These Arthritis Fighting Foods Need To Be Part Of Your Diet

Nearly three million people are diagnosed with arthritis every year. It’s a chronic illness that can have agonizing lasting effects. Although there are some medications, therapies, and surgeries that can reduce symptoms, diet also plays a large part in managing arthritis. Switching to foods full of omega-3s, antioxidants, and vitamins can attempt to relieve the pain. Keep reading to see which foods and drinks are the best for people with arthritis.

Look For This Antioxidant In Green Tea

Ceramic cup of green matcha tea on wet sackcloth rag over dark wooden textured background
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

According to Healthline, green tea has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It’s packed with polyphenols and antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and slow down the process of cartilage destruction.

Another antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been proven to block the molecules that cause joint damage for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Green tea can also help with concentration and mood and decreases the chances of heart disease and stroke. Also, the polyphenols can reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.

Olive Oil Didn’t Only Help Humans With Arthritis

olive oil being poured into a bowl
Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images

PubMed Central found a study where mice were fed extra-virgin olive oil for six weeks. The result included a halted development of arthritis, reduced joint swelling, slowed cartilage destruction, and decreased inflammation.

The health benefits of the extra-virgin olive oil were very similar with humans because of its many anti-inflammatory elements. It also has several heart-healthy fats and oleocanthal, which have similar properties to many anti-inflammatory medicines that are given to those with arthritis.

Salsa Is Packed With Vitamin C

bowl with salsa
Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Healthline notes that vitamins are a crucial element for fighting arthritis pain. One food packed with a lot of vitamin C happens to be salsa. It usually contains tomatoes, onions, and other vegetables that not only have vitamins, but also fiber and antioxidants.

Registered dietician Andrea Dunn recommends using salsa as a dip for vegetables or crackers, as opposed to fatty store-bought dressings and sauces. Salsa is relatively easy to make at home, but is commonly found at most grocery stores.

Quinoa Is A Great Whole Grain Substitute

someone pouring quinoa into a pot
Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Whole grains should be a staple in anyone’s diet, especially those with arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, quinoa is one of the healthiest whole grains because it contains high levels of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

The Arthritis Foundation suggests cutting out things like white bread and white rice and replacing them with whole grains such as quinoa. This “can lower levels of compounds in your body that trigger flares.” Also, whole grains can help with weight loss.

Broccoli Is Rich In Calcium And Vitamins

head of broccoli surrounded by green leaves
Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images
Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods in existence; rich in vitamins K and C and is also a great anti-inflammatory. A study by PubMed Central found that over a thousand women who consumed it had decreased levels of inflammation.

This superfood also contains a compound called sulforaphane, which has been proven to prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis. The Arthritis Foundation also says that it contains a lot of calcium and is perfect for keeping bones strong and healthy.

Garlic Is Scientifically Proven To Ease Arthritis Symptoms

person holding handful of garlic bulbs
Josh Edelson/Getty Images
Josh Edelson/Getty Images

Garlic is known for its strong anti-inflammatory abilities, which aim to fight arthritis. Researchers conducted a study where they focused on 1,082 sets of twins where one twin ate garlic and the other did not. The twin that ate the garlic had a reduced risk of osteoarthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation found that the compound diallyl disulphine in garlic may have the ability to limit the cells in the body that cause damage to cartilage. Also, a study by PubMed Central said that garlic can lower the risk for cancer, heart disease, and dementia.

Dark Chocolate Is Dietician Approved

Close up of whole dark chocolate bar
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Spine Universe says that dark chocolate is filled with a lot of anti-inflammatory properties. It contains compounds that fight inflammation such as antioxidants and phytochemicals (chemicals found in plant foods).

Although it’s an anti-inflammatory aimed at easing the symptoms of arthritis, registered dietician Andrea Dunn urges people to not go overboard. “Just keep portions small to limit the saturated fat and calories,” said Dunn. She recommends eating about half of an ounce because it contains all the flavor with few calories.

Prunes Lower The Risk For Arthritis

people packing prunes into boxes
Abdelhak Senna/AFP via Getty Images
Abdelhak Senna/AFP via Getty Images

According to the Arthritis Foundation, fruit is something that people with arthritis should eat regularly. It contains large amounts of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, which can lower the risk for arthritis, heart disease, and stroke.

Prunes are a perfect example of a healthy fruit. Healthline says prunes build bones and muscles, lower blood pressure, help digestion, reduce cholesterol levels, and are high in potassium, iron, and vitamins. If eating them doesn’t sound too tempting, try having them in juice.

A Small Serving Of Salmon Goes A Long Way

Atlantic salmon for sale at a fish store
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Those with arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, have an increased risk of poor bone health. That means they need to eat foods that support bone growth. One food that can help with that is salmon.

“There is often bone loss around inflamed joints, and [medication] can be hard on your bones,” said Anca D. Askanese, MD, clinical director of rheumatology at Columbia University. Salmon is high in vitamin D and just three ounces of it can provide all the recommended amount for the whole day. It also has omega-3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation and support heart health.

Beans Help With Weight Loss And Joint Damage

Red kidney beans soup with small splashes of grains falling into the hot food
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Not all beans have the power to fight arthritis, but the ones that do their best include pinto, kidney, and red beans. The Arthritis Foundation states that these are packed with fiber, protein, folic acid, potassium, iron, and zinc.

