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Easing Arthritis

Arthritis can be difficult to live with and also difficult to treat.  The most effective methods found so far include a variety of little changes that can add up to greater comfort.  The following diet and lifestyle changes may help soothe arthritis symptoms.
A 2010 study in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found that a plant-based diet of fruits and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and kale, along with alliums, such as garlic, onions and leeks, showed some improvement with osteoarthritis of the hip.
Ginger has been a topical remedy for alleviating arthritis symptoms for thousands of years in China. Adding ginger to your diet can help manage osteoarthritis symptoms. Use caution though, the high doses necessary to soothe painful, swollen joints may cause gastrointestinal discomfort and interfere with medications such as blood thinners.
A 2010 review in Arthritis Research and Therapy showed that compounds in green tea protects cartilage from breaking down and maintains the integrity of collagen in the presence of joint disorders. Although more research is needed, green tea shows enough promise that it may be worth drinking at least three to four cups a day.  I usually drink at least two cups during the day and find that it also helps me avoid that afternoon slump of low energy without getting any ill-effects from caffeine.
Fish oil has an anti-inflammatory effect on joints, according to dozens of clinical trials. A 2010 study in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found positive effects using krill, a zooplankton crustacean rich in omega-3s, on an animal model of arthritis.  Krill oil’s omega-3 fats may be more easily absorbed by the body than fish oil, plus it has the added bonus of astaxanthin, a compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show that very high levels of 600 to 1,000 mg of fish oil per day are needed to feel a reduction in joint stiffness, tenderness, pain or swelling.
Physical activity is one of the cornerstones for keeping joints healthy and happy, as well as keeping your weight down. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, such as walking, running, biking, dancing, yoga or strength training.

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