Healthy Diet for Arthritis

Updated on December 10th, 2019
Diet for Arthritis

Arthritis is more common than you think and more dangerous than you believe. If you have arthritis, then everything can feel like a challenge, be it a simple everyday task or a morning jog. Let’s see diet for arthritis and how proper eating plan can help you to get rid of it.

Arthritis is a symptom of internal inflammation. So our diet should include anti-inflammatory foods. If your joints often swell and feel warm when you touch them, then this could be inflammation. A proper anti-inflammatory diet can accelerate your healing process and restore the lost strength once again.

Quick Facts

  • The primary reason for immobility or disability in the US is arthritis.
  • Almost 54 million people(1) are diagnosed with arthritis.
  • The number of women who suffer from gout is more than men.

Diet for Arthritis

Well, there is no fixed diet for arthritis, but we know the reason for arthritis from various researches and studies, and that is inflammation. So it is easy to identify a few foods which are useful to cure arthritis of its core. Most of these anti-inflammation foods are part of the famous Mediterranean diet. Let’s check the arthritis diet plan.

1. Fish

Fish Benefits

Why Eat It?

If you are talking about the best diet for arthritis which does not contain fish, then you need to rethink your whole diet plan. Among the most useful sources of edible anti-inflammation essential fatty acids called omega-3s, fish is the primary one.

There are two major inflammatory proteins in your body, interleukin-6(2) and CRP (C-reactive protein). Few fishes contain the needed omega-3 to reduce these toxic proteins.

How to Eat?

Add fishes, like such as salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and other cold water fishes. Do not overcook them. It is better to use steamed or lightly baked fishes. Overcooking may reduce the nutritional value of the fishes.

How Much to Eat?

Consume at least 3 to 4 ounces. Having it four times a week is sufficient enough.

[Also Read: Fish Oil for Arthritis]

2. Garlic

Garlic benefits

Why Eat It?

Garlic is full of health benefits. As per different researches, it is proved that garlic does have anti-inflammatory results and can effectively reduce the arthritic symptoms. It can even counter the effect of osteoarthritis. Garlic contains diallyl disulfide, which is an anti-inflammatory composite. The presence of this compound makes garlic great for healing pain, cartilage damage, and inflammation related to arthritis.

How to Eat?

Try fresh garlic.  Consume two cloves of garlic on an empty stomach. Processing or cooking may decrease food value.

How Much to Eat?

Two cloves every day is sufficient enough. Garlic may upset the stomach, so carefully check if your body is reacting to eat. Else, you can take it every alternate day.

[Also Read: How to Treat Arthritis ]

3. Soybean

Soybean Benefits

Why Eat It?

If you do not like fish or anything with a strong smell like garlic, then do not worry. There is another miracle food for you to give you relief from arthritis. So if you are looking for arthritis diet rich in omega-3, then Soybean(3) is the best option. This plant-based bean is high in inflammation fighting omega 3, healthy protein, fiber, and low in fat.

How to Eat?

You can soak a handful of soybean overnight. Next day you can consume them directly or try extract of the beans after grinding them in a food processor. Soybean milk is also a good option. You can also add tofu in your diet.

How Much to Eat?

Take a handful of soybean thrice a week. If you are consuming soy milk or tofu, then also follow the same frequency.

[Also Read: Foods for Arthritis Treatment]

4. Cherries


Why Eat?

Cherries are known for reducing the gout effects and attacks. Cherries contain anthocyanins, which is an anti-inflammatory compound. And as we have already elaborated, inflammation is the primary cause of arthritis.

Strawberries and blueberries also have this anti-inflammatory agent. Apart from that, cherries also have antioxidants, which is also useful for arthritis. Cherries also have ellagic acids which repairs damaged cells and fight inflammation. Cherry can reduce the uric acid level from the blood.

How to Eat?

It is always a good idea to buy fresh cherries from the market, rather than buying frozen ones. You can consume it directly because cherries are delicious. Apart from that, you can add them in smoothies or oats. Cherry juice is a delicious way to fight arthritis.

How Much to Eat?

Try to have at least 7-8 cherries at a time. You can have cherries four times a week to get a better result.

5. Citrus Fruits

Citrus Fruits

Why Take?

Citrus fruits(4) are rich in vitamin C. Fruits like limes, oranges, and grapefruits are very beneficial for joint health because these citrus fruits can combat the inflammation and counter the effect of arthritis. Vitamin C is important for the synthesis of collagen. Collagen helps to repair ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, and damaged bones. Apart from that, citrus fruits are also high in antioxidants.

How to Eat?

You can start your day with a glass of homemade orange juice. You can add a dash of lime juice in your regular meal to get optimal results. Apart from that, take a whole orange or grapefruit. You can make juice or add these fruits in a smoothie too.

On an average, women need 75mg of Vitamin C every day, but men require 90mg. Thus, always try to have fresh fruits to get all the nutrients.

How Much to Take?

Our body can not store enough vitamin C. So you can add these fruits in your diet regularly. Avoid cold and packaged fruit juices- they are usually full of preservatives. So eat whole fruit every day.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli benefits
Image: Shutterstock

Why Eat?

