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Cut Your Arthritis Risk with Fruits & Veggies

A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found the average daily intake of two carotenoids (beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin) was lower (by 40% and 20% respectively) for arthritis patients than healthy subjects. Both of these carotenoids can reduce inflammation. Further analysis showed that the participants with the highest intake were about half as likely to develop inflammatory arthritis than those with the lowest intake. Two other popular carotenoids, lutein and lycopene, did not appear to protect against arthritis.

Action Sparked
If you are looking for a way to protect your body against arthritis, it may already be a part of your normal breakfast routine—orange juice. To receive the protective, anti-inflammatory benefits of beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin include 7-9 fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Foods high in these particular carotenoids include: oranges, papaya, tangerines, kale, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, red pepper, okra and romaine lettuce.
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Member Comments

Thanks for sharing Report
Interesting article. We all know we should be eating enough fruit and veg. I do try and also try not to beat myself up if I fail. I am lucky in that I do love my fruit and veggies but 7 to 9 a day is a big ask. The only one on that list I really can not eat is Okra, it is not the taste it is the texture, but that still leaves plenty to choose from. I have decided that I will aim for 6 a day for this week - 7 for the next and so on. Report
My husband has arthritis, but I can't get him to eat enough fruit. Report
Wish the romaine wasn't on the don't eat right now list. Missing a good salad...…. Report
Interesting Report
Interesting info Report
Good article. Report
thanks for sharing Report
All foods that I eat now but I do have arthritis in parts of my hands. Report
Good to know! Report
Excellent article with helpful information. Report
Wouldn't it be nice if grocery stores listed this kind of info alongside fruits and veggies? Report
While outside of the scope of this article--I've seen articles chronicling the impact of food allergies on inflammation. Not everyone is sensitive, but to those who are, plants in the nightshade family can cause huge inflammation and pain responses--so until you know if you are sensitive or not, be careful to watch if you have increased inflammation after eating fruits/veggies and it is worth while to research the plant family those inflammation causing foods are in--patterns are likely to develop if you have food allergies. Report
good to know Report
I always believed diet could help Report
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About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.