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Healthy Foods that May Impact Osteoarthritis?

Updated on January 14, 2020

The old adage "You are what you eat" rings true - if you eat poorly, such will your health be. Eating a well balanced meal has a lot to do with good health, but when you have osteoarthritis, you also need to know what good foods may be bad for your condition.

Eating a nice green salad is great for your body, but a few pieces of fried chicken will through the benefits of your salad right out the window. In this hub, you'll learn what foods can fight the effects of osteoarthritis, and what foods can worsen your symptoms through pain and inflammation. Exercise and diet are elements of success with any health issue.

This hub will cover the following topics:

  • Foods for Osteoarthritis
  • Arthritis Foods to Avoid
  • Osteoarthritis Diet and Exercise



I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. This hub was created through my personal experience and battle with osteoarthritis, and my personal internet research in the hope and interest of helping others. Please consult your doctor before changing your diet, supplements, and exercise routine. In all you do, have peace. Kawi.

Foods for Osteoarthritis

What you put into your body will have a cause and effect relation to how you feel. Put simply, if you eat garbage, you will feel like garbage. Chemicals in our overly-processed foods are designed to make you crave for more, always make you feel hungry, and fill your caloric card triple time.

When you are trying to battle a degenerative disease like osteoarthritis, what you put into your body becomes very important because it has a direct correlation to how your body functions. Here are a few food groups that will not only help you feel better, but also give your body a fighting chance against osteoarthritis.

Foods High in Vitamin C
Osteoarthritis sufferers need a heightened supply of vitamin C. This helps your body put a check on joints that are being attacked by free radicals that damage cartilage. Vitamin C helps to keep your joints healthy and functioning.

Foods like citrus fruits, green leafy veggies, cantaloupe, kiwi, guava, red bell peppers, and acerola cherries are packed with vitamin C.

Foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Everyone knows that Omega-3 is good for you, but many don't realize just how great it is for osteoarthritis sufferers. Omega-3 fatty acids helps to curb inflammation and helps to formulate the outer membranes of your joint's cells.

Omega-3 fatty acids not to be confused with Omega-6 fatty acids which are found in saturated fats and trans fats. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found salmon, tuna, pecans, walnuts, tofu, and flaxseed.

The Awesome Effects of Vitamin D
If you are fortunate to have a healthy dose of sunshine on a daily basis, all you need is unprotected exposure of a few minutes a day on your face, arms and legs and you are set. Your body converts ultraviolet sunlight to vitamin D which helps to keep your bones strong, and your joints functioning.

If sunshine is not readily available to you, you can get enough of it through milk, tuna, eggs, and fish liver oils (yum).


Arthritis Foods to Avoid

The foods that are bad for your arthritis, are equally as bad for your body, so you're really not cutting any additional favored foods. You're just counting up another reason why you should choose to eat healthier... I understand, oh yes, I know how it feels when you just need to get your teeth into some Southern fried chicken... but, are you willing to pay the price for it?

Lets take a look at some of the food groups that you should avoid:

  • Foods that are Fried
  • Trans Fats
  • Saturated Fats
  • Carbs that are Refined
  • Night Shade Veggies - This topic Updated 8/5/16

Foods that are Fried:
Foods that are fried covers a large area, but you should have already made some adjustments because everyone knows that fried foods are the best thing for you. Fried chicken, fries, donuts, and other finger lickin' morsels fall under foods that you should avoid.

Be weary of restaurants that fry their food in hydrogenated oils (trans-fats) which will be a 1-2 knockout punch for arthritis sufferers - the following section covers why.

Trans Fats:
Trans-Fats is a by product of scientists trying to extend the shelf-life of certain foods. By adding hydrogen molecules to vegetable oil (who thinks of these things?), the combination solidified and turned into trans-fats.

Trans fats are usually found in baked goods life pastries, fast-food products, and processed foods to name just a few. Manufacturers are trying to do the right thing by eliminating trans-fats because of consumer awareness. However, always check listed ingredients and look for zero trans fats, and zero partially hydrogenated oils.

Saturated Fats:
Saturated fats can be found in most fatty animal products and many dairy products such as whole or 2% milk, cheese, ice cream, butter, etc. Saturated fats can also be found in snacks, crackers and cookies.

To make meals healthier, cook with skinless chicken, lean cuts of meat, and reduced or fat-free dairy products.

Carbs that are Re-fined:
Re-fined carbs can be found in most food products with white flour in it. Foods like white rice, white bread, most baked goods all affect your arthritis by making inflammation flare in your body.

Night Shade Veggies - See update below:
Night shade vegetables are vegetables from the 'Solanaceae' family. Science aside, these veggies are peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes. The focus has been on how these particular types of vegetables cause inflammation in your body. There are those that say this is true, and others that say this is myth. The best thing for you to do in this case is to see for yourself how night shade veggies affect your own body, and take the best path for you. There are no studies available to support these findings, which makes monitoring your body when consuming night shade veggies all the more important.

