According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is – for the most part – a disease of inflammation. When joints swell, turn red and feel warm to the touch, that is inflammatory in processes. One way to calm inflammation is with medicine prescribed by a doctor. Another way is to add a few key anti-inflammatory foods to your balanced diet. Among the most potent edible inflammation fighters are essential fatty acids called omega-3s – particularly the kinds of fatty acids found in fish. Experts recommend at least 3 to 4 ounces of fish, twice a week. Omega-3-rich fish include salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring.
How does this work?
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are called marine fatty acids because they come from fish. These Omega-3s interfere with immune cells called leukocytes and enzymes known as cytokines, which are both key players in the body’s inflammatory response. Research finds that people who regularly eat fish high in omega-3s are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA). And in those who already have the disease, marine omega-3s may help reduce joint swelling and pain.
The best sources of marine omega-3s are fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel. Eating a 3- to 6-ounce serving of these fish two to four times a week is recommended for lowering inflammation and protecting the heart.