Turmeric Supplements & No Inflammatory Foods: An Arthritis Healing Combination

Turmeric Supplements & No Inflammatory Foods: An Arthritis Healing Combination

With age often comes loss of joint mobility which can significantly slow down your life. Arthritis and related joint conditions is one of the top joint challenges for Americans alone which, over time, can cause a variety of obstacles such as buttoning a shirt or opening a jar. There are several types of arthritis conditions which include inflammatory, degenerative, soft tissue, connective tissue, infectious and metabolic.

Conventional medicine offers the usual, temporary synthetic fixes such as anti-inflammatory medicines, pain management and even anti-anxiety drugs to deal with arthritis symptoms. However, there are several alternative remedies that can be used to treat and minimize arthritis without the side effects of pharmaceuticals.

Turmeric (curcumin), the ancient spice still used in many recipes, particularly those from India, has been studied and validated as one of the top natural supplemental remedies for arthritis. Avoiding inflammatory foods is another time tested approach. Putting these two remedies together may be all you need to manage your arthritis without using medicine.

Arthritis on the Rise

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

“From 2013-2015, an estimated 54.4 million US adults (22.7%) annually had ever been told by a doctor that they had some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis [RA], gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia…By 2040, an estimated 78 million (26%) US adults ages 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.”

Symptoms and Causes

Causes of arthritis vary with some people developing it for no known reason while others may be attributed to:

  • Trauma – Injury to a joint that over time weakens and develops arthritis
  • Genetics – If it runs in the family chances are it’s in your blood
  • Diet – Some believe that genetics may be caused by generational eating of inflammatory foods
  • Metabolism – Being unable to excrete uric acid can cause arthritic conditions like gout
  • Immune System – A weak immune system may manifest an auto-immune response such as RA
  • RUS – Repetitive use syndrome such as constant piano playing could accumulate into arthritis

Symptoms associated with arthritis are mainly pain while attempting to move certain joints. There is also swelling, topical redness, shooting pain while stationary and constant stiffness.

Inflammatory Foods

Before taking a natural remedy such as turmeric for arthritis it is important to look at how you may inadvertently be contributing to this condition. One way is by eating what you might think are  benign foods when chemically they could be breaking down and causing joint inflammation.

The Arthritis Foundation cites 8 food ingredients that may irritate arthritic conditions along with studies that prove such results.


“The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Sugar goes by many names so look out for any word ending in “ose,” e.g. fructose or sucrose on ingredient labels.”

Saturated Fats 

“Several studies have shown that saturated fats trigger adipose (fat tissue) inflammation, which is not only an indicator for heart disease but it also worsens arthritis inflammation. Pizza and cheese are the biggest sources of saturated fats in the average American diet, according to the National Cancer Institute. Other culprits include meat products (especially red meat), full-fat dairy products, pasta dishes and grain-based desserts.”

Trans Fats

“Harvard School of Public Health researchers helped sound the alarm about trans fat in the early 1990s. Known to trigger systemic inflammation, trans fat can be found in fast foods and other fried products, processed snack foods, frozen breakfast products, cookies, donuts, crackers and most stick margarines. Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient labels.”

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

“Omega 6 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid that the body needs for normal growth and development. The body needs a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. These fatty acids are found in oils such corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, peanut, and vegetable; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings.”

Refined Carbohydrates

“White flour products (breads, rolls, crackers) white rice, white potatoes (instant mashed potatoes, or french fries) and many cereals are refined carbohydrates. According to Scientific American, processed carbohydrates may trump fats as the main driver of escalating rates of obesity and other chronic conditions. These high-glycemic index foods fuel the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) products that stimulate inflammation.”


“Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor-enhancing food additive most commonly found in prepared Asian food and soy sauce, but it can also be added to fast foods, prepared soups and soup mixes, salad dressings and deli meats. This chemical can trigger two important pathways of chronic inflammation, and affect liver health.”

Gluten and Casein 

“Common allergens like gluten and casein (proteins found in dairy and wheat) may also promote inflammation. For individuals living with arthritis who also have celiac disease (gluten allergy) and dairy intolerance, the inflammatory effect can be even worse. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and any foods made with these grains. Casein is found in whey protein products.”


“Trying to go sugar-free? Aspartame is a non-nutritive, intense artificial sweetener found in more than 4,000 products worldwide. It is a neurotoxin, which means it affects the brain. If you are sensitive to this chemical, your immune system will react to the “foreign substance” by attacking the chemical, which in return, will trigger an inflammatory response.”

The Curcumin Effect

The active compound in the spice turmeric is curcumin. It has been found to act as an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective supplement.

‘A randomized pilot study to assess efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis’ was conducted by researchers from Nirmala Medical Centre, Muvattupuzha, Kerala, India. Published in Phytotherapy Research (11/26/12) the study stated that,

“Interestingly, the curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall DAS [Disease Activity Score] and ACR [American College of Rheumatology] scores [] and these scores were significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium group. More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate with any adverse events. Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.”

Another study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food (8/1/16) stated,

“This systematic review and meta-analysis provided scientific evidence that 8–12 weeks of standardized turmeric extracts (typically 1000 mg/day of curcumin) treatment can reduce arthritis symptoms (mainly pain and inflammation-related symptoms) and result in similar improvements of the symptoms as ibuprofen and diclofenac sodium. Therefore, turmeric extracts and curcumin can be cautiously recommended for alleviating the symptoms of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis.”

This research represents a fraction of the many studies conducted regarding the effect of turmeric on joint pain with most concluding a successful outcome.

Changing your diet and adding a natural anti-inflammatory proves to be a win-win when struggling with arthritic pain. Try it for yourself over the recommended 8-12 weeks and see if you can’t heal your pain naturally.