What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Osteoarthritis?

National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that 27 million Americans above 25 have osteoarthritis.(6)

NIH also says that seventy percent of people above 70 have osteoarthritis.(7)

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease in which the cartilage tissue between the bones is broken down. As a result, the affected joint can swell and become inflamed if there is a corresponding load (arthritis). For those affected, this is associated with enormous pain. According to conventional medical knowledge, the disease is not curable but can be treated in such a way that the course of the disease can be slowed down or even stopped.1

Osteoarthritis does not only affect the elderly – although the likelihood that the cartilage of the joints will be affected increases with age. In addition to an inherited predisposition, factors such as an unhealthy lifestyle and poor nutrition have made arthrosis a widespread disease. Osteoarthritis still cannot be cured – even a complete change in diet cannot restore the destroyed cartilage tissue – but nutrition in osteoarthritis plays an important role.1

What To Eat When You Have Osteoarthritis?

What To Eat When You Have Osteoarthritis?

No diet will remove osteoarthritis symptoms to the full. But a good diet plan has a beneficial impact on osteoarthritis, and may even deter the further progression of the disease. You should concentrate on foods like –

Healthy Foods For Patients With Osteoarthritis

Millet is known to help the cartilage mass to regenerate. Also, you can use only cold-pressed oils like olive, rapeseed, safflower, sesame, and walnut oil.

A useful deacidifying drink is different varieties of simple herbal tea (you can add anise, caraway, corn beard, fennel, or licorice to prepare your herbal tea). Green tea contains an anti-inflammatory function which may also alleviate pain from osteoarthritis. It is better to add lemon for a pronounced effect.

Considering that free radicals may have a positive contribution in controlling osteoarthritis inflammatory processes, a diet comprising vitamin A, E and C, and minerals like selenium and copper are advised.4

Spices And Herbs For Osteoarthritis

People with osteoarthritis are especially affected by the inflammation-induced pain of the joints. Anti-inflammatory herbs can be mixed to prepare effective preparations to fight joint pain. You may consider anise, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, chili, etc. for this purpose. Cocoa and honey can be used with some of these herbs to produce yogurt, good food to have in osteoarthritis. It is not advised to take these herbs daily and rather you may take it once or twice in a week.

A good diet provides adequate and optimal nutrition to the body helping to develop tissues. Some foods promote osteoarthritis development. It can be considered as a metabolic impairment, which can be cured by eliminating some food classes and replacing them with proper nutrients. Especially avoiding some foods will bring about changes swiftly. So give proper attention to the osteoarthritis diet.1

What To Avoid When You Have Osteoarthritis?

You should avoid the following foods for osteoarthritis:

  • All animal protein products
  • Meat/sausage
  • fish
  • Dairy products/cheese
  • Eggs
  • Sugar/sweets
  • Cereal products
  • asparagus
  • Coffee / black tea
  • Alcohol/nicotine
  • Tofu products

Pay attention to a vegetarian to vegan-oriented diet, at least for the time of your Osteoarthritis treatment! All the natural foods that are largely unprocessed are recommended. Especially vegetables and fruits, especially green leafy vegetables.5

Osteoarthritis: Obesity Is A Risk Factor

Overweight individuals are at risk of developing osteoarthritis. Since extra weight is a strain on the joints thus promoting the joint wears even more quickly. Also, the non-bearing joints’ osteoarthritis symptoms decrease with weight loss.

Experts also assume a correlation between the loss of fat and the reduction in inflammation-releasing substances in the body. These inflammatory molecules are usually developed inside the fat cells (for example, adiponectin, leptin, resistin). Lower body fat is also responsible for reduced inflammation of the joints contributing to osteoarthritis.

Better weight loss through a healthy diet and regular exercise is the first measure in arthritis care.2


  1. Thomas S, Browne H, Mobasheri A, Rayman MP. What is the evidence for a role for diet and nutrition in osteoarthritis? Rheumatology. 2018;57(suppl_4):iv61-iv74.
  2. Hussain S, Wang Y, Shaw J, et al. Relationship of weight and obesity with the risk of knee and hip arthroplasty for osteoarthritis across different levels of physical performance: a prospective cohort study. Scandinavian journal of rheumatology. 2019;48(1):64-71.
  3. Veronese N, Koyanagi A, Stubbs B, et al. Mediterranean diet and knee osteoarthritis outcomes: a longitudinal cohort study. Clinical Nutrition. 2019;38(6):2735-2739.
  4. Guan VX, Mobasheri A, Probst YC. A systematic review of osteoarthritis prevention and management with dietary phytochemicals from foods. Maturitas. 2019;122:35-43.
  5. Mohsen MM, Eltomy EM, Riad NA. Health Related Quality of Life Following Dietary and Exercise Interventions among Women with Knee Osteoarthritis. American Journal of Nursing. 2020;8(1):27-37.
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753584/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2818253/

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