Garlic and strawberries might be a good pair to reduce your risk or slow the progression of osteoarthritis — although we wouldn’t recommend eating them at the same time. We know that being overweight and obese can increase the risk for osteoarthritis, especially of the knees and hips, but does diet itself play a role? A recent study found that people who ate more fruits and vegetables, in particular alliums (garlic, leeks, and onion) and non-citrus fruit (berries, apples, peaches, plums, etc.) were less likely to have osteoarthritis.

The great thing is that even though these results are not conclusive (it was just one study, the study participants were volunteers, and they were almost all female twins), increasing your intake of allium vegetables and non-citrus fruit is healthy for your diet.

Using garlic, onion, or leeks to flavor food instead of salt can reduce your sodium intake. Fruits, especially berries, give you a huge nutritional bang for your buck. And both the allium vegetables and fruits are packed with antioxidants to help keep your body healthy.

Are you ready to enjoy these healthy fruits and vegetables? Here are some ideas to try:

  • Saute garlic or onion in some oil for a couple minutes before adding your favorite veggies. For a more mild flavor, use leeks instead.
  • Leeks go great with soups. Try this recipe featured recently in Bon Appetit.
  • Berries and low-fat Greek yogurt for protein, calcium, probiotics and antioxidant power snack.
  • Add diced apple to your next salad or grain dish for a delicately sweet touch.

And remember: If you are overweight or obese, one thing you can definitely do to help lower your risk of osteoarthritis (or the pain from it if you already have it) is to lose weight.

About Erica Giovinazzo

Erica Giovinazzo is a graduate student of Clinical Nutrition at New York University. She has served as the Chair of the Student Committee of the Greater New York Dietetic Association, the ADA Student Liaison for New York University, and a volunteer with Keri Gans Nutrition, God's Love We Deliver, and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Nutrition Department. In the coming year, Erica is delighted to be in the NYU Dietetic Internship, and complete the training to become a Registered Dietitian.

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Arthritis, News

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