Osteoarthritis Diet: Foods to Eat and Avoid

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis which means the degeneration of cartilage which is present in the joints and the underlying bone, it is most commonly found from middle age onward. The main symptoms are causing pain and stiffness in the hip, knee, and fingers, spine, hips, knees, or big toes. thumb joints. Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown or rupture of cartilage. Cartilage is a rubbery material that eases the friction in your joints.

The main symptom of osteoarthritis is inflammation, although it causes swelling and pain, it also helps the body fight illness as a part of healing process and can protect it from damage sometimes. Apart, some people have a medical condition in which the immune system does not work normally. it can lead to low level inflammation. Chronic inflammation occurs with various diseases, such as:

  • Asthma.
  • Atherosclerosis.
  • Atopic dermatitis.
  • Auto inflammatory syndrome.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

We can manage symptoms of any disease with dietary changes for somehow. As osteoarthritis is with inflammation, anti-inflammatory diet is most suggestible to manage symptoms. This diet contains fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, healthful fats, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, and spices. This diet reduce or limits the consumption of processed foods such as red meats, and alcohol etc.

What is an anti-inflammatory diet?

Some foods contain ingredients that can reduce the inflammation such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole foods etc.

This anti-inflammatory diet mostly focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables because plant-based foods are good sources of fiber and antioxidants, which reduce free radicals. Free radicals are dangerous molecules which are caused by repeatedly heating cooking oils. Although free radicals are formed due to stress and smoking, it is the natural byproducts of metabolism (some body processes). Fiber is also said to decrease inflammation.

Free radicals may damage the body cells which increases the risk of inflammation. So, our body creates some antioxidants that help it remove these toxic substances.

Foods that are anti-inflammatory such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, and oily fish which contains omega-3-fatty acids.

Foods to be taken

An anti-inflammatory diet should combine a variety of foods that are rich in nutrients, provide a range of antioxidants and contain healthful fats

  • beans
  • nuts and seeds
  • olives and olive oil
  • oily fish, such as tuna and salmon
  • fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries
  • vegetables, including kale, spinach, and broccoli
  • fiber rich foods
  • legumes, such as lentils
  • spices, such as ginger and turmeric
  • probiotics and prebiotics
  • tea
  • some herbs

Foods to be avoided

People who are following an anti-inflammatory diet should avoid or limit their intake of processed foods such as::

  • foods with added sugar or salt
  • unhealthful oils
  • white bread, white pasta, and baked goods (processed carbs)
  • Chips, lays, fried foods
  • premade desserts, such as cookies, candy, and ice cream
  • excess alcohol and cigarettes

NOTE: Every diet is different for individuals, it depend upon many factors of their body. Some people are intolerant to particular foods. So, every individual should be aware of their diet. For example, whole grains are said to be anti-inflammatory but in some people, having gluten rich foods can flare up the inflammation.


Osteoarthritis is due to degeneration of joint cartilage which is a rubber like substance helps for the movement. It is most commonly seen in old age people. Although, your knee is painful, make the frequent movement to avoid chronic failure of your joint. Some foods that are anti-inflammatory such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes, seem to trigger flares in some people with inflammatory diseases. These person can try cutting nightshades from the diet for 2–3 weeks to see if their symptoms improve. Other diets Mediterranean diet and DASH diets comes under anti-inflammatory diets as they also contains fruits and vegetables in the diet.