Broccoli can be considered as one of the most popular and effective superfoods with lots of health benefits.  But do you know it contains anti-inflammatory compounds?

A study on diets of 1005 individuals, especially women, were assessed. They usually consumed cruciferous veggies such as broccoli. And the reduced level of inflammation among them was astonishing. Broccoli can mitigate the outcomes of arthritis. It contains sulforaphane, which can prevent the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

How to Eat?

Broccoli is excellent for salads. You can try it with a pinch of salt, dash of lime juice and black pepper. Apart from that, you can consider steaming or baking broccolis. We have already talked about how overcooking an organic thing can compromise its nutritional value. Here is a healthy broccoli recipe for your help:

Broccoli Salad

What You Need:

  • Chopped fresh broccoli – 6 cups
  • Chopped cooked bacon-1/2 cup
  • Greek yogurt-1 cup
  • Cubed red onion-1/4 cup
  • Honey-3 tablespoons (as per your taste mainly)
  • Salt-1/4 teaspoon
  • Apple cider vinegar-2 tablespoons
  • Ground black pepper-1/8 teaspoon
  • Raisins-1 cup

How to Make It?

  • Take a large bowl and add broccoli, chopped bacon, onion, and raisins. Mix them well.
  • Now in a smaller bowl, mix the ingredients for the dressing, i.e. which are yogurt, apple cider vinegar, salt, honey, and pepper. Mix them well. You can add more salt and pepper as per your taste.
  • Now gently pour the dressing mixture on the broccoli mix and blend. Keep blending until the broccolis are covered with the dressing.
  • Now keep the salad in the refrigerator for at least an hour to get the best taste.

How Much to Eat?

Having one whole vegetable salad in your everyday meal is actually good. So stop worrying about the portion. Enjoy your broccoli salad every day.

[Also Read: Health Benefits of Broccoli]

7. Turmeric

turmeric Benefits
Image: ShutterStock

Why Take It?

One of the most popular and time-tested relievers is turmeric. This healing herb contains curcumin. Curcumin is a beneficial chemical which acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and can reduce the chances of prostaglandins formation, which causes pain. It also boosts the release of cortisol, which prevents inflammation. Turmeric magically reduces joint pain and swelling.

How to Take?

There are different ways to add turmeric in your regular diet. Here are some popular methods and details about them:

Turmeric Milk:

Turmeric milk is a famed Ayurveda potion, and it’s very easy to make. Take a glass of lukewarm milk, add 1 and ½ tablespoons of turmeric powder and add honey as a sweetener. Stir it well and consume. It’s a great pain reliever.

Turmeric as Spice:

You can use turmeric as a traditional spice. Just a pinch of turmeric in your favorite dish will enhance its color and taste. Remember the qualities of turmeric improves when you take it with black pepper. So try to add them both.

Lime-Turmeric Water:

Take a glass of chilled water. Add one tablespoon of turmeric powder, lime juice, and honey. Stir it well and take it on an empty stomach for best results.

How Much to Take?

Turmeric does not have any strong side effects. So if you wish, you can have it every day. But the portion should not exceed two tablespoons at a time because an excessive amount of turmeric can make food taste bitter.

[Also Read: Turmeric for Arthritis Pain]

8. Green Tea

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Why Take It?

Green tea contains a high amount of an effective antioxidant called polyphenols. According to experts, polyphenols can slow the rate of cartilage damage and reduce inflammation.

How to Take It?

It is always better to enjoy freshly brewed green tea. To get the best result, add fresh lime juice in it. You can avoid using any sweetener, but if you have to, then honey is the best option. Since lime is also suitable for arthritis, it will be a great drink to feel better.

How Much to Take?

You can enjoy green tea regularly.

If you have arthritis, that does not mean that you are going to be immobile for the rest of your life. You can consciously make a proper meal plan, and can progressively reduce its effects. However, do not replace all your meds with diet altogether. These diet for arthritis can accelerate and speed up your recovery. They can gradually make your joints healthy by restoring their strength.

Pills are essential, but you do not need to depend on them. Excessive medicines mean various side effects. So have a balanced diet to make our joints healthy. Start enjoying your life once again with a rejuvenated body.


1. How Changing Your Diet Helps with Arthritis?

A balanced diet helps you control and maintain your weight. Overweight can make the whole arthritis problem worse. If your arthritis or weak joints are the results of lack of vital nutrients, then a proper diet can help you restore and balance these nutrients. And the major one is- diet for arthritis that includes anti-inflammatory food. These can counter the effects of arthritis from its core.

2. How Does Vitamin C Help in Reducing Inflammation Caused by Arthritis?

One primary reason for inflammation is free radicals and oxidants. Vitamin C is high in antioxidants, which may slow the inflammation caused by arthritis. Fruits like Kiwi, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, and Strawberries are rich in vitamin C.

3. What Food Items Should Be Avoided If You Have Arthritis?

To get rid of arthritis, you need to avoid foods which contain omega-6 fatty acids (peanut, corn, sunflower, some meats, etc.), processed foods, foods with refined sugar (soda, candies, pastries, cakes, chocolate and fruit juices), red meat, fried foods, MSG, cheese, and refined carbohydrates.

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