7 Drinks to Prevent Arthritis

Arthritis is an extremely painful condition for which there is no cure. You can manage the disease, minimize your flare-ups, but it never goes away. Therefore, you want to do everything you can to prevent it in the first place.

A lot has to do with genetics, but certain lifestyle factors play a big part as well. Repetitive stress from work is one cause. But diet is another big one – and it’s the easiest one to control.

Going a bit deeper, it’s not just what you eat but also what you drink that can affect arthritis. Many of us don’t think a lot about our beverages, but we should. One soda, for example, has as much added sugar as we should have in an entire day from any source. And that morning coffee could be a smart, antioxidant-rich way to start the day, or a cream-and-sugar laden gut bomb, depending on how it is prepared.

Following are 7 drinks that have been shown to reduce the occurrence and/or symptoms of arthritis. It’s all about preventing inflammation.

1. Red Wine

This is great news, but take it with a grain of salt. Red wine contains a compound called resveratrol that is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Regular consumption of red wine has been linked with a lower risk of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

However, you must drink it in moderation. Too much wine, or alcohol of any kind, does just the opposite of what you want. It inflames tissues and causes dehydration, leaving joints achy and swollen. To reap the benefits of red wine, stick to one glass per day for women and two for men.

2. Tart Cherry Juice

Many juices are high in vitamin C, which can provide strong antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants are able to neutralize the free radicals that cause bodily inflammation.

However, fruit juice is really high in sugar and calories, with none of the fiber found in whole fruit. In general, it’s best to just eat the fruit rather than drink juice.

An exception to this rule is tart cherry juice, which has been specifically found to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms and prevent flare-ups of gout. A juice you might want to avoid if you already have arthritis is grapefruit juice, as it alters the effect of many different medications.

3. Milk

Some people with arthritis do better to stay away from dairy products, but this is mainly true if they have a general sensitivity to the proteins in milk. For these folks, consuming dairy causes bloating, gas, and the worst enemy of arthritis sufferers – inflammation.

However, if milk doesn’t bother you, there is some evidence that suggests drinking milk can help to prevent gout and hold back the progression of osteoarthritis.

4. Smoothies

Smoothies are way healthier than plain juice because they retain the fiber of the whole fruit. They are also a great way to get your veggies, especially ones that you don’t like so much on their own. Adding some spinach or kale in with a berry and banana blend may make the color less appetizing, but you won’t even taste it!

Add some yogurt to get your probiotics, which are good bacteria that maintain the health of your gut and decrease inflammation.

The combination of fruit, vegetable, and yogurt makes a tasty drink that has vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and probiotics. This combo delivers a powerhouse of protective ingredients to stave off arthritis.

5. Tea

There have been tons of studies on the health value of tea, and the good news is that it is all good for you. Whether green, black, or white, tea contains a hearty helping of polyphenols, which are strong anti-inflammatory compounds. Green and white teas have the most.

Research shows that green tea is the gold standard for people concerned about arthritis. Its polyphenol type is one called epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG), and it has been shown to be 100 times stronger in antioxidant ability than both vitamins C and E. EGCG may also help to preserve the integrity of cartilage and bone, so that your joints stay strong.

6. Coffee

There is conflicting information about the benefits of coffee for arthritis prevention. On one hand, coffee has those powerful polyphenols to fight inflammation caused by free radical damage.

There is also some research that says coffee may protect against the development of gout. But when it comes to osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, some studies suggest that coffee may increase the risk, while others find no greater odds.

If you’re already a coffee-drinker, you don’t have to stop. Just make sure to consume it in moderation as the risk seems to kick in at 4 cups per day. If you don’t enjoy coffee, there is no reason to pick up the habit. Drink tea or a smoothie to start your day instead.

7. Water

It’s not fancy, but good old plain water is one of the best things to drink to prevent arthritis, plus a whole host of other ills. Proper hydration allows the body to flush out toxins that might otherwise spark inflammation.

It also keeps the joints lubricated and comfortable. Some studies suggest that drinking more water can prevent gout attacks.

As long as you are eating a generally healthy diet, there is no need to buy fancy vitamin waters. The amount of added nutrition you get is tiny. Just filter your tap water in a pitcher or through a faucet filter and aim for about 2 liters per day.

These 7 drinks are great for preventing arthritis, but they can also support the healthy function of all your body’s systems.

Job one is to stay hydrated with nice pure water, but these other beverages can deliver the nutrition and antioxidants you need to round out your diet. They’ll keep you from getting beverage boredom, too!