Four Foods to Fight Arthritis


Richard Blau, MD, author of Too Young to Feel Old: The Arthritis Doctor’s 28-Day Formula for Pain-Free Living shares his top picks for foods that fight arthritis and ease joint pain and explains why they work.

One of the most common questions people with arthritis ask is, “Is there a special arthritis diet?”

While there’s no miracle diet for arthritis, many foods can help fight inflammation and improve joint pain and other symptoms. Research shows that different foods play a role in arthritis inflammation. Foods that are rich in nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants may help neutralize RA inflammation and alleviate symptoms. One of the foods most often recommended for symptom and inflammation reduction is pomegranate.

A diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and beans, but low in processed foods and saturated fat, is not only great for overall health but can also help manage disease activity. If this advice sounds familiar, it’s because these are the principles of the Mediterranean diet, which is frequently touted for its anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting powers.


Berries pack a double dose of anti-inflammatory properties. All fruits are high in antioxidants, which can help fight inflammation. Additionally, foods like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries contain anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation.


Pomegranate is low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and it’s rich in nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. The antioxidants in the ruby seeds of this exotic fruit neutralize the free radicals that can trigger inflammation and worsen joint pain. In one study, scientists applied pomegranate extract to human cartilage aggravated by osteoarthritis and found that the extract protected the tissue against the proinflammatory protein interleukin-1b.

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When shopping for pomegranate juice, read labels carefully. Products with added sugars aren’t healthy. Drinking 8 ounces of juice daily can be effective. You’ll want to look for juice that’s 100 percent pomegranate. Drink the juice in moderation if it’s still high in sugar.


Curcuminoids, the active ingredients in this Indian spice, turn off the inflammatory protein NF-kappaB in the joints. Animal studies have shown that turmeric has the ability to help prevent rheumatoid arthritis. Curcumin seems to target specific molecules or pathways that control the cell cycle. It also blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes.  That’s why studies have shown that it can be helpful for people with osteoarthritis.


Freshly crushed garlic releases the enzyme allicin (responsible for this herb’s characteristic odor), which works as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent in the body by inhibiting the formation of inflammatory prostaglandins (created by fatty acids).

A quick tip: Let chopped garlic sit for 15 minutes before adding it to your dish so its active enzymes can reach their full strength.


Lindsey Galloway

InnoVision Health Media reports on health content that is supported by our editorial advisory board and content published in our group of peer reviewed medical journals.

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