Update 8/18/2016
What has been called 'night shade' veggies in around the time this article was originally posted, there was some question as to whether or not these 'night-shade' veggies were good for you, well an article in 'webmd' has instructed that you 'should' eat night-shade veggies because of the lycopene and vitamin c in them. Check it out:

Do you suffer from some form of osteoarthritis; if so, what was your age when you first contracted it?

See results

Osteoarthritis Diet and Exercise

It always, always, always boils down to diet and exercise. The positive combination of a good diet and a good exercise plan overcomes and can fight against a host of things that can go wrong with a body.

Nutrition becomes a problem when you're trying to lose weight at the same time. To get the recommended servings in fruits and vegetables you would have to eat a lot! That's a lot of food to consume when you're trying to lose weight. That's why a lot of people have re-discovered juicing. Juicing gives you the ability to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables in one glass.

There are a number of machines available that can take care of your juicing needs. If you're throwing raw vegetables and fruit in, you're juicing. If you're throwing frozen fruits in you're blending. Nothing wrong with the two, however through juicing, you are getting a serious amount of vitamins, and anti-oxidants. With blending, you're more headed towards the results of a smoothie.

For a quick meal replacement juice the following items:

A handful of spinach, half of a cucumber, a leaf of kale, an apple, two sticks of celery, a small piece of ginger root, and half a lemon. Top it off with two teaspoons of grounded flax seed, and you've got yourself a hand-grenade of health.

One of the best things you can do if you suffer from osteoarthritis is to keep your weight down. Extra weight on joints - especially your feet, ankle, and knees really work against you when you're more than 25lbs over what your ideal weight should be. Getting closer to your ideal weight is always a huge gain when it comes to your joints.

A good exercise routine should be a mix of strength training and aerobic training. Your aerobic training can be from walking or running, biking, or dancing - as long as you can fit three 30 minute sessions into your week. This is easier than you think, especially if you're in biking distance of your job.

With strength training, incorporate the power of 25 Cube. Everyday, do 25 push-ups, 25 sit-ups, and 25 squats. It takes less than 10 minutes to do, but it will really change the way your body looks and feels. If you're just starting out, start with 10, and slowly work your way up. If 25 is too easy, double it or use resistance with weight, or bands. The thing is, that you want this to be a routine that you can do for the long run. Quick and easy is an awesome combination that encourages continuity.


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    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      7 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      As always rajan, always a pleasure to hear from you. I try to eat healthier, and have cut my red meat consumption by soooo much - I think it's down to once or twice a month. The sun is finally shining here in the Northwest, so yes, plenty of sunlight. Ooh, next week I'll be back in Hawaii for a few days so I'm sure I'll have a nice tan to come back with. Peace. Kawi.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Kawika, diet certainly plays a very important role in keeping our joints healthy. So does vitamin D from sunlight. It's free and natural. I love the juice recipe for meal replacement. A very useful hub.

      Voted up and useful.

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      7 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Awesome vandynegl - I hear you when you're searching for alternatives to the medicine that they are using now - you know, diet and exercise 'is' everything. I just don't think that the medications I was on, and the biologics that my doctors were leading me towards was in my best interests. I have since stopped all meds and will take on a check-up every now and again. I don't think this is wise for anyone else, I just feel that for me, at this stage, I want to do.... mmmyyyy wwaaaaaayyyyy! lol. Peace. Kawi.

    • vandynegl profile image


      7 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Hi KawikaChann! Super hub! I have plans to write about my own holistic approach to my arthritis in the future! You shared some very good information and the tips you presented WORK. I don't have much problems with the nightshades. I don't eat them all of the time though, only when in season (here in Ohio). I DO know that with Spinach, there is an acid that can affect the calcium in your body, and we want to watch that since we need calcium for our joints. It is worth looking into. I only eat spinach occasionally, and side it with lots of vitamin C (so I can absorb the iron better).

      Super information! Voted UP!

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      7 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for your comments Alison, I'm glad you enjoyed it - though I must caution you that there is not a whole lot of study on the topic. As I mentioned in the hub, it would depend primarily on the individual and how he/she might have a physiological reaction to the night-shade veggies. Thanks. Peace. Kawi.

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 

      7 years ago from UK

      Great information, clearly presented with good illustrations. I certainly will be looking into finding out more about the inflammatory properties of nightshade veggies now that I have read your article. Voted up, useful and shared!

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      7 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Lol, eh, I'll be back in Hawaii in a couple weeks - graduation time yeah. I'm closely monitoring my diet now because when I get there it's buckle-loose brah! Thanks for the comment and good words. Aloha, bruddah Joe. Peace. Kawi.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      7 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Aloha, Kawi!

      I really enjoyed this article because it reminds me how much of an idiot I am to favor fried foods...and now, I might even have to say aloha oe to hot peppers and tomatoes? Ay sus! All kidding aside, I wish you well, my island friend, in your battle against osteoarthritis, and continued success with your specialty niche hubs here on HP! Aloha, bruddah!


    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      7 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for your comment sarifearnbd. Peace. Kawi.


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