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Top 10 Foods to Eat to Find Joint Pain Relief 

Foods that Promote Joint Pain Relief

Joint pain is very common in adults across the United States. While an injury can cause joint pain, some of the most common causes include arthritis/osteoarthritis and auto-immune disorders. While joint pain becomes even more common as we age, you don’t just have to accept it.  

That’s because most joint pain is caused by inflammation, and you can add certain foods to your meal plans that fight inflammation and help provide natural joint pain relief. Buy organic fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat whenever possible. Interested? Let’s get started. 

  1. Fatty Fish 

Eating fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines gives you much-needed omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s fight both the inflammation that irritates osteoarthritis and the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis as well as other causes of joint pain. As an added bonus, Omega-3s also boost heart and brain health.  

  1. Cruciferous Vegetables and Dark Leafy Greens 

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, arugula, kale, and other dark leafy greens including mustard greens, purple cabbage, and Bok choy are all loaded with vitamins and block an enzyme that is known to cause swelling in the joints. Buy organic at the grocery store or the Gardens GreenMarket. You could even start your own garden! 

  1. Colorful Fruits 

Certain fruits can also help relieve joint pain. Again, opt for organic for the healthiest option. For example: 

  • Tart cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are high in anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant. These help “turn off” inflammatory responses in the body. 
  • Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which can also reduce inflammation. 
  • Apples are anti-inflammatory as well and promote gut health as an added bonus. 
  • Tomatoes are high in lycopene, another antioxidant. Cooked tomatoes have a higher amount than raw. Skin-on coked tomatoes such as sun-dried tomatoes can reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals. 
  1. Nuts and Seeds 

Adding nuts and seeds to a salad, stir fry, or smoothie is another great way to reduce inflammation and find joint pain relief. And if you’re vegan, nuts and seeds can be a great way to get your Omega-3s. You can also have nuts as a snack. Walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds are all good options.  

  1. Olive Oil 

By cooking with olive oil instead of vegetable oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, or peanut oil, for example, you’re ditching the oils that cause inflammation. Extra-virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties and also contains Omega 3s. It’s an easy switch that provides a lifelong, restorative solution. 

  1. Grass Fed Meat 

If you eat meat, opt for grass-fed meat, and look for the 100% grass-fed label. Beef, lamb, and bison that have been grass-fed and grass-finished are your best options. This is because grass-fed meats are loaded with anti-inflammatory antioxidants such as vitamin E. Organic grass-fed meat is also free of hormones, which can adversely affect your health. 

  1. Garlic and Herbs 

Root vegetables such as garlic, onions, ginger, and turmeric all have anti-inflammatory properties, and add great flavor! 

  1. Orange Root Vegetables 

Orange root vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and butternut squash contain carotenoids, powerful antioxidants known to reduce inflammation. 

  1. Avocadoes 

Avocadoes are loaded with the carotenoid lutein, another anti-inflammatory compound. In addition, avocadoes contain healthy fats and vitamin E, which boosts the health of connective tissue. 

  1. Dark Chocolate 

Finally, something that’s not “good” for you is actually good for you, at least in moderation. The cocoa in dark chocolate contains an antioxidant that has an anti-inflammatory effect. The higher the concentration of cocoa, the greater the effect – so stick with 70% or above. 

Foods to Avoid 

If you have joint pain, eating the right foods can help provide joint pain relief. But eating the wrong foods can cause inflammation, exacerbating your pain. Here are the foods to avoid: 

Refined Grains 

Avoid foods with refined grains such as white bread, refined pasta, and white rice. Opt for whole-grain bread, whole wheat or vegetable-based pasta, and brown rice. Use unprocessed flour, oats, and organic grains when cooking or baking. 


Try to maintain a low-salt diet. Avoid highly processed foods, many of which are loaded with salt. Look for low-sodium versions, or make the dish yourself without all the typical iodized salt. When you do use salt, we recommend Celtic Sea Salt. Sodium is not necessarily bad, when you get the right amount. It’s an essential nutrient that controls blood pressure, and is needed to make nerves and muscles function properly – but you also need the right amount in the purest form. 

Highly Processed Food 

Many highly processed foods such as bacon, lunchmeat, pastries, donuts, chips, fast food, sugary drinks, etc. are high in omega 6s and sugar, both of which can cause inflammation. Opt for organic, homemade versions with healthy oils and natural sugars such as honey or maple syrup. 

Don’t let joint pain keep you from doing the things you love. By eating the right foods, changing some habits, and getting professional help, you can manage joint pain better.  

Start the Journey to a Pain-Free Life 

If you’re ready to take manage joint pain and prevent pain without prescription drugs or surgery, we can help. At Cima Health, we develop an integrative plan of care tailored to each individual. Our functional medicine team gets to the root of your joint pain and other health issues to help you achieve joint pain relief and find restorative, lifelong solutions.   

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