7 Best Diets For Osteoarthritis (Food Lists & Menu)

Are your joints painful and stiff?

It's most likely because of your osteoarthritis…

But besides following your doctor's prescription, you can also eat healthy foods.

So, here are the 7 best diets for osteoarthritis that can help you ease your symptoms.

Make sure that you try them and you will see a difference! 

Note: I will focus on foods that can be included in your daily meals. I won't ask you to completely change your diet.


1. Vitamin C-Rich Diet


“How can some food help me relieve my pain?” you may ask.

Well, food can help you keep your weight under control.

Moreover, it contains substances that are beneficial for you, like vitamin C.

Everybody knows that vitamin C supports your immune system.

However, did you know that vitamin C is also beneficial for people who suffer from osteoarthritis?

Actually, it is, I can assure you of that. How come?:

  • is essential for the formation of ligaments
  • prevents inflammatory arthritis
  • keeps your joints healthy
  • soothes your pain [1]

So, you definitely need vitamin C if you want to ease your symptoms.

How can you get the amount of vitamin C that your body needs?

Well, you must eat foods rich in vitamin C.

What should we start with?

I think we should start with citrus fruits. It is not a surprise that citrus fruits are on our list, is it?

They are not only rich in vitamin C, but they also have many benefits like:

  • rich in antioxidants
  • a good source of other vitamins (like vitamin A and B6)
  • high in magnesium and potassium

All these substances are beneficial for your joint and bone health.

So make sure that you eat citrus fruits every week, if not every day.

What fruits are included in this category?:

  • oranges
  • lemons
  • limes
  • grapefruit

How can you eat them?

Well, you can eat them whole, you can juice them or you can include them in different recipes.

Here, we should mention salads and numerous desserts.

What else can you have?  Have you ever heard of kakadu plums?

They are some small, yellowish plums that are well-known as a good source of vitamin C.

Actually, when it comes to foods rich in vitamin C, they are definitely the winner.

So, strange as it might sound, kakadu plums are actually good for you:

  • a great source of antioxidants
  • have anti-inflammatory properties

How can you eat them? 

Here you have more options.

You can eat them fresh, you can juice them or make some jam with them.

If you want to eat them fresh, you should expect them to be very sour.

They contain a lot of vitamin C, after all.

If you like vegetables more, you can try broccoli.

This is another great source of vitamin C, but they have other benefits as well:

  • rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin K1 or potassium
  • a good source of fiber and protein

So, you definitely need to include broccoli in your diet. 

All the foods that I mentioned here are good sources of vitamin C.

Thus, you can confidently include them in your daily meals.

SUMMARY

Vitamin C is important for your bone health and it can help you deal with your osteoarthritis.

That's because it can soothe your pain and improve your health.

So, you surely need to eat foods that are rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits.

 

 


2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Diet


Now, let's talk a little bit about omega-3 fatty acids. 

I'm sure that you've heard people saying that omega-3 fats are good for your health.

In fact, this information is true. Omega-3 fatty acids are indeed essential for your body.

Moreover, they can help you deal with your osteoarthritis.

How come? Well, that's because they have many benefits:

  • reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis
  • slow down the progression of osteoarthritis
  • soothe your pain

Besides, our bodies can't produce omega-3 fatty acids, so we need to get them from food.

This being said, let's see what foods we should add to our list.

Let's start with fish. As you probably guessed, fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Here we can include more types of fish like:

  • mackerel
  • salmon
  • herring
  • sardines 
  • cod

All these fishes are a good source of omega-3 fats and they are beneficial for you.

How often should you eat fish?

Well, I recommend you try to eat fish at least two times per week.

In this way, you are sure that you get the amount of omega-3 fatty acid that you need.

If fish is not your favorite food, you can try eating other types of seafood like:

  • oysters
  • shrimps
  • caviar

These are also rich in omega-3 fats and they are one of the healthiest foods that you can have.

However, if you are a veggie-lover, you can try spinach

I know, this vegetable is usually hated by children, but it is quite healthy, be sure of that.

Moreover, it also has many benefits:

  • a good source of omega-3 fats
  • rich in calcium and vitamin K
  • has anti-inflammatory properties

So, spinach is definitely a food good for you and your bone health.

