Expert Opinions

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I am a 25-year-old athletic female and I am currently being treated for chronic bursitis and tendonitis in both knees. What foods can help decrease inflammation in my knees?

M.M. Philadelphia
Because of their involvement in building collagen and repairing injured tendons and bursa tissue, foods rich in vitamin C , beta-carotene, and zinc may be beneficial in the management of tendonitis and bursitis. Foods high in vitamin E and selenium may also be helpful because of their ability to enhance the healing of damaged tissue.

In addition, bromelain derived from pineapple (fresh fruit, canned, or juice) has been recommended for the inflammation and swelling of sports injuries. Garlic, ginger, and omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce inflammation. Because of their antioxidant activities, flavonoid-rich foods, especially those high in quercetin, may also be beneficial.

For more information on any of these substances, follow the related links. The leading food sources for these substances are listed below.

Beta-carotene: asparagus, carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, cantaloupe, apricots, bok choy, kale, butternut squash, spinach

Zinc: barley, chicken, wheat, oysters, crab, lamb, beef, turkey

Vitamin E: broccoli, avocados, almonds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, mangoes

Selenium: brown rice, Brazil nuts, tuna, shrimp, sunflower seeds, eggs, chicken

Flavonoids: broccoli, blueberries, soybeans, lemons, apples, tomatoes, onions, grapefruit , carrots, pomegranates, and limes.

Quercetin: onions, apples, tea, grapes

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