Joint pain is often caused by inflammation, or conditions related to inflammation, such as arthritis. What you eat has a lot to do with the inflammation in your body, and there are many foods that help to reduce inflammation which can help reduce joint pain.
Plus, eating the wrong foods can bring about other conditions that exacerbate your joint pain, such as obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease. Eating foods that are high in certain nutrients, and avoiding those that worsen the condition, can help make your everyday life easier, and possibly even help extend your life.
Foods to Eat that Can Help with Joint Pain
Cocoa – We’re starting off with the best! Enjoying a bit of dark chocolate (70% or higher cocoa content) can actually help give the benefit of those anti-inflammatory properties found in cocoa.
Cruciferous vegetables – These greens have components that actually fight swelling in the joints by blocking the enzyme that causes it. Load up on cabbage, broccoli, kale, arugula, brussels sprouts, and others in the brassica family.
Cold-water fish – Fish like salmon that are high in omega-3 fatty acids have nutrients that help reduce inflammation while also lowering risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other unwanted illnesses. If you don’t love the taste of these dishes, you can always take fish oils instead!
Seeds and nuts – Another way to get those incredible omega-3s in your diet is to have a small handful of almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, or flax seeds.
Bone broth – You may already have jumped on the bone broth health craze that started a few years back, but it gained popularity for good reason. Bone broth contains many of the nutrients that are vital for bone health, and has been known to reduce joint pain, among other benefits.
Berries & fruits – Some fruits and berries contain more antioxidants than others, which makes them particularly great at reducing inflammation. Blueberries, which are rich in anthocyanin, are especially great. There is also a nutrient within pineapple called bromelain that reduces the joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Root vegetables – Ginger, turmeric, onions, and garlic have all been shown to treat joint pain and other symptoms of arthritis. If eating them in your meals is too pungent for you, try taking them in supplement form.
Foods to Avoid
Refined grains – White rice, white bread, and white pasta can all bring about an inflammatory response in the body. Instead, opt for the high-fiber whole grains (ones that haven’t been refined) that help the body create fatty acids that may counteract inflammation.
Sugars – Often disguised on labels as sucrose, fructose, glucose and many other “-ose” words, sugar is one of the main contenders for triggering inflammation.
Certain oils – Vegetable oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, and other oils high in omega-6 can all increase inflammation. Instead, opt for olive oil! It’s full of omega-3s, which have a myriad of benefits.
Processed foods – In general, eating freshly prepared meals is a way to get more of the valuable nutrients into your system than going with something that’s had most of the nutrients processed out of it.