Managing arthritis with diet

Managing arthritis with diet

What you eat can make a difference to the symptoms of arthritis. Including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet and limiting foods that may trigger joint pain can help you manage and reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

Arthritis affects your joints - wrist, knuckles, hips, knees and ankles - causing pain and inflammation. There are different types of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.

Knowing what foods to eat, and which foods to avoid can help you to better manage your arthritis symptoms. Our tasty tips include:

Fish: Salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring are rich with inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. It is recommended that sufferers of arthritis eat at least 3-4 ounces (approximately 500 grams) of fish, twice a week.

Broccoli: Broccoli is rich in vitamins K and C, and calcium. Calcium can help to build strong bones and broccoli also contains a sulforaphane which may reduce the progression of osteoarthritis.

Garlic: Garlic has an anti-inflammatory effect which may help decrease inflammation symptoms of arthritis.

Ginger: Not only is ginger a great way to enhance flavour in teas, soups and sweets, it is known to reduce pain and it may help ease other symptoms of arthritis.

Oils: Extra virgin olive oil is packed with heart-healthy fats and oleocanthal, which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.

Steamed vegies: Steaming preserves the nutrients in the vegetables. It’s also important not to overcook vegetables to prevent nutrient loss.

Walnuts: Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which could alleviate arthritis symptoms as well as inflammation. Try a simple stir-fry of broccoli, walnuts and chopped garlic with a few squeezes of lemon juice.

Peanuts: Peanuts are also a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which can reduce the inflammatory processes in the body. Peanuts provide about 12% of your daily magnesium requirement and may help keep blood sugar under control.

Almonds: Almonds contain more fibre than most nuts, they are a good source of antioxidant vitamin E and provide some cholesterol-reducing benefits from the healthy fats.

Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries: These berries are a good source of folic acid and also provide plenty of arthritis-fighting nutrients through their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits.

Juices: Oranges, tomatoes, pineapples and carrots are high in vitamin C and have antioxidant properties, which can neutralise free radicals that lead to inflammation.

Smoothies: Instead of squeezing fruits and vegetables, using whole items in smoothies provides the added bonus of fibre, which helps clean out arteries and fight constipation. Colourful fruits and vegetables are also high in antioxidants, while berries or leafy greens like spinach boost your doses of vitamins and nutrients.


Limit foods that may trigger joint pain

  • Fried and processed foods, such as prepared frozen meals can create toxins which may increase inflammation in your body.

  • Sweets, white flour baked goods, and soft drinks can create spikes in blood sugar levels which can create inflammatory responses.

  • Refined grains including white bread, white pasta, and crackers are not only limited in nutrition, they may also lead to higher levels of inflammation, exacerbating arthritis symptoms.

Food myths

There is no proof that these foods trigger or aggravate arthritis symptoms:

  • acidic foods – such as lemons, oranges and tomatoes 

  • nightshade foods – such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants

  • dairy foods.


  • It’s important to have a well-balanced diet with a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and maintain a healthy body weight.

  • Drink adequate water as hydration flushes toxins out of your body, which can help fight inflammation.

  • Talk with your doctor or a dietitian if you have any concerns or before changing your diet. 



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