18 Super Foods for Joint Health

By on March 3, 2015

Many people don’t realize that certain foods are actually TRIGGERING joint pain and inflammation. Besides the foods that you should keep out of your diet, below is a list of super foods for joint health that can reduce inflammation and improve overall joint health.

#1 Super Food: Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, spring greens, broccoli, and parsley have good amounts of antioxidants carotenoids, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. Antioxidants help neutralize the negative charges on free radicals in the body before a chain reaction is triggered that can damage proteins, fats, cartilage and cell membranes. However, it is also not possible for the body to totally get rid of the free radicals.Leafy-green-vegetables

Therefore, a high antioxidant diet is essential as it reduces the damages done. In the case of osteoarthritis, it helps to reduce the rate of cartilage breaking down, which slows the progression of the disease. It is also particularly effective against rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis or gout as it reduces inflammation in the body. It is recommended to have at least 5 servings of vegetables a day. Vegetables should be raw or steamed lightly to avoid cooking out the nutrients and vitamins.




#2 Super food: Oily FishSalmon-food
Oily fish has been widely recognized as a super food that can reduce joint pain, the duration of morning stiffness and reduction of the need to take
NSAIDs. This is because of their rich source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids(EPA and DHA). It is recommended to consume 2 to 4 portions of oily fish a week and preferably in the form of sushi or sashimi. If not, steamed or grilled tuna, mackerel and striped bass can be a delicious dish in your meal.

#3 Super food: Olive oil
Olive oil contains high amounts of
mono-saturated fats, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Many studies have reported that increased olive oil consumption is directly correlated to reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis and prevents the onset of osteoarthritis. Olive oil is a healthy choice of cooking oil that is widely used in most households.

#4 Super food: Apples
Red-applesApples contain anti-inflammatory antioxidants as well as
boron and magnesium which are beneficial to the bones. Go for red apples as they have the highest concentration of antioxidants in their skin and flesh.

Consuming 100g of apple provides the same amount of antioxidants as 1500mg of Vitamin C. It is recommended to eat as a daily snack. Start by washing it. (Do not peel off the skin as concentration of antioxidants is the highest as compared to the flesh)

You can mix them with lemon juice to prevent browning and add to salads and coleslaw.

#5 Super food: Avocado
Avocados contain antioxidant mono-saturated oils, essential fatty acids,
beta-sitosterol and Vitamin E which are effective in suppressing joint inflammation. Avocados also help stimulate the reaction of bone-building and cartilage cells, thereby promoting cartilage repair and are especially beneficial for osteoarthritis patients. They can be eaten as a starter and add on to salad. Alternatively, you can mash to make dips such as guacamole or as a spread.

#6 Super food: Curry Spices
Chilli cloves, cumin, fennel, ginger, mustard and turmeric are usually found in spiced Indian and middle-eastern foods. These curry spices have an anti-inflammatory action which is effective to prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Tumeric and ginger contain curcumin that may reduce cartilage destruction in osteoarthritis.

#7 Super Food: Berries FruitsDifferent-types-of-berries
Cherries, grapes, bilberries, elderberries, raspberries contain antioxidant anthocyanins that help to lower the amount of inflammatory chemicals in the body. By eating 250g of black cherries, it lowers uric acid levels which help to prevent the onset of gout attacks.

These fruits are normally added to yogurt, muesli, fruit salads and can be eaten fresh as well. Consider juicing the berries and dilute with apple juice for a refreshing and antioxidant rich drink.

#8 Super food: Onions
Onions have a rich source of
quercetin (an antioxidant bioflavonoid that suppresses the production of inflammatory substances). Being an antioxidant, it is especially effective against free radicals within arthritis joints as well as reducing the release of protein-degrading enzymes. Onions can be used to make French onion soup. Otherwise, you can serve onion sauces and onion marmalade with meat dishes. If possible, go for red onions since they are particularly high in antioxidants.

#9 Super food: Pomegranate
Pomegranates have a rich source of antioxidant
polyphenols, anthocyanins, carotenoids, vitamins E and C. In fact, its antioxidant level is 2 or 3 times higher than that of red wine and green tea. The ellagic acid helps to reduce inflammation by blocking the active inflammatory agents which are responsible for cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis. Fresh pomegranate juice can be consumed regularly as a choice of healthy drink. Alternatively, you can also add pomegranate seeds to salads and desserts.