Also, it is quite versatile, so you can include it in many recipes like:

  • salads
  • soups
  • pasta
  • lasagna

These foods really make you hungry, right?

So, go and prepare yourself a delicious food that includes spinach.

Lastly, we are talking about chia seeds.

I'm sure that you know what they look like. However, did you also know that they have many advantages?

Here are some of them:

  • rich in omega-3 fatty acids, of course
  • a good source of magnesium and selenium
  • high in proteins

How can you eat them? Well, you can include them in your detox water

Also, you can add them to your oatmeal or smoothie. 

Your breakfast will be more delicious and healthier if you include chia seeds in it.

So, make sure that you include omega-3 fatty acids in your daily meals and you will see the results!

SUMMARY

Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for your body, but our organisms can't produce them.

So, in order to get them – we need to eat foods that are rich in Omega-3 fats.

Some of them are fish, spinach, and chia seeds.

 

 


3. Include Antioxidants In Your Meals


Everybody knows that antioxidants are helpful for your organism.

What are antioxidants? Well, they are substances that prevent and slow damage to the cells.

So, they somehow slow down the aging process of the body.

Also, they have many other benefits for your bone health:

  • relieve your joint pain [2]
  • soothe your symptoms

Thus, you definitely need to include antioxidants in your daily diet.

How can you do that? Do you need to take a supplement?

Not really. All you have to do is eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. 

Which are those? Well, there are many foods that you can eat.

However, we cannot mention all of them here. Our list will contain some of the best ones, though.

So, let's start with forest fruits. These delicious fruits are full of properties:

  • a great source of antioxidants
  • rich in vitamin E and magnesium
  • high in fiber

So, they definitely deserve to be mentioned here.

Moreover, forest fruits can be included in many recipes, especially in desserts.

“You praise them so much, but didn't actually mention which forest fruits are you referring to.” you may say.

Well, in this category we can include:

  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • goji berries

It is easy to include them in your daily meals. That's because you can find them in every shop.

Moreover, you can buy them either fresh or frozen.

Yet, it is not all about forest fruits.

You can also eat vegetables. Let's see which are the richest in antioxidants.

Carrots should also be mentioned.

Actually, not only rabbits should eat carrots. You ought to do that too!

That's because they sustain your bone health:

  • contain vitamin K, calcium, and phosphorus
  • a good source of vitamin C
  • improve your bone health

How should you eat them? Raw?

You can do that if you want, but there are many recipes that you can try.

Carrots can be included in numerous dishes like:

  • soups
  • salads
  • smoothies
  • desserts

Because I mentioned carrots, I also have to talk about potatoes, a vegetable loved by many.

Yet, potatoes are not only delicious but also healthy:

  • contain antioxidants
  • a good source of fiber
  • rich in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus

So, are you free to eat fried potatoes? Well, yes, you are, but you can also try other recipes.

As potatoes are very versatile, you can prepare many dishes with them.

I'm not going to mention them here because our list will be way too long.

However, you can easily find many delicious recipes on the internet.

What else can I say to you? Well,  don't expect these diets to cure the disease. 

They can ease your symptoms and make you feel more comfortable, but they can't cure osteoarthritis.

As they have good results in the long run, make sure that you eat these foods every day.

Only then will you see a difference in the way you feel and move.

SUMMARY

Antioxidants are beneficial for your whole organism, not just for your bone health.

That's because they slow down the aging process of your body.

So, you definitely need to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants like forest fruits.

 

 


4. Vitamin K-Rich Diet


Vitamin K is another essential vitamin for your bone health. 

Actually, it sustains the function of your bones and cartilages.[3]

So, if you want to relieve your pain, you definitely need to include vitamin K in your diet.

How can you do that?

Again, you can take a supplement based on vitamin K.

However, there is another option, more natural in my opinion.

You can eat food that contains a high quantity of vitamin K. Which are those?

Well, let's start our list with green leafy vegetables.

Here we can include the following:

  • kale
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • lettuce

As I already talked about the benefits of broccoli and spinach, I won't mention them again here.

Yet, I will talk a little bit about what benefits the rest of them have:

  • rich in vitamin K, as you know
  • a good source of antioxidants
  • contain potassium and fiber

As you can see cabbage, kale and lettuce have many advantages as well.

