Foods that relieve joint pain

Aug 25, 2010 at 11:52 a.m. ET

Joint pain is a debilitating condition, often caused by inflammation, that can quickly sap the quality of your life and prevent you from doing the activities you love. While working closely with your doctor on pain management, consider incorporating the following anti-inflammatory foods that relieve joint pain.

Cup of ginger thea


Such a fiery herb with a soothing effect on joint pain, ginger is high in anti-inflammatory chemicals. Ginger is easy to incorporate into your meals: grate into desserts or baked goods, slice and steep with water for a tea, mince and sauté with vegetables.

2Fatty fish

Salmon and tuna are the most well-known of that omega-3 rich fatty fish, but mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies are also rich sources of healthy fats that reduce inflammation. Flax and nuts are also good sources of omega-3s. Get a triple dose of joint pain relief by pairing poached salmon with a green salad tossed with walnuts and flaxseed oil.

3Olive oil

Another tasty source of healthy fats, olive oil is high in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that fights inflammation. Buy a quality extra-virgin olive oil and drizzle it on cooked vegetables or whisk it into salad dressings.

4Bright colored fruit

Fresh and dried fruit is loaded with antioxidants, particularly vitamin C and beta-carotene. Reach for apricots, cantaloupe, kiwi, papaya, oranges, mango, strawberries, and grapefruit. Start your day with a fruit salad and incorporate fruit into your savory meals as well as desserts.

5Leafy greens

Leafy greens are rich in phytonutrients called bioflavonoids, which are antioxidants associated with anti-inflammatory effects similar to NSAIDS and inhibit the production of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body. Add chopped spinach to your morning omelet and eat a dark leafy salad at lunch and dinner.

Foods to avoid


Some inflammatory foods aren't surprising: sugar, alcohol, processed foods, and caffeinated foods and beverages. However, there are a few healthy foods that can be problematic for people with joint pain, specifically foods from the nightshade family. Nightshades include peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes. If you are sensitive to gluten, wheat products may also exacerbate joint pain.

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