#10 Super food: Red wine
Red wine is another super food that has a rich source of antioxidant polyphenols such as
resveratrol. It is effective in reducing joint inflammation as the resveratrol blocks the release of inflammatory agents. It is recommended to drink 1 or 2 glasses either once or twice per week.

#11 Super food: Soybeans
Soybeans contain antioxidant
isoflavones that have asoybean-products beneficial oestrogen-like action to strengthen bones. Not only is soy effective in blocking the response of inflammatory agents but also stimulate the activity of osteoblasts (bone-building cells) and chondrocytes cartilage cells). This promotes the repair of cartilage in osteoarthritis.

Consider using tofu and soy sauce in cooking or add soybean protein powder to shakes. Fermented soy products like miso is another popular dish that you can consider. However, gout patients should refrain from consuming soy products as much as possible.

#12 Super food: Walnuts And Brazil Nuts
Other than fish,
walnut is one of the super foods that fights arthritis pain. It has a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which can help to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Walnuts can be added to cereals, salads, desserts or used as a spread in the form of butter. Brazil nuts provide the riches source of selenium (50mcg in each nut) which improves the quality of cartilage proteins. They also contain magnesium and sulphur. Research indicates that people who eat brazil nuts regularly have the least chance of developing osteoarthritis.

Quite often, brazil nuts are eaten as a snack. Some people will just scatter them over their cereal, yogurts and salads. You can also consider brazil nut butter as it can be a delicious spread as well.

#13 Super food: Yogurt
Yogurt contains probiotic bacteria, a form of micro-organisms which may help reduce the degree of joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Research reported that there may be a direct connection between abnormal intestinal bacterial balance (dysbiosis) and the gut wall as well as food intolerance. Low-fat bio yogurt can be eaten together with breakfast cereals. It is also commonly mixed with chopped fruits and served as desserts.

#14 Super food: TeasPouring-tea-into-the-cup
White tea, green tea, oolong and blacks tea contain large amounts of antioxidant
catechins such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG inhibit the expression of inflammatory mediators in arthritic joints. With that, it helps to protect and slow down the effect of cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis patients. Drink green tea, black tea and white tea 3 to 5 times a day. You can also use green or white tea as a basis for sauces, soups or stews.

#15 Super Food: Milk
Good news for those people who drink milk daily as they are less likely to develop osteoarthritis. Milk is considered a good source of
calcium and B-vitamins. Milk is commonly poured over cereals for breakfast which forms a good start for the day. Otherwise, it can also be used to make smoothies, shakes and milk puddings as dessert after meals.

#16 Super Food: Garlic
Garlic is usually added to all savoury dishes just before the end of cooking. It contains allicin which helps to alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

#17 Super Food: Grapefruit
Grapefruit contains vitamin C and antioxidant
bioflavonoids. Therefore, it is able to help reduce inflammation, strengthen cartilage and block prostaglandins. Grapefruits also increase the anti-inflammatory effect of some painkillers (Check with your doctor or nutritionist). Grapefruit can be eaten as a starter, added to salads or juiced as a refreshing drink. Regular consumption of grapefruit can improve symptoms of inflammatory arthritis. If possible, opt for red grapefruit as they have richer source of antioxidants than the yellows ones.

#18 Super food: Chilli Pepperschili-peppers
Yes! Chilli peppers are only appealing to people who like hot and spicy food. But you may not be aware that they contain substances called capsaicin and
dihydrocapsaicin which blocks the transmission of pain signals.

In addition, they also trigger the release of endorphins (the brain’s own morphine-like painkillers). In fact, capsaicin is often used as an analgesic in clinical trials in the treatment of osteoarthritis pain. Chilli peppers are often added to curries, soups and stews. Otherwise, you can use sweet chilli jelly as a conserve with meats and cheeses.

Remember, the top 18 super foods that fight arthritis pain and joint inflammation listed above does not means that it should replace any of your current medications. As a matter of fact, there is no concrete evidence that any of these foods can cure arthritis. However, by eliminating the pro-inflammatory foods and incorporating super foods in your daily diet, the symptoms of arthritis are less likely to be provoked. To find out more on how to identify and eliminate trigger foods, you can consult your doctor or food nutritionist who can help guide you along.


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