Nutrition for Arthritic Pain

Nutrition for Arthritic Pain

By Dr. Daniel Rocha DN LMT CPT CNS  


The two main types of arthritis damage joints in different ways. 


Osteoarthritis causes the breakdown of cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint.


Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints. 


Arthritis risk factors include a family history of the condition and older age. The most common symptoms of arthritis affect the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis a person has, the symptoms may include pain, stiffness, and swelling. The affected joint might be a different color from usual. It also may not be able to move or stretch as far as it used to. 


So let’s manage the pain by watching our nutrition and incorporating these foods and supplements. 



Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. These veggies contain a compound called sulforaphane which slows or prevents the production of B-cells and inflammatory cytokines like tumor necrosis factor (TNF) which drive inflammatory arthritis. Sulforaphane is great for helping patients with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke, and cancer. Try eating your veggies raw in salads or lightly cooked in stir-fries.


Fatty fish. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation. Add fish to your diet a couple of times a week. Also, take an omega-3 supplement. Vegetarians or vegans may use oil supplements from algae which have the same benefits without the fishy aftertaste or burps.


Garlic. Garlic is part of the allium family which includes onions, leeks, and shallots which contain a compound called diallyl disulfide. This compound has an effect in limiting cartilage-damaging enzymes.


Tart cherries. Cherries have a successful track record of relieving gout, mainly due to reduced uric acid. Cherries, especially in supplements, concentrate, or extract reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  


Turmeric. Curcumin, a compound in turmeric, is an anti-inflammatory that specifically targets pro-inflammatory cytokines and dysfunctional T cells and B cells involved in rheumatoid arthritis. Combining turmeric with black pepper and oil will make it easier for the body to absorb. 


Vitamin C-rich foods. Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruit, strawberries, bell peppers, parsley, broccoli, kiwi, and cantaloupe. Vitamin C aids in wound healing and in forming blood vessels, muscles, and cartilage in bones. This antioxidant aids in the prevention of osteoarthritis or keeps it from getting worse. Vitamin C suppresses inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF).


Pineapple. Pineapple helps relieve joint pain because it has a compound called bromelain. It is an effective pain reliever for patients with osteoarthritis and reduces the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.


Let’s get you scheduled for your next appointment with me soon.

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