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Ask the Expert Archive

What Foods Help with Inflammation?

 

Q. I am needing a new hip. What foods do I eat for less pain?
 
A. Nutrients found in several foods can help ease inflammation, stiffness, and muscle soreness.
 
Here are a few examples:  

  • Polyunsaturated fats: This healthy fat has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.  Try olive oil instead of butter or other animal-based fats which are loaded with saturated fats.  Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may also help to reduce inflammation.
  • Potassium: Potassium can also relieve muscle pain caused by activity. Potassium is a mineral that aids the body in building muscle, restoring electrolytes from perspiration, and breaking down carbohydrates for energy. Foods high in potassium include:  vegetable juice, tomato/tomato products, potatoes (sweet and white), peanut butter, milk, prunes, mangoes, bananas, and oranges.
  • Increase all fruits & veggies:  Fruits and vegetables are packed with anti-inflammatory agents.  For example, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and bok choy) have been found to reduce inflammation. In addition, calcium-rich vegetables may also be beneficial for healing muscles and connective tissues (e.g. bone, cartilage, blood, and fat). Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.  Check out our Quick Recipe Ideas for suggestions that highlight ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables at every meal.

 

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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