Food, Drinks and Nutrients That Battle Osteoarthritis

May 24, 2016

Food, Drinks and Nutrients That Battle Osteoarthritis

Share Article

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis in the United States, affecting around 27 million people. Symptoms usually start off mild and worsen over time. The joints undergo damage with time, and osteoarthritis tends to occur mainly in the hands, knees, elbows, hips, and spine.

Food Groups to Eat With Osteoarthritis

Fortunately, with a healthy and well-balanced diet, the symptoms of osteoarthritis are manageable and many people report significantly less pain with appropriate diet and exercise.

  • Cold water fish (salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, and halibut)
  • Organic fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Ginger

Nutrient Needs With Osteoarthritis

Vitamin C 

This vitamin is involved in the formation of collagen and proteoglycan (the two major components of cartilage). Foods with Vitamin C include cherries, red bell pepper, guava, broccoli, green bell pepper, cauliflower, papaya, strawberries, kale, cabbage greens, oranges, cantaloupe, kiwi, grapefruit juice, citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, and pineapple.


Similar to vitamin C, beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps destroy free radicals before they can cause joint damage. Beta-carotene is found in fruits and vegetables such as apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, cantaloupe, spinach, parsley, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli, and asparagus.


Also known as vitamin b-3, nutrient may cut the risk of osteoarthritis in half. Some food with niacin includes crimini mushrooms, tuna, salmon, chicken breast, asparagus, and halibut

Vitamin E

Reduces that pain of osteoarthritis and eliminates damaging free radicals. Vitamin E also reduces inflammation and can significantly reduce pain. Some foods include mustard greens, chard, turnip greens, and sunflower seeds.

Omega-3 fatty acids

There are some studies that suggest that omega-3 fatty acids reduce the pain of osteoarthritis. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds, walnuts, and salmon.


These are similar to antioxidants, possessing many anti-inflammatory effects. Good sources of quercetin include: onions, kale, leeks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, black currants, lingonberries, cocoa powder, green tea, apricots, and apples


Some of the best spices boasting anti-inflammatory effects include ginger and turmeric. Ginger can be added to fries, dressing, and smoothies. Tumeric is a common ingredient in yellow curry.

Substances to Avoid With Osteoarthritis

Vitamin A

Those with high doses of vitamin A can actually wind up with even more joint pain and damage. It is hard to get high dosages of vitamin A from diet alone, but taking too many multivitamins may result in too much of the vitamin.

Other Foods to Avoid:

  • Highly refined products
  • White rice
  • White bread
  • White pasta
  • Excessive saturated fats
  • Trans fat

With the combination of a well-balanced diet, physical activity and a genuine effort to maintain health, osteoarthritis symptoms are highly manageable.

Please enter a comment.
Please enter a name.
Please enter a valid email address in the form "".
Please check the box to the left of "I'm not a robot".

Frequently Asked Questions

How does osteoarthritis impact daily life?

Depending on the severity of the condition, osteoarthritis affects people differently. Most of the time the wearing of joints occurs very gradually over the course of many years. Mild cases are relatively able to be managed and constitute only a minor nuisance while living day-to-day.

More severe cases can limit mobility or the willingness to participate in daily activities due to the pain and discomfort resulting from osteoarthritis. This condition can make it hard to complete tasks involved with self-care, often discouraging people from working to treat osteoarthritis with healthy exercise.

See All Answers »

Is it possible for physical activity to help arthritis?

Absolutely! Exercise is one of the most effective non-drug treatments for arthritis. It can help to prevent or delay hip surgery and can help keep joints healthy. There are a number of arthritis-friendly exercises like walking, dancing, biking and more.

See All Answers »

Search By State

Find Senior Caring Options by State
Finding the perfect senior care community is only part of making your loved one’s senior living transition smooth. At SeniorCaring, we know that it is also equally important to be aware of what other community services and resources are available to your family’s senior. Choose your location and find local resources for your senior.