Keeping a healthy weight is important for people with rheumatoid arthritis because it reduces the pressure on weight-bearing joints. A registered dietician named Lona Sandon says, “[Beans] can keep you feeling full on fewer calories, which can help you drop extra pounds.”

Spinach Does The Body Good

Fresh spinach leaves are seen in the produce section
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Spinach is a top superfood known for being full of nutrients and antioxidants. Healthline shared that many of its components are able to help decrease the inflammation caused by arthritis.

It’s also a good source of vitamins B2, K, A, and C, folate, manganese, magnesium, and iron. This means that spinach maintains bone health, which is crucial for people with arthritis. According to Health, spinach produces flavonoids called kaempferol and quercetin. These reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes and have positive effects on memory.

Ginger Can Be Used As Medicine

Fresh ginger roots
Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images
Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images

The chemicals in ginger have anti-inflammatory properties, which are something that people with arthritis need. Not only is ginger something that can be used as an ingredient in food, but it’s also widely used as a medicine in China and India.

Healthline states that other than helping with arthritis, ginger has health benefits that can reduce the risk of ulcers, diabetes, bacterial infections, migraines, and more. For example, a study conducted in 2016 had researchers give fish a ginger supplement. This boosted their immunity and helped them fight certain infections.

Why Arthritis Patients Should Eat Cherries

a box of red cherries
Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Cherries and tart cherry juice are scientifically proven to help decrease symptoms of arthritis. Healthline found that participants in a research study who were given tart cherry juice for six weeks had significantly decreased symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduced inflammation.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, the anthocyanins in cherries have an anti-inflammatory effect. Not only do cherries reduce inflammation for people with arthritis, but they have also been proven to stop the frequency of gout flare-ups.

Walnuts Are Chalked Full Of Omega-3s

Walnuts are seen against a wooden surface
Oleh Snitovskyi/Getty Images
Oleh Snitovskyi/Getty Images

NPS Medicinewise says that omega-3 fatty acids help with arthritis symptoms because they reduce inflammation. There are plenty of omega-3s in walnuts, but they shouldn’t be eaten in high quantities. This is due to them being high in calories.

They also contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, which make them a good source of healthy fat. Researchers found that those who ate walnuts and other nuts for 15 years were half as likely to develop anti-inflammatory diseases such as arthritis than those who didn’t eat them.

Oranges Provide Lots Of Vitamin C

man picking oranges off a tree
Tom Stoddart/Getty Images
Tom Stoddart/Getty Images

It’s important to incorporate a large amount of vitamins into your diet, especially if you have arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation suggests that people eat oranges because they have a ton of vitamin C.

Getting enough vitamins prevents inflammation and helps those with osteoarthritis maintain healthy joints. Other citrus fruits have lots of vitamins as well including grapefruits, limes, and lemons. According to Healthline, the antioxidants in oranges can lower the risk for heart disease and kidney stones.

Tofu Does The Body Good

Grilled Tofu With Ginger-Cilantro Sauce
Tom McCorkle/Lisa Cherkasky/Getty Images
Tom McCorkle/Lisa Cherkasky/Getty Images

One of the most common staples in a non-meat diet is tofu. It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for taking care of inflammation in people with arthritis.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, tofu is a type of soybean that is low in fat and high in protein and fiber. BBC Good Food states that tofu also contains all nine essential amino acids, which support muscle and bone growth. Those who don’t enjoy the taste of tofu can also get a lot of the same nutrients from other soybean products such as edamame.

Grab A Spoonful Of Yogurt

man eating yogurt from a giant spoon
Charley Gallay/WireImage/Getty Images
Charley Gallay/WireImage/Getty Images

A food group that those with arthritis should make sure to eat is dairy. Low-fat yogurt contains calcium and vitamin D, which can support bone strength and ease inflammation symptoms.

ABC News says that yogurt contains a lot of probiotics and this aides in gut health and digestion. If yogurt doesn’t tempt your taste buds, there are other low-fat dairy products that are recommended for people with arthritis such as milk and cheese. Those that can’t eat dairy can try leafy green vegetables as an alternative.

Brown Rice Lowers CRP Levels

Brown raw rice in a small clay bowl
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Something that people with arthritis need to be aware of is their C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. When those get too high, it can cause arthritis symptoms to become more severe.

Not only do high CRP levels cause arthritis to flare up, but it also leads to heart disease and diabetes. The Arthritis Foundations suggests eating whole grains such as brown rice to lower the levels of CRP in the bloodstream. Brown rice lowers inflammation, is high in fiber, and can lower cholesterol.

Berries Reduce Inflammation

Blueberries and raspberries seen displayed
Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arthritis symptoms can seem never-ending, but there are certain foods that may help to soothe them. According to Healthline, berries such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are jam-packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

That means that berries have the capability to decrease inflammation. A study by PubMed Central found that over 38,000 women who regularly ate strawberries were 14 percent less likely to have an elevated level of inflammation in their bloodstream. Also, berries are rich in quercetin and rutin, which are plant compounds full of health benefits.

Arthritis Hacks For Chopping Kale And Other Veggies

Kale is seen at a Farmer's Market
Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images
Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Getting plenty of servings of vegetables is key for people with arthritis. Dark, leafy vegetables such as kale are full of rich nutrients and antioxidants, which reduce joint damage.

According to registered dietician Lona Sandon, kale and other dark green vegetables can lower inflammation in the body, are full of fiber, and barely have any calories. They can ease stress on joints and even help people trying to lose weight. Sandon suggests buying pre-cut vegetables at the store if chopping food is too painful.