Sore, arthritic joints can be a real downer, especially in the colder weather. But if the aches of winter have got you feeling down, there are ways to ease your symptoms naturally. Here are 6 foods for sore joints, arthritis and the general aches that come with lower temperatures.
6 Foods For Sore Joints And Arthritis
Tart cherry juice
It might sound like a strange juice to specify! But tart cherries are packed full of antioxidants that can support your joint health. One study looking at osteoarthritis showed that consuming 475ml of tart cherry juice daily significantly reduced symptoms and inflammation. Another confirmed that tart cherry juice can reduce inflammatory markers.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Tart cherry juice is also a natural source of melatonin, which is needed for deep, restful sleep. If you’re not sleeping well, your body can’t repair damage effectively, which can exacerbate pain.
When looking for a tart cherry juice, make sure you choose an unsweetened variety. Otherwise, a lot of the benefits will be cancelled out!
Ok, so we’re looking at a lot of beverages in this ‘foods’ list, but bear with me. Green tea contains a potent antioxidant known as ECGC. ECGC has been shown to reduce inflammatory cytokines in research. And although trials are in the early stages, the research also suggests that it could be beneficial in reducing inflammation in osteoarthritis.
I often recommend that coffee drinkers alternate between coffee and green tea. If you’re not big on caffeine, even one cup a day can offer health benefits.
Berries are the best fruit ever, in my opinion! They are full of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation naturally.
The research agrees. One study showed that people who ate at least two servings of strawberries per week were 14% less likely to have elevated inflammatory markers. Researchers also suggest that blueberries and strawberries may offer protection against arthritis.
Chuck them in your smoothies, porridge, salads or just straight into your mouth. Berries are so good for you, you can enjoy them daily!
Fatty or oily fish are a potent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly anti-inflammatory. At this stage, many studies focus on omega-3 supplements. But there are small studies that support consuming it in the diet. One showed that consuming fatty fish 4 times per week can reduce inflammatory compounds in the body.
3-4 serves of oily fish per week is a good number to aim for. If you prefer plant-based sources, include walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds daily to reap the benefits.
Wanna get your good fats on? High quality olive oil has properties that may help to reduce joint-related symptoms. One animal study showed that extra-virgin olive oil reduced joint swelling, slowed the destruction of cartilage and reduced inflammation. But the benefits are for people as well! One study showed that people who consume olive oil are less likely to have rheumatoid arthritis.
Olive oil is ideal for drizzling over salads, or lightly saute-ing food. It’s not for deep frying – and honestly, deep frying isn’t great for you anyway!
It’s time to spice up your life! Pretty much any herb or spice can have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but turmeric and ginger are two of my favourite foods for sore joints and arthritis.
There are many research studies that show supplementing with turmeric can be beneficial for arthritis. But adding it into your diet can still help as well! The best way to consume it is with a source of good fats and some black pepper to aid with absorption. Research into turmeric and ginger has shown that both have anti-arthritic effects.
Sprinkle spices everywhere! Turmeric and ginger can be added to sweet and savoury dishes.
Want to include more foods for sore joints and arthritis?
Make sure you grab your free copy of my anti-inflammatory food list here.