Arthritis Friendly Foods – Which foods help? Which ones hurt?

By Lana Latest Activity June 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm Views 5,290 Replies 3 Likes 6


When we talk about nutritional care of arthritis, we are referring to eating plenty of foods that reduce inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet includes avoiding that make inflammation worse and eating plenty of foods that reduce inflammation.

Foods that help reduce inflammation include:
• those that contain omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, herring, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, rainbow trout and walnuts)
• extra virgin olive oil
• Foods that contain vitamin C, selenium, carotenes, bioflavonoids. Vitamin C cannot be found in many of your favorite fruits and vegetables. Selenium can be found in crab, tuna, tilapia, whole wheat pasta, shrimp, lean beef, turkey, etc. You can find carotene in sweet potatoes, kale, butternut squash, spinach, etc. Bioflavonoids can be found in onions, kale, leeks, cherry tomatoes, apples with skin, apricots, etc.
• Anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins are powerful antioxidants that have inflammation reducing qualities. You can find them in blackberries, spices such as turmeric and ginger, and red and black grapes.

Foods that can increase inflammation and cause joint pain include dairy, refined sugars, grains that contain gluten (wheat, oats, and rye), polyunsaturated oils (sunflower, corn, and peanut oil), caffeine, and red meats. It is not a requirement to remove these foods from your diet but it makes sense to eat them in moderation.

Some nightshade vegetables are also believed to increase inflammation in the body. However, the University of Washington states, on their website, that: "No foods have been definitively shown to cause or exacerbate arthritis in most individuals. A variety of diets and hand-me-down information exists about certain foods and arthritis, in particular the night shade plants, but none of it has been proven."

The effect of nightshade foods varies from person to person so you can be the judge of this. Some common foods that belong to the nightshade family include: white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet and hot peppers, and cherries.

What arthritis friendly foods help you with keeping symptoms at bay? Which foods aggravate your symptoms?

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Replies (3 replies)

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  • redorangedog
    redorangedog February 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm   

    Redorangedog, Many health experts are recommending the Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, salmon, sardines, olive oil, walnuts, almonds and macadamia, turmeric, ginger and oregano. These foods fight disease and reduce inflammation.

  • marieanne
    marieanne February 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm   

    Hi Dear1, great article, thanks. Hugs, marieanne

  • Calamity Sue
    Calamity Sue June 18, 2011 at 8:28 am   

    Drinking a mix of carrot juice and spinach juice really helps. The ratio for the juice is 2 parts carrots and 1 part spinach.

    Ginger really helps too. I add it to my smoothies or eat a couple of ginger candies each day. They are 8% ginger and are quite delicious, available in some health food stores. However, there is a possibility that ginger might increase the effects of blood thinners if taken in excess.

    My symptoms do not seem to be bothered by potatoes or tomatoes. I've tried eating them and going without them, and did not experience increased pain when eating them or decreased pain when not eating them.

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