• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Fighting arthritis with food

November 5, 2019

Millions of Americans suffer from symptoms of arthritis that are often debilitating. The most common form is degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, followed by inflammatory or rheumatoid arthritisDr. John Davis III, a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist, says what you eat may help with some of the inflammation associated with arthritis.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Can avoiding foods like potato chips and pizza help ease your arthritis pain? Maybe.

"Some foods can increase inflammation levels and contribute to symptoms of arthritis, especially really fatty foods –– simple sugars or carbohydrates, lots of salt, or salty food," says Dr. Davis.

Symptoms may include swollen and achy joints, discomfort and pain. 

"Arthritis relates to a diverse set of disorders where there is inflammation that occurs in joints," says Dr. Davis.

He says that while medication may help joint pain, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and paying attention to the food you eat play important roles.

"Small amounts of weight loss can lead to reductions of just overall inflammation in the body, which can have overall benefits," says Dr. Davis.

Add more fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, whole grains and fish. These foods are thought to reduce inflammation and help with pain. 

"The Mediterranean diet — or anti-inflammatory diet — are concepts to consider to bring into your own diet if you are suffering from symptoms of arthritis," says Dr. Davis.

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