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Diet for Swollen Finger Joints

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Diet for Swollen Finger Joints
The omega-3s in salmon help reduce inflammation. Photo Credit: runin/iStock/Getty Images

While there's no special diet for someone with swollen fingers, what you eat may help reduce the swelling, depending on the cause. Anti-inflammatory foods may help finger inflammation, while limiting sodium may help lessen fluid retention. Be sure to consult your doctor to help you manage your swollen joints and discuss dietary needs.

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Get Your Omega-3s

If your fingers are swollen due to inflammation caused by arthritis, you want to make sure you include good food sources of omega-3s in your diet. Omega-3s are essential fats that have been shown to decrease inflammatory proteins, which may help reduce the swelling in your fingers, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Omega-3s may aid in pain control caused by arthritis as well, notes the foundation. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fats -- try to eat 3 to 4 ounces twice a week. Nonfish sources of omega-3s include soy foods, walnuts and flaxseeds.

Fill Up on Antioxidants

Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables may also help reduce the swelling in your finger joints. Like omega-3s, antioxidants reduce swelling by neutralizing the free radicals that damage your cells. To keep swelling under control, try to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day -- the more colorful, the better. Good choices include broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, cantaloupe, blueberries, raspberries, cherries and eggplant.

Plant Proteins

Nuts, seeds and beans are not only good sources of protein, but they also contain nutrients that fight inflammation. Monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, reports the Arthritis Foundation. The fiber and phytonutrients, including nutrients such as quercetin and genistein, in beans may also help. Enjoy a handful of nuts every day, and add at least 1 cup of beans to your diet twice a week.

Going Low-Sodium

In addition to arthritis, swollen finger joints may be due to fluid retention. Reducing your sodium intake may help improve the swelling. That means not adding any extra salt to your food and limiting your intake of foods high in sodium such as smoked or cured meats, frozen meals, most canned foods, pizza and fast food. A low-sodium diet usually limits your daily intake to 2,000 milligrams a day or less.

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