So, they are a must when it comes to foods rich in vitamin K.

As you know, they can be included in many recipes.

Thus, you don't have an excuse for not eating them.

What else should we add here?

Well, if you are rather a meat lover, you will surely love this food.

Actually, chicken is another great source of vitamin K.

As you can see, vegetables are not the only ones on our list.

Meat is also included here, but it contains a smaller quantity of vitamin K.

So, what can you prepare with chicken? Many recipes like:

  • soups
  • pasta
  • salads
  • rice
  • tacos

Of course, fruits should not miss from our menu, or should I say diet?

Thus, fruits are also included here, but this time we are talking about dried fruits.

What dried fruits are good for your bones?

Well, prunes also contain vitamin K, so they improve your bone health.

Part of their benefits are the following:

  • a good source of vitamin A and B2
  • rich in potassium and manganese
  • contain also fibers

This snack is quite healthy for you, isn't it?

Besides, prunes are delicious, so eating them is an easy job.

This being said, let's end our list here. Of course, there are other foods that could have been mentioned.

Yet, the ones that are included here are some of the healthiest ones, I assure you.

Thus, keep in mind that eating them is beneficial for your bone health.

SUMMARY

Vitamin K is another vitamin that your body needs if you suffer from osteoarthritis.

That's because vitamin K sustains the function of your bones and cartilage.

So, you can get the amount that you need by eating foods that contain vitamin K like kale.

 

 


5. Calcium-Based Diet


I bet you wondered why I didn't mention calcium yet.

Well, here comes the diet that is based on calcium.

As you know, calcium is one of the most important minerals for your bones.

If your organism doesn't get enough calcium, your bones will be the ones that will suffer.

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, it is essential to have a diet rich in calcium because:

  • improves your bone health
  • can reduce your symptoms
  • decreases the risk of fractures

So, you definitely need to eat foods that are rich in calcium.

Let's move on and talk specifically about them.

Which foods are best for you? Well, of course, dairy products.

When it comes to foods rich in calcium, they are surely the best ones for you.

In this category I can include the following:

  • milk
  • yogurt
  • cheese
  • cream
  • butter

A glass of milk and a slice of bread with butter can make the perfect breakfast for you.

What do you think about this?

Or, if you prefer cereals, you can eat cereals with milk in the morning.

So, it is pretty easy to include them in your meals, isn't it?

However, dairy products are not the only ones that are rich in calcium.

We can add here beans and lentils too. 

Beside calcium, they contain other beneficial substances like:

  • magnesium
  • potassium
  • iron
  • zinc
  • fiber

So, try to eat them as often as you can.

They might not be your favorite food, but they certainly are healthy.

Or do you like them? If you like them, it is even better.

So, you can choose the beans that you prefer most and you can cook whatever recipe you want.

When it comes to recipes, you can choose from more options:

  • soups
  • salads
  • pasta

They definitely can be used as an ingredient for more dishes, not just the ones mentioned here.

However, we should not exclude fruits from our list.

I can tell you that figs are good for you.

They have many advantages too:

  • rich in antioxidants
  • support bone health
  • a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium

They can be eaten either fresh or dried. Also, they are delicious either way you eat them.

If you prefer, you can add them to some desserts like jams.

As you can see, you really do have many options from which to choose!

So, don't make excuses, and make sure that you eat foods rich in calcium every day.

In this way, you will manage to reduce your pain and stiffness.

SUMMARY

As you know, calcium is essential if you want to have strong and healthy bones.

Moreover, it can also reduce your symptoms in case you suffer from osteoarthritis.

So, all you have to do it to eat foods that are rich in calcium (dairy products, beans).

 

 


6. Vitamin D-Rich Diet


The third vitamin that is essential for you is vitamin D.

In fact, vitamin D and calcium are linked to each other.

Why is vitamin D so important for your organism?

Well, let's have a look at its benefits:

  • helps your body absorb calcium 
  • soothes your pain
  • sustains the function of your bones [4]

So, now you know why you need to include vitamin D in your daily diet.

How can you do that? Well, taking a supplement is always an option.

However, because we talk about diets, I must tell you what foods you should eat, right?

Eating foods rich in vitamin D is a more natural way of obtaining the vitamin D that you need.

