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    8 Ways to Prevent Arthritis

    Here's what recent research suggests you should do

    • Enjoy a Cocktail

      En español | Women who consumed more than three alcoholic drinks a week over a 10-year period reduced their risk of rheumatoid arthritis by about half, according to a study in the British Medical Journal. But choose your drink wisely. Beer may increase your risk of knee and hip osteoarthritis. No matter what you drink, avoid overindulging. Excess alcohol ups your gout risk. — Corbis

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    • Put a Cherry (or 10) on Top

      Eating cherries, which contain powerful antioxidants with pain-fighting properties called anthocyanins, can lower gout attack risk. Study participants who ate 10 to 12 cherries over a two-day period had a 35 percent lower risk of flare-ups, the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism reports. Research also suggests that drinking tart cherry juice may ease some osteoarthritis pain. — Molly Dickson/Gallery Stock

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    • Skip Sodas

      Sugary soft drinks not only add to weight gain but may also contribute to the progression of knee osteoarthritis, especially in men who drink more than five sodas a week, according to a study at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Tufts Medical Center. Sodas also may up the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women, Harvard researchers concluded in a 2014 study. — Corbis

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    • Pass on Prime Rib

      Eating foods high in purines — especially organ meats like liver, but also other meat and animal products as well as oily fish and shellfish spinach, mushrooms, — can make gout flare-ups almost five times more likely than if you eat low-purine foods, finds an Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases study. Many alcoholic beverages also have high levels of purines, so go easy when you imbibe beer, wine and liquor, or, even better, abstain. — Corbis

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    • Get Moving

      Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly can help prevent some types of arthritis and lessen arthritis pain. Exercise strengthens muscles and joints, maintains flexibility and decreases fall risk. The most effective exercise regimen is a combination of aerobic exercise — think walking, biking and rowing — and strength training. Talk to your doctor before you start your new workout. — Istockphoto

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    • Go Alternative

      Acupuncture and tai chi have been shown to be effective treatments for pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, according to a study at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Massage may also offer some relief from joint pain. Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning complementary or alternative medicine treatment. — Istockphoto

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    • Get Curry

      Curcumin, which gives the spice turmeric its trademark bright yellow coloring, has anti-inflammatory properties that may help ease arthritis pain, a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found. Other studies suggest that curcumin may reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis, though more research is needed. But it’s not too soon to add turmeric to your pantry. Sprinkle on eggs and roasted vegetables, add to rice, or blend into a smoothie. — Gareth Morgans/Corbis

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    • Choose Olive Oil

      A growing body of research suggests  that a compound found in extra virgin olive oil may reduce inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, it appears to work much like ibuprofen to ease arthritis pain. So, use it in a salad dressing, toss it with spaghetti, or drip on vegetables. Just go easy — it’s healthy, but it’s heavy with calories. — Istock

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