Foods That Help Arthritis And Joint Pain. 

 August 16, 2023

By  Linda Rook

Fruit and Veggies


Arthritis is a considered a chronic condition by symptoms of inflammation in the joints, often leading to pain, stiffness,  and reduced mobility.

While medical treatments and therapies play a vital role in managing arthritis, a balanced and nutrient-rich diet can  also significantly contribute to easing symptoms and improving overall well-being. Certain foods possess anti-inflammatory properties and can help ease arthritis pain by reducing inflammation and supporting joint health.

In this article, we will explore a variety of foods that can be included in a diet to help manage arthritis pain effectively. 

Also provide insights into why these choices might increase joint health.  We will explore the connection between diet and arthritis flare-ups.

Discus foods to avoid and better direct these challenging periods.  Also delve into the connection between food and pain, exploring how certain foods can either worsen or alleviate pain sensations.

Anti-inflammatory Diet.

An anti-inflammatory diet is key for individuals struggling with arthritis pain. It highlights consuming foods that have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.

Incorporating these foods can help alleviate the discomfort caused by arthritis and potentially slow down the progression of the disease.

1. Fatty Fish.

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. These fatty acids can help reduce joint pain and stiffness by preventing the production of inflammatory molecules.

Including fish in your diet a few times a week can provide the necessary omega-3s to help manage arthritis symptoms.

2. Berries.

Berries like blueberries, strawberries, and cherries are packed with antioxidants and anthocyanins, compounds that have been found to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Incorporating these colourful fruits into your diet can offer numerous health benefits, including potentially reducing arthritis pain.

3. Nuts and Seeds.

Nuts and seeds, particularly walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that possess anti-inflammatory properties.

These plant-based sources of healthy fats can be easily incorporated into meals, snacks, or added to smoothies to promote joint health.

Nuts and Seeds - walnuts etc.

4. Leafy Greens.

Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are brimming with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They contain high amounts of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health, and provide anti-inflammatory benefits that can be beneficial for arthritis sufferers.

5. Whole Grains.

Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat are rich in fibre and other nutrients that can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight. Excess weight can exacerbate arthritis symptoms, so opting for whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates can help manage weight and decrease pressure on joints.

6. Olive Oil.

Extra virgin olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, known for its anti-inflammatory effects. It contains monounsaturated fats and compounds that can help reduce inflammation and provide joint pain relief.

There are also herbs that can help you through these symptoms:

Herbs and spices

7. Turmeric.

Turmeric contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, including arthritis. Incorporating turmeric into your diet, either through curries, smoothies, or even turmeric tea, can help alleviate inflammation and pain.

8. Ginger and Garlic.

Ginger and garlic are flavourful additions to dishes that also have anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger contains gingerol, which has been linked to reduced inflammation and pain, while garlic contains sulphur compounds that may help manage arthritis symptoms.

9. Green Tea.

Green tea is rich in antioxidants known as polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects. Regular consumption of green tea can potentially contribute to reducing inflammation and improving overall health.

Foods To Avoid.

Understanding the impact of certain foods on arthritis symptoms is crucial for managing the condition effectively. By avoiding processed and fried foods, sugary beverages, red meat, high-fat dairy, refined carbohydrates, excessive salt, and potentially nightshade vegetables, individuals with arthritis can make informed dietary choices to support their joint health.

Remember, it's always advisable to work with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to create a personalized dietary plan that suits your individual needs and helps alleviate arthritis discomfort.

The following list is foods that you should avoid, as they will increase your arthritic symptoms:

1. Processed and Fried Foods.

Processed foods, high in trans fats, refined sugars, and additives, can trigger inflammation and worsen arthritis symptoms. Fried foods, often cooked in unhealthy oils, can contribute to weight gain, which in turn places extra stress on joints. Cutting back on highly processed and fried foods can support overall joint health and help manage inflammation.

