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World Arthritis Day 2022: 5 Foods That Can Improve And Worsen Arthritis Pain

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Millions of individuals suffer from arthritis pain across the world, yet most of us know very little about its underlying cause and triggers. Not only does it cause persistent pain, joint swelling, and difficulty in movement, but it also inhibits the affected person’s ability to be independent while performing a task. It is more prevalent in women than men and typically affects older people. This World Arthritis Day, let’s identify foods that may affect the symptoms of arthritis.

5 Best Food For Arthritis Pain

Here is a list of common foods that may help to curtail arthritis pain:

1. Vegetables

You may include vegetables like cauliflower, mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and lettuce in your diet. Research shows that these vegetables are rich in antioxidants and vitamin K, which reduce the inflammation-causing components in the blood. At the same time, antioxidants neutralise the free radicals that cause cell damage. Use these vegetables to make a delicious salad or healthy side dish, or you can even stir-fry them! 

2. Fruits and Berries

Fruits that help lower arthritis pain include apples, pomegranates, cherries, and berries such as strawberries and raspberries. But how do these foods help with arthritis pain? These fruits are loaded with antioxidants that fight inflammation-causing free radicals. Pomegranates are also rich in tannins which can lower inflammation in case of arthritis. Citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits, and oranges have abundant vitamin C that helps maintain healthy joints and prevent arthritis. Chop up a bowl of fresh fruit salad or drink some fresh fruit juice to benefit the most from these fruits. 

3. Fish

Fish has abundant inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. The best sources of omega-3 are tuna, salmon, scallops, herring, and other cold-water fish. A study found that people who consume a high level of omega-3 have lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), which are known to be inflammatory proteins. If you dislike fish, you can opt for fish oil supplements to lower arthritis pain, swelling, and morning stiffness in Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

4. Nuts

Nuts are loaded with protein and monounsaturated fats. They are low in saturated fats and keep cholesterol in check. Multiple studies have reported that nuts contain anti-inflammatory properties. A long-span study found that people who consumed nuts (20g) had 51% fewer chances of dying from Rheumatoid Arthritis than those who had consumed fewer nuts. You can include nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts in your smoothies, salads, or simply as a mid-meal snack. 

5. Olive and Canola Oil

Olive oil is jam-packed with heart-healthy fats and a substance called oleocanthal. Oleocanthal blocks an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX), and this inhibits the inflammation process and lowers arthritis pain. Also, olive and canola oil have a great balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which aids in lowering inflammation and arthritis pain

5 Worst Food That Worsens Arthritis Pain

While every food item has some kind of nutritional value, some of them may trigger inflammation and pain in those suffering from arthritis. Some of these foods include:

1. Dairy products

Are you surprised to see dairy as one of the worst foods for arthritis pain? Yes, although dairy has nutrients like protein and calcium that are beneficial to bone health, it also has casein protein, which contributes to inflammation and irritates joint tissues. So, you can avoid dairy products, such as butter, cheese, milk, and mayonnaise, if you are suffering from arthritis pain.

2. Sugar

Sugar-containing foods like pastries, candies, and soda stimulate the release of cytokines, which trigger joint inflammation, articular destruction, and the comorbidities associated with RA. Cutting down on these sugar-containing foods may help relieve arthritis pain

3. Fried foods and red meat

Fried fatty food items and red meat contain high amounts of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which stimulate inflammation. Also, red meat has high amounts of saturated fats that promote joint inflammation. Therefore, it is advised to limit their consumption. 

4. Refined carbohydrates

Most of our daily diet involves carbohydrates found in rice, roti, bread, pasta, and crackers. These foods spike blood glucose levels, which promotes inflammation. Therefore, avoid refined carbs to reduce arthritis pain

5. Alcohol

Alcohol is associated with gout, a type of arthritis where one has high levels of serum uric acid. Certain whiskeys or beers may cause rheumatoid arthritis to resurface. The immune system's response to alcohol may also prevent proper recovery from joint pain. 

Including particular foods and eliminating some can be life-changing while struggling with arthritis pain. Including the above-mentioned best food for arthritis pain and eliminating the wrong ones will help ease your arthritis. If you still have any queries, feel free to consult an experienced Apollo doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment for your arthritis symptoms.

Consult an Apollo Bone Specialist


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.



Orthopedic Conditions

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