e., the addition of berries, may have a significant impact on pain, inflammation, and overall quality of life in obese adults with OA.’
The following study also suggests that blueberries have significant anti-inflammatory effect:
‘Dietary polyphenols have been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties and potential anabolic effects on the cartilage cells. Blueberries are widely consumed and are high in dietary polyphenols, therefore regular consumption of blueberries may help improve OA.’
It goes on to say that ‘blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, as well as pomegranates are among the commonly available fruits that may offer some protection against arthritis.’
In conclusion, all forms of berries have the potential to be a potent weapon in the fight against arthritis. The great thing is they provide other benefits as well so you should certainly look to incorporate them into your diet regardless of age. In addition to being anti-inflammatory they are high in fiber, can help balance blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol, which makes them a valuable and all-purpose type of nutrient.
NCBI: Dietary fruits and arthritis
NCBI: Strawberries improve pain and inflammation in obese adults with radiographic evidence of knee ostheoarthritis
NCBI: Blueberries improve pain, gait performance and inflammation in individuals with symptomatic knee ostheoarthritis