The bad news? There’s no “miracle diet” that can resolve your arthritis or joint pain. However, certain foods, when combined with a proper treatment plan or routine can help your pain become more manageable.
Simply speaking, inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to injury or infection. When inflammation becomes chronic, it can damage the body and joints, contributing to painful conditions like arthritis or the development of diseases including cancer and diabetes. While you can’t fight inflammation or joint pain with diet alone, many studies have shown that certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties that can help balance things out.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, these foods have been shown to reduce pain even in people with osteoarthritis, which is generally considered a non-inflammatory form of arthritis. Packed with nutrients that promote bone health, these foods can help strengthen your bones and joints, which also benefits people with osteoporosis.
Here are some of our favorite joint-friendly foods we recommend filling your weekly menu with:
- Sip on green or ginger tea. Instead of pouring a cup of coffee, how about starting your day with a cup of tea? For centuries, green tea has been known for its numerous health benefits related to everything from weight loss to skin health. Studies have shown that green tea, which is mainly composed of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), also has anti-inflammatory effects. You can drink green tea either iced or hot to benefit, but make sure to opt for tea bags, which may be less processed than other options. Another tea we’d recommend? A relaxing cup of ginger tea! Similarly, ginger is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Don’t forget your citrus. It goes without saying that citrus fruits like oranges, clementines, grapefruit, lemons, and limes are loaded with vitamin C. They also contain nutrients like fiber, potassium, and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Fruits rich with vitamin C can help with tissue repair, making them an ideal snack choice for people with osteoarthritis.
- Dine on some dark veggies and fruits. We’re sure you probably already know the importance of having a diet filled with fruits and vegetables. But did you know that darker, brighter fruits and veggies are especially loaded with antioxidants and can help fight inflammation? According to the Arthritis Foundation, red and purple fruits, like strawberries or blackberries, and leafy greens, like broccoli, are filled with vitamin K and may be especially helpful.
- Feast on some fish. Fish, which are also a staple of the famed Mediterranean Diet, can play a helpful role in warding off inflammation. Fish are a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, especially fish like salmon, mackerel, cod, tuna, and herring. Not a fan of fish? Try taking fish oil supplements instead – your joints will thank you!
- Pour on the oil. Not all cooking oils are anti-inflammatory but don’t be afraid to use oil filled with heart-healthy fats. Anti-inflammatory oils worth keeping in your diet include olive oil, avocado oil, and flaxseed oil.
Changes to your diet not cutting it? Check out our Find a Doctor tool to locate an expert in your area and explore our portfolio of bone-preserving treatment options.