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5 Foods to Ease the Pain of Arthritis
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5 Foods to Ease the Pain of Arthritis

If you ever feel an aching in your joints, stiffness, or a limited range of movement, you might have some form of arthritis.

Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.

Arthritis is just a technical term for any kind of joint pain or disease and it’s incredibly common.

In fact, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America, effecting 50 million adults (and 300,000 children) each year, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Striking young and old, men and women (though women are a little more likely to get arthritis, unfortunately), it’s likely you’ll feel arthritis pain at some point in your life.

But there’s good news! Since most arthritic pain is caused by inflammation, a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can make a huge difference in how you feel.

How Does Arthritis Work?

Though some forms of arthritis are caused by an infection or a buildup of uric acid (otherwise known as gout), most arthritis is either degenerative or inflammatory.

Degenerative arthritis happens when the cartilage between the joints starts to wear away. As bone or muscle make contact with one another, it causes pain, swelling, and limited movement. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of degenerative arthritis.

Inflammatory arthritis is a little more mysterious. Usually, your immune system only fights off germs and viruses that could cause harm.

But sometimes, the immune system becomes a little over zealous and starts attacking your own organs. When those white blood cells start attacking your joints, your joints become inflamed for protection. Often, this type of arthritis is called Rheumatory Arthritis (RA).

Though doctors aren’t quite sure why the body would start attacking the joints, they do know one thing — you want to stop that inflammation to feel better!

No matter which type of arthritis you have, reducing inflammation is key in reducing pain.

Luckily, taming inflammation can be a pretty delicious task!

When your diet is full of natural, anti-inflammatory foods, the swelling in your joints goes down, pain is relieved, and you might even see an increase in your range of motion.

To start conquering arthritis, here are 5 foods that help reduce joint pain and get you moving again.

1. Tart Cherries

We told you reducing inflammation would be delicious! Tart cherries have an extremely high amount of anti-oxidants called anthocyanins, which naturally reduce inflammation. So, scientists at Oregon Health and Science University put this tasty fruit to the test to see how much good it's anti-inflammatories could do.

When study participants drank tart cherry juice twice a day for three weeks, most people’s pain and symptoms were reduced by 20%. Plus, the cherry juice was the most helpful to people who had the most pain. 

Even though this study was focused on people with osteoarthritis, scientists also found that cherries can have an effect on all types of inflammatory pain. In fact, runners that drank cherry juice before a run experienced less pain and muscle soreness than their cherry-less friends.

Whether you eat fresh, dried, or juiced cherries, you’ll still get their anti-inflammatory effects. Just be sure that if you are drinking Tart Cherry juice or dried fruit, choose a version that has as little added sugar as possible. Or make it easy and have our Cherry Berry Smoothie whenever you need an anti-inflammatory boost.

2. Ginger

Ginger is an extremely underrated root. Not only does it taste good in everything from sodas to stir fries, but it’s anti-inflammatory properties rival traditional medicine!

A study found that ginger was just as effective as ibuprofen for relieving arthritis pain. Since Ibuprofen has lots of troublesome intestinal side effects, so ginger is a great alternative.

In fact, there are lots of studies that confirm ginger’s amazing anti-inflammatory effects. Unlike traditional painkillers like Tylenol and Ibuprofen, ginger has no side effects (except deliciousness).

You can add ginger to any chicken and vegetable dish, or just add a slice of ginger root to warm water for a light tasting tea. If you want an extra tasty breakfast, try our Ginger Pear Smoothie. The sweetness of the pear counteracts the sharpness of the ginger, so it’s great if you’re just starting to add more ginger to your diet.

3. Turmeric

Another natural ingredient that’s getting a lot of scientific support is Turmeric. If you look in your spice rack, you probably have a bright yellow jar of turmeric sitting right in your pantry. Though it’s mostly used in Indian or Middle Eastern cuisine, this colorful spice is incredibly powerful.

A compilation of the many studies on turmeric (and it’s compound curcumin) found that the spice greatly reduces joint and muscle pain from arthritis. The organic anti-inflammatories in turmeric relieve swelling all over the body, which decreases discomfort from bloated joints. There’s even some evidence that turmeric may help with type II diabetes and other conditions.

Adding turmeric to a morning tea or adding a few more curry dishes to your life will certainly help reduce the effects of arthritis. But a teaspoon of turmeric only contains a small amount of the powerful curcumin.

So, we recommend using a natural Turmeric supplement to get the most out of this amazing spice. Find our favorite Turmeric supplement »

4. Fatty Fish

Here’s a case where “fatty” isn’t a bad thing! Fish are full of healthy fats like Omega-3 oils. And these oils help your body fight inflammation and decrease pain.

Time Magazine reported on a study rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and eating fish. They found that the more fish people with RA ate, the better they felt! Pain, stiffness, and overall symptoms of RA were lower in people who ate fatty fish at least twice a week. So, things like trout, albacore, and salmon are all great for pain.

Now, if you don’t love fish, it can be hard to get a healthy dose of the important Omega-3 oils. Thankfully, you can take a natural supplement and get the exact same effects – without any fishy taste.

5. Green Tea

Not only is green tea a great morning pick-me-up, it also reduces bloating and inflammation! The tea is full of polyphenols that work as anti-oxidants in the body. This helps reduce the damage of free radicals and soothe inflamed joints.

Even if you don’t typically like tea, give green tea a try. The flavor is lighter than the average English tea and the small amount of naturally occurring caffeine gives you a boost of energy. Our Green Tea Spritzer uses a bit of raw honey and apple cider vinegar to give you even more anti-inflammatory ingredients in one delicious cup.

Though arthritis can be hard to deal with, a diet full of these delightful foods will decrease your pain and get you back to your wonderful, active self. So, grab a glass of cherry juice and start feeling good again!





I'm going to try all of these! I have osteoarthritis in my hip and back and lately it has been bad. I take Ibuprofen and it is killing my digestive system. Thanks for this!
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