What are the best fruits and vegetables to eat to help joint pains?

We all know that a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce incidence of cardiovascular disease and lower risk of cancer. But, what many don’t know is that fruits and vegetables may also help those struggling with joint pain, or osteoarthritis. Although there is no set “arthritis diet”, eating various plant based foods may actually help reduce inflammation and ease arthritis pain.

Registered dietitians really encourage their patients to increase the amount of anti inflammatory foods in their diet. Ruth Frenchman is registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests that people bulk up on their intake of gassy foods to help reduce pain. “Broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage are part of the cruciferous family, and they are chock full of a compound called sulforaphane, which helps slow down cartilage damage in joints due to OA, according to a 2013 study involving mice. Admittedly, it’s an early study. But veggies are always a healthy choice. Try adding broccoli, Brussel sprouts or cabbage to your salad or stir-fry. Other foods rich in sulforaphane include kale and cauliflower.” Nightshade vegetables may also help ease arthritis pain. These vegetables include: peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant. Several studies suggest that consistent intake of these veggies can help reduce blood markers for inflammation.

Foods that are high in acid have long been thought to worsen pain from arthritis. But, new research suggests that high acid (fruits) do not worsen pain, and actually may help reduce painful arthritis. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are a great source of vitamin C and this might reduce inflammation between joints. Other fruits, like tart cherries, have also been shown to help people manage painful arthritis related symptoms. I suggest that my patients drink Old Orchard’s 100% tart cherry juice. It not only tastes great, it might help to ease any joint related pain that you may have.

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