2. Sugary Beverages.

Sugary beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, and even excessive fruit juices can be damaging to you. These drinks are high in added sugars and calories, leading to weight gain and potentially increasing inflammation.

Opting for water, herbal teas, or naturally sweetened options can be a better choice for hydration without the negative effects of added sugars.

3. Red Meat and High-Fat Dairy.

Red meat and high-fat dairy products, such as full-fat cheese and butter, contain saturated fats that might promote inflammation in the body.

Consuming these foods in excess can contribute to higher levels of inflammatory markers, potentially worsening arthritis symptoms. Choosing lean protein sources and low-fat dairy options can be a healthier approach for individuals with arthritis. 

I have osteoarthritis and IBS and I feel better now as I go for ‘Free From’ or ‘Gluten Free’ foods.

Bag of gluten free pasta.

4. Refined Carbohydrates.

Foods made from refined carbohydrates, like white bread, white rice, and sugary cereals, have a high glycaemic index, leading to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. These spikes can trigger inflammation and contribute to weight gain, both of which can worsen arthritis symptoms.

Opting for whole grains and complex carbohydrates can help stabilize blood sugar levels and promote better joint health.

5. Excessive Salt.

A diet high in sodium can lead to water retention and inflammation, potentially increasing joint discomfort. Processed foods, canned soups, and fast food often contain excessive amounts of salt.

Reducing sodium intake and flavouring dishes with herbs and spices can help manage inflammation and support overall well-being.

6. Nightshade Vegetables.

You may be sensitive to nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. These vegetables contain a compound called solanine, which could potentially contribute to inflammation and joint pain in certain people.

While the impact differs, if you may think you are sensitive, you should monitor the symptoms and consider eliminating nightshades temporarily to assess their effects.

7. Alcohol.

Excessive alcohol consumption can interfere with the body's ability to absorb essential nutrients, leading to potential shortages that could impact joint health.

Moreover, alcohol can have inflammatory effects and might interact with certain arthritis medications. Moderation is key, and individuals with arthritis should consult their healthcare provider before consuming alcohol.

Peppers to avoid if you have arthritis.

Understanding the Impact Of Diet and Flare-ups.

Arthritis flare-ups, are increased by joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, which can significantly disrupt daily life. While medical treatments are essential, adjusting your diet during flare-ups can play a crucial role in managing symptoms and promoting comfort.

Diet can influence inflammation levels in the body, which in turn can impact the severity of arthritis flare-ups. Certain foods have been linked to increased inflammation, while others possess anti-inflammatory properties that might provide relief.

Foods that may alleviate flare-up.

1. Omega-3 Rich Foods.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, can also help reduce inflammation during flare-ups.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Spices.

Spices such as turmeric or ginger comprises of a compound that have anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric's curcumin and gingerol in ginger have been associated with easing arthritis symptoms.

Incorporating these spices into your meals can offer potential relief.

3. Colourful Fruits and Vegetables.

Berries, cherries, leafy greens, and other colourful fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants that combat inflammation. These nutrient-dense foods can help neutralize free radicals and promote overall joint health.

4. Healthy Fats.

Healthy fats found in avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds can also contribute to reducing inflammation.  Including these fats in your diet can provide a steady source of energy while potentially easing the discomfort of a flare-up.

Foods to avoid when you have a flare-up.

1. Processed and Fried Foods.

Processed foods high in trans fats and added sugars, along with fried foods, can worsen inflammation and potentially increase flare-up symptoms.

It would be best if you avoided processed and fried foods in moderation.

2. Sugary Beverages.

Sugary beverages like sodas and sweetened juices can lead to inflammation and contribute to weight gain. Instead go for water, herbal teas, or unsweetened options to stay hydrated.

3. Excessive Salt Intake.

A high-sodium diet can contribute to water retention and inflammation, which might increase discomfort during flare-ups. Reducing the salt intake can help manage inflammation.

