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7 Ways to Prevent Arthritis

Here's what recent research suggests you should do

Enjoy a Cocktail

En español l 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. It doesn't matter what you drink: Beer, wine and liquor yielded the same results.

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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.

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Skip Sodas

Sugary soft drinks contribute to weight gain and 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.

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Pass on Prime Rib

Eating foods high in purines — a compound found in protein-rich foods such as red meat, oily fish and even certain vegetables (spinach, mushrooms, beans) — 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.

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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.

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Go Alternative

Acupuncture, tai chi and yoga 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. Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning complementary or alternative medicine treatment.

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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.

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