Top 10 foods for arthritis

There are many foods that are beneficial for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis because of their anti-inflammatory properties. We’ve picked these because they are easily integrated into daily meals, affordable and you can get them at any supermarket! As always, arthritis diet tips have been approved by our resident dietitian.

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon quills and powder

Research has shown that cinnamon possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. It has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve circulation, which could possibly relieve pain associated with poor circulation.


2. Oats

oatsOats have been shown to have a cholesterol lowering effect, improve endothelial function and to reduce blood pressure. They contain soluble fibres and several antioxidants including vitamin E, phytic acid, phenolics, and avenanthramides, unique soluble bioactive compounds not present in any other cereal grain. In addition to their antioxidant activities, oat avenanthramides possess antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.

3. Salmon

salmonSalmon is a great source of marine omega 3s docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These long chain omega-3s have the best therapeutic benefits for people with inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. There is solid scientific evidence that they can help to relieve pain without the side effects of anti-inflammatory medications. Salmon is also protein rich with good amounts of vitamins A, B12, D and E, iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc and iron.

4. Walnuts

walnutsWalnuts are one of the few plant sources of omega 3, containing 6280mg alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) per 100g. Research has shown that ALA from a 37g handful of walnuts each day can reduce inflammation. Walnuts can also lower both total and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels without effecting ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.

5. Red onions

redonionRed onions are high in flavonoids, a type of polyphenol that has antioxidant properties and is known to reduce inflammation. Red onions contain the flavonoid quercetin. This flavonoid is most concentrated in the outer layers of the onion. Quercetin may benefit people with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. In studies, quercetin was shown to limit the inflammatory effects of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), found in the fluid between the joints of people with arthritis.

6. Chili

chilliChili peppers contain capsaicin, responsible for it’s spiciness. This active ingredient has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown in some studies to boost metabolism and aid digestion.

7. Sweet potato

sweetpotatoSweet potato is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and has been found to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. An international team of scientists in a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition tested 115 foods for in vitro anti-inflammatory activities. Of all the foods, onion, oregano, red sweet potato, oyster mushroom and cinnamon had the most significant anti-inflammatory properties.

8. Turmeric

turmericCurcumin, a substance in turmeric, may help to reduce inflammation. Several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation. In one study, turmeric worked about as well as ibuprofen for reducing pain. Other compounds in turmeric have also been found to be anti-inflammatory, and it’s thought that these components may act synergistically with each other and/or curcumin to block inflammation.

9. Broccoli

broccoliBroccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane shown to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Research in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism also suggests it could prevent or slow the progress of osteoarthritis. Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) discovered that sulforaphane blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction by stopping a key molecule known to cause inflammation. They found that mice fed a diet rich in the compound had significantly less cartilage damage and osteoarthritis than those that were not. Broccoli is also abundant in vitamin K, which in high amounts may slow the progression of osteoarthritis, according to research funded by the Arthritis Foundation at Boston University School of Medicine.

10. Green tea

greenteaGreen tea contains hundreds of antioxidant chemicals called polyphenols and has been cited for helping prevent problems ranging from cancer to heart disease. Studies also suggest green tea may help prevent or ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.


This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments, diet, recipes, lifestyle and exercise. Any information provided is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue or change medical treatment because of information on this website, unless advised by your doctor. Read full disclaimer.

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