4. Trigger Foods.

You may have precise trigger foods that could worsen the arthritis symptoms. While not generally related, common trigger foods might include nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants), dairy products, and gluten for some people.

Identifying your trigger foods can help tailor your diet to your specific needs.

You should avoid dairy products like butter

Understanding The Impact Of Diet and Pain.

Pain is a complex sensation that can be influenced by various factors, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and hormonal imbalances.

Certain foods possess properties that either contribute to these factors or counteract them, making dietary choices a significant consideration for those seeking pain relief.

Foods That May Alleviate Pain.

1. Anti-Inflammatory Foods.

Foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytonutrients can help combat inflammation and potentially alleviate pain. Fatty fish, colourful fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds are all excellent sources of these nutrients.

2. Spices with Pain-Relieving Properties.

Turmeric, with its active compound curcumin, has been studied for its potential to reduce pain and inflammation. Ginger and capsaicin, found in chili peppers, are also known for their pain-relieving properties.

3. Hydration.

Staying hydrated is crucial for overall health and pain management. Dehydration can exacerbate pain sensations, so drinking enough water throughout the day is essential.

Foods to avoid when you have Pain.

1. Inflammatory Foods.

Foods high in refined sugars, trans fats, and unhealthy oils can promote inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to various pain conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraines. Processed foods, sugary snacks, and fried items should be consumed in moderation to avoid exacerbating inflammation and pain.

2. High Glycaemic Index Foods.

Foods with a high glycaemic index, such as white bread, white rice, and sugary cereals, cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. These spikes can lead to inflammation and contribute to conditions that may exacerbate pain. Opting for complex carbohydrates and whole grains can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

3. Trigger Foods.

Some individuals may have specific trigger foods that worsen their pain symptoms. For instance, certain people with migraines report that certain foods like aged cheese, processed meats, and artificial sweeteners can trigger headache episodes. Keeping a food diary and identifying potential trigger foods can be valuable for managing pain.


While dietary choices cannot replace medical treatment, they can play a role in the inflammation and pain management that you get with arthritis disease. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods, staying hydrated, and being mindful of trigger foods can contribute to easing arthritis symptoms.

If you are seeking to incorporate dietary changes to manage the symptoms it is best if you consulted a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to develop a personalized approach tailored to your specific needs and conditions.

During arthritis flare-ups, paying attention to your diet can be a valuable component of your overall management strategy. Embracing foods rich in omega-3s, anti-inflammatory spices, colourful fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can offer relief. On the other hand, avoiding processed foods, sugary beverages, excessive salt, and potential trigger foods.

Remember that each person's response to food is unique, so it is essential to monitor your body's reactions and keep a diary of which foods are best and worse for you. And do not forget to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to create a personalized approach that best supports your needs during flare-ups.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for managing arthritis pain through diet, adopting an anti-inflammatory approach can greatly contribute to improved quality of life for individuals suffering from this condition. Incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods rich in anti-inflammatory compounds can help reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and support joint health.

I hope this article has helped you. Please subscribe to my website, and I will keep you updated on new blogs. Also, if you need to know anything about arthritis, please go to my contact page and leave a message, and I will get back to you.

In the meantime, if this post is informative, I’d be very grateful if you’d help your friends or family if they have a similar condition to tell them. So please share it on Twitter or Facebook or send them an email.

I am not a medical professional, and this blog is for information only. If you have any worries, you should consult your doctor.

I hope this blog has helped.


Linda Rook

Linda is now retired and has suffered from Osteoarthritis for about 40+ years.  She struggled with her weight until she found the correct one that also helped with her arthritic pain.  Linda was in terrible pain until the physician thought her right hip needed replacement. 

Now Linda has an artificial right hip, which has left her with the left leg shorter than the right.  Therefore, her spine is now wonky, and has arthritis of the lower back, also it seems to be going all over the body, her pain is now in the knees, elbow, wrist, fingers and both hips.

Linda now spends her days writing information to help others with the same conditions, so they do not suffer like Linda.

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