I know, we already talked about fish.

Actually, fish is not only rich in omega-3 fats, but it is also a good source of vitamin D.

Don't go away! I won't mention the benefits of the fish again.

I will only tell you what types of fish are best for you:

  • cod
  • tuna
  • salmon
  • swordfish

Beside fish, you can also eat eggs.

In fact, the one that is rich in vitamin D is the egg yolk, but eating the whole egg is even better.

What recipes can you prepare with eggs? As you know, there are many dishes in which eggs are included.

Yet, when you eat them for breakfast, eggs can be prepared in various ways:

  • boiled
  • scrambled
  • fried
  • omelet

If you want to drink something in the morning, you can try fortified orange juice.

Actually, fortified products are also on our list. 

Here we can include more foods like:

  • cereals
  • soy milk
  • dairy products
  • oatmeal

These are definitely good for you and your bone health.

Let me tell you another secret!

Actually, eating foods is not the only method that you can use to get vitamin D.

You can also stay outside, exposed to the sunlight. 

How much time should you spend outside?

Well, make sure that you stay there between 10 to 30 minutes every day.

However, try to use both ways of obtaining vitamin D.

In this way, you will surely have very good results.

SUMMARY

Vitamin D and calcium are usually taken together.

That's because vitamin D helps the body absorb the amount of calcium that it needs.

So, in order to get vitamin D make sure that you eat the right foods and that you stay outside.

 

 


7. Fiber-Based Diet


Our last diet is based on fiber, which are also essential for you.

Actually, a diet based on fiber can reduce your symptoms and improve your health.

So, fiber can be beneficial for you and your bone health.

Let's see what advantages they have:

  • reduce inflammation
  • soothe your pain
  • can ease pressure on joints

So, you got it. Fiber are a good solution for you.

So, let's move on and find out which foods are good for you.

Let's start with fruits.

When it comes to fruits, apples and pears should definitely be mentioned.

They have many properties like:

  • rich in fiber
  • a good source of antioxidants
  • high in vitamin C and K

Moreover,  they are quite versatile.

You can eat them whole or you can include them in different salads and desserts.

As they are really tasty, it is easy to eat them every day.

Remember: An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Known as a fruit, but included in various recipes, avocado is also good for your bones.

That's because it also has many benefits like the following:

  • a good source of vitamins like vitamin C and K
  • rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • high in magnesium and potassium

How can you eat it?

Well, it can be included in so many recipes like salads or desserts.

So, it is quite easy to eat it weekly or even daily.

If you like nuts, you can eat almonds. They are also a good source of fiber.

Moreover, they are a great ingredient for many recipes like:

  • desserts
  • salads
  • pasta

If these dishes don't suit you, maybe you can drink almond milk.

Or you can even cook some delicious foods with it.

What other foods can you eat?

Well, here are some more foods that you can try:

  • potatoes
  • beans
  • peas
  • tomatoes
  • bananas

So, you definitely can eat foods that are rich in fiber every day!

In this, way you make sure that your bone health improves.

So, start eating healthy foods right now! What you eat tells others how healthy you are.

Also, food is especially important if you want to keep your osteoarthritis under control.

Thus, you definitely need to eat the foods that are best for you!

SUMMARY

If you want to have healthy bones, you can also try a diet based on fiber.

They can also reduce inflammation and soothe your pain.

So, choose to eat foods that are rich in fiber like avocados and apples.

 

 


My Final Verdict


Are you dealing with osteoarthritis? Are your joints painful and stiff?

Well, you can reduce your symptoms by eating the right foods.

Here are the best diets for osteoarthritis that will improve your bone health:

  •  Vitamin C-rich diet
  • Omega-3 fatty acids diet
  • Include antioxidants in your meals
  • Vitamin K-rich diet

Make sure that you eat the foods that are good for you and you'll see the results.

I'm sure that you'll manage to soothe your pain and to improve your bone health.

All you need to do is to eat the right foods! It is as simple as that!

best joint

References:

1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/-PMC5391567/

2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/-PMC4700773/

3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/-PMC7281970/

4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/-PMC4503574/

 

 

Written by 

Sara is passionate about health, beauty and cosmetics. She likes to do research and to find new information about various medical topics. You can connect with her via Linkedin.

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