Joint inflammation can accompany a wide variety of health conditions, including arthritis, gout and lumbar spinal stenosis. (1) Inflammation is an immune response, but it can become a problem itself when it becomes continuous. With inflammation, you can experience redness, pain, swelling and other sensations that are uncomfortable and can greatly affect your quality of life. Our 5 best home remedies, including lifestyle changes, will help you combat inflammation and its uncomfortable symptoms without the use of drugs. You simply have to look for common items you probably already have in your home or make changes to your lifestyle.
1. Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet
You may have heard of the amazing health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, and one is that they help fight inflammation in your body. You can obtain them through your diet with cold-water fish, which includes tuna, lake trout, sturgeon and salmon. You also need to have the right balance between omega-3 and omega-6 acids, with higher levels of omega-3. Many Americans consume too many omega-6 fatty acids without getting enough omega-3 fatty acids, contributing to inflammation. Try to eat more omega-3 acids over omega-6 acids, which you get through foods like meat, eggs and oils like sunflower, soybean, safflower, corn and cottonseed. These are included in many processed and fried foods, so they are easy to eat in an unhealthy American diet. (2)
2. Limit Certain Foods in Your Diet
Your body naturally creates uric acid with the help of purines in the liver. In general, uric acid leaves your body through urine, and intestinal bacteria break the rest down, so it’s not a problem. However, when you have too much uric acid in your system, it can create salt crystals, known as monosodium urate, which form in the joints and cause inflammation. Reducing the amount of purine you take in through your diet can help prevent this from happening and help reduce inflammation in your joints. This includes cutting back on or eliminating meats like beef, lamb, pork and organ meats; alcohol; purine-rich seafood like sardines and tuna; fruit juice and high-fructose corn syrup. (3)
3. Exercise to Reduce Joint Inflammation
A study in Current Pharmaceutical Design shows that exercising regularly can reduce inflammation. Researchers do not fully understand how exercise affects inflammation, but one of the reasons is that it helps the body make more anti-inflammatory proteins, which are called chemokines and cytokines. (4) In addition, exercise can help you control your weight, which can be helpful in keeping uric acid amounts under control. (3)
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
When you include many healthy foods in your diet and reduce or eliminate unhealthy foods, this lifestyle change can fight inflammation. This means that you should mostly eat healthy foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and other plant-based foods, as well as omega-3-rich fish and lean poultry. High-fiber foods can also greatly help inflammation. However, be aware that some of these foods, such as whole grains and fruit, can sometimes trigger inflammation on a personal basis, so you should know your individual triggers. Overall, you should consume much more of this type of food than unhealthy food that contains high amounts of sugar and saturated fat, including fast food and processed food, which contribute to inflammation. Just as with exercise, a healthier diet can also help you control your weight, which helps reduce inflammation. (2)
5. Eat to Flush Uric Acid from Your Body
Certain foods can help lower some of the uric acid levels in your body, thus preventing or reducing joint inflammation. It can help if you obtain the nutrients vitamin C and folic acid naturally through your diet. Vitamin C is found in much more than citrus fruit; you can also obtain it through fruits and vegetables like kiwi, cantaloupe, red cabbage, broccoli, peppers and other produce. You can get folic acid, which is a B vitamin, through citrus fruit, dark green leafy vegetables and legumes. Also, taking in a lot of water can flush some of the uric acid out of your system.