Home Health Six foods that could ease arthritis pain in the 'ultimate' diet

Six foods that could ease arthritis pain in the 'ultimate' diet

Across the UK millions of people are living with arthritis and other joint problems. Depending on your specific condition, it can cause issues such as pain, inflammation, joint stiffness and even difficulty moving.

There is no cure for arthritis, however, there are ways to reduce pain and ease other symptoms.

As is the case with many medical conditions, focusing on what you eat is one such way to minimise the impact of arthritis.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, in the US, following a Mediterranean diet is your best bet for managing symptoms. Although not a “miracle” cure, this is the “ultimate arthritis diet”, their experts say.

They explain: “While there’s no miracle diet for arthritis, many foods can help fight inflammation and improve joint pain and other symptoms.

“For starters, a diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans, but low processed foods and saturated fat, is not only great for overall health, but can also help manage disease activity.

“If this advice sounds familiar, it’s because these are the principles of the Mediterranean diet, which is frequently touted for its anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting powers.”

They add that studies show a Mediterranean diet can have the following benefits:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Protect against chronic conditions, ranging from cancer to stroke
  • Help arthritis by curbing inflammation
  • Benefit your joints as well as your heart
  • Lead to weight loss, which can lessen joint pain.

To get the most out of this diet there are six types of food you should make sure you eat plenty of.

These are listed by the organisation as: fish, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, olive oil, beans and whole grains.


Oily fish is packed with “inflammation-fighting” omega-3 fatty acids, the Arthritis Foundation says.

The best types of fish to eat for this include salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, anchovies, scallops and other cold-water fish.

Eating between three to four ounces of fish twice a week is recommended. But if you’re not a fan of fish, fish oil supplements could also help.

Nuts and seeds

Experts advise eating a handful of nuts daily with the most beneficial types being walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds.

One study found that over a 15-year period, men and women who consumed the most nuts had a 51 percent lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease (like rheumatoid arthritis) compared with those who ate the fewest nuts.

Fruits and vegetables

While many of us are aware of the five-a-day guideline, the Arthritis Foundation claims that we should actually be aiming for nine or more servings of fruit and vegetables daily.

It says: “Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants. These potent chemicals act as the body’s natural defence system, helping to neutralise unstable molecules called free radicals that can damage cells.

“Research has shown that anthocyanins found in cherries and other red and purple fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries have an anti-inflammatory effect.”

Fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C and vitamin K are also beneficial for easing arthritis pain.

Olive oil

According to the foundation, olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

If possible eat two to three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily, they advise.


Beans are full of fibre and phytonutrients, which help lower CRP, an indicator of inflammation found in the blood.

They recommend eating small red beans, red kidney beans and pinto beans.

Whole grains

These can be found in wholewheat flour, oatmeal, bulgur and quinoa.

The foundation adds: “Whole grains contain plenty of filling fibre — which can help you maintain a healthy weight.

“Some studies have also shown that fibre and fibre-rich foods can lower blood levels of CRP, an inflammatory marker.”


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