Produce Today Might Help Relieve Arthritis Tomorrow
Eat more fruit today and new research suggests you’ll be far less likely to suffer osteoarthritis of the knee down the road. For 10 years, Australian researchers tracked the diets of 293 healthy adults, then used MRIs to test for osteoarthritic markers. The results showed that those with the highest fruit and vitamin C intakes were least likely to develop the kind of bone abnormalities that indicate incipient arthritis of the knees. Read Caribbean medical schools
Afflicting one-in-three Americans, osteoarthritis often occurs as aging cartilage wears down, causing swelling and pain as bone rubs against bone. Eating more fruit and vegetables might help protect joints in a variety of ways – from supplying nutrients like vitamin C needed for calcium absorption and collagen formation, to making it easier to avoid obesity, which places unhealthy stress on vulnerable joints. Certain fruits may offer added protection: in preliminary research, British scientists found a 50% reduced risk of developing poly arthritis among those with the highest intake of bright orange produce, like papayas, tangerines, and butternut squash. Pineapple and cherries contain other compounds under study for anti-arthritic effects.
In seeking solutions for joint discomfort, choose whole foods over supplements. Research from our Dole Nutrition lab found fresh and frozen pineapples have as much if not more phytochemical content than found in pill form. Other research suggests glucosamine pills may be a dud dose: A Tufts study found commercial supplements may contain too little glucosamine to be of benefit, while the safety of larger amounts remains uncertain.
BONUS: Knead knees to feel better? Osteoarthritis sufferers reported less knee pain and better function after two months of regular massage.