Natural Remedies For Arthritis: Nutrition
Being in the later stages of a life characterized by a passion for motion whether it be the thrill of downhill skiing, cycling, rollerblading or what have you, has led to mishaps, which make finding natural remedies for arthritis more than a passing interest.
I remember when I broke my clavicle in a mountain cycling accident the doctor warned me that arthritis would probably rear its ugly head later on. Similarly when I broke my femur in a freak accident rollerblading.
After reading about a doctor, who had his arthritis patients consume a few grams of ginger daily, report on their marked improvement I decided to give it a whirl. I have been amazed at how well it works and not only that, but how many incredible health benefits ginger has.
Ginger is generally thought of as a spice, especially to flavor Asian dishes. Here, you need to be intentional to insure regular consumption. Due to my initial lack of intentality it took some time before I realized just how effective it is for arthritis pain.
I would be pain free for a few weeks when I was diligent in eating some every day then suffer when I was not. Being just a tad absent minded, which comes with the territory, as some of my older readers will realize, it took awhile to put 2 and 2 together.
As it turns out ginger contains a host of extremely potent natural anti-inflammatory agents. These substances are phytonutrients called gingerol. Phytonutrients are a part of a plant's immune system to protect them from everything from insects through diseases and excess heat, to pollutants.
Phytonutrients are associated with prevention and treatment of some of the biggies including cancer as well as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. Gingerol, the active agent in ginger, has been found to be effective in combating nauseaa especially morning sickness and motion sickness.
Gingerol also has been documented to treat migraines and believed to be effective in protecting the stomach from ulcers as well as having parasite fighting abilities. Ginger has proved so effective that it led me to research other natural remedies for arthritis.
Not surprisingly capsaicin, a chemical relative of gingerol has been found, as a topical agent in capsaicin cream, to alleviate the pain of arthritis. According to University of Oxford study almost 40% of arthritis patients reduced their pain by half using it for a month.
Another interesting correlation was found at the New England Center for Headache. Patients experienced a decrease in intensity of migraine and cluster headaches after applying capsaicin cream to the insides of their nostrils.
Due to the millions of people affected by arthritis and the often unspecified limitations of physical activity arthritis medications are among the highest prescribed drugs in the world. Some of the common over the counter so called NSAID's used to treat arthritis pain are Advil, Motrin and aspirin.
Ginger has been demonstrated to be more effective than any of these without their very detrimental side effects. But ginger is not the only natural way to fight arthritis with nutrients. Another spice, turmeric, which is an ingredient in curry has similar effects to ginger. Curcumin an active component in turmeric has been shown to facilitate inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Fish oil as well as extra virgin olive oil has natural anti-inflammatory attributes. Fish, especially oily fish like salmon and herring with their high concentration of omega-3 make good natural anti-inflammatory meals.
Meat, poultry, eggs and the fat from dairy products are all good healthy foods. But because of their high concentration of omega-6 containing pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid the more you eat the more fish you need to balance that.
It may be wise to incorporate flaxseed or supplements of flaxseed oil for the all important omega-3 fatty acid if you feel are not eating sufficient fish. I have been incorporating all of these measure into my daily fare and have found that when I am diligent I am almost pain free from arthritis.