The 5 foods every arthritis sufferer should eat

Every week, evidence grows that diet plays a huge, underestimated role in fighting arthritis. But which foods to choose? It’s

Every week, evidence grows that diet plays a huge, underestimated role in fighting arthritis. But which foods to choose?

It’s not easy to say, with so much advice out there and so many healthy ingredients to choose from. Celebrity voices – cashing in on the discussion – make it harder still. But when I work with my dietitian colleague to develop meal plans for people, like me, with arthritis, I ask these questions:

How strong is the evidence this food has anti-inflammatory properties?

For me ‘someone told me at the shops’ or ‘I read it on a blog’ is not good enough. I look at evidence-based scientific studies, from around the world.

How easy is this food to find and does it fit into the lifestyle of a regular person?

If you can’t buy it at Woolies or Coles and add it to a dozen well-loved dishes, I’m not interested. If a food is too hard to find or expensive, people will give up. Of course it must taste yummy too!

Guided by these questions, here are the top five anti-inflammatory foods every person with arthritis should embrace.

1. Spicy cinnamon

Few foods are researched as much as cinnamon. Why? Because it benefits almost every health condition on the planet. Anti-inflammatory. Anti-oxidant. Anti-microbial. Anti-cancer. It even lowers blood sugar levels and improves circulation.

Cinnamon is great because you can start the day with a good dose. Sprinkle it on muesli in summer, porridge in winter. Dust it over toast – it goes well with jam or peanut butter. Add it to your morning hot brew or smoothie as a healthier sweetener.

2. Sassy salmon

The studies on salmon show it contains docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids. Sorry…? Just know these powerful omega-3s have strong anti-inflammatory properties, proven to reduce the pain of arthritis. Salmon is also rich in vitamins A, B12, D and E, iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc and iron, in case you had any doubts.

Salmon is an all-day wonder and partner to many meals. It’s also conveniently available cooked, smoked, tinned, frozen and fresh. At breakfast, serve with organic eggs and wholegrain toast. For lunch, add to a big green salad with a lemon dressing. At dinner time, a salmon steak is delicious with roasted veggies or green beans.

3. Nutty walnuts

Nuts in general, unsalted and unsweetened, are laced with health benefits. Walnuts are especially bountiful, linked with reduction of both inflammation and cholesterol.

Walnuts are best munched in place of less healthy snacks at break times. Replacing choccie bars or bag of chips for walnuts is a simple but powerful move you can make to improve your health.

4. Sweetheart sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes topped the charts when a team of European scientists tested over 100 foods for their anti-inflammatory properties. It might seem a dull character, but it’s health benefits, including richness in vitamins A and C, are dazzling.

How many times a week do you eat potatoes? Simply substitute your regular spud for nutrient rich sweet potatoes and count the health benefits. Delicious mashed with pumpkin as a side, roasted with other veggies or sautéed and added to a salad, sweet potatoes are as versatile as a pair of black leggings.

5. Green tea with envy

Enough of food, what about something to drink? Green tea is rich in polyphenols proven to be anti-inflammatory, and relieves countless other conditions, like cancer and heart disease. Other teas can only look on, jealously.

Green tea is ideal hot as a substitute for coffee and black tea. Or cold to replace sugary soft drinks or juices. Avoid mass-produced iced teas; they are loaded with processed sugar. Instead, I make a jug of green tea, lemon and honey to leave in the fridge (try cold steeping over night).

If you love these five and want more, check out this top ten list of anti-inflammatory foods. I’d love to hear any recipe or serving suggestions you have – the possibilities are endless.

Tell us, will you be adding any of these items to your next shopping list?  Have you tried them before?

Originally published here

  1. I eat some of these a lot and I always put cinnommin on my feral everyday!

  2. I eat all these foods however as I don’t drink any teas, I haven’t had green tea. Yet I must admit I have never noticed any change for the better unfortunately.

    • How do you take it Sandra? I was told by my specialist to use it, but I only use it in certain recipes. I’m happy to have it every day but not sure how to.

      • Bev Seton  

        Join the turmeric users blog on Facebook, turmeric needs an oil and black pepper to enable absorption into the body, they use this spice everyday in India, in their curries and they have hardly any arthritic problems

        • Bev Seton  

          Ps carol Rothwell, I make a paste from ground turmeric coconut oil and freshly ground black pepper, I put in a plastic zippy lunch bag and snip off the corner, then I pipe 1/4 tsp onto baking parchement freeze and put in a small container in the freezer and have 3 times a day. The recipe is from a vet who prescribes it for animals and humans who suffer from arthritis and you can join their blog on turmeric users group on Facebook.

    • I get capsules from the website They have the best product & prices. I take one a day. Good luck with it.

  3. I am trying a drink of hot water first thing in the morning with a spoonful of good honey and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon certainly seems to making a positive difference.

    • I take raw honey, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice topped off with warm water every morning. I have arthritis and fibromyalgia and I swear it it helping..

  4. Black tea with milk got a small island nation through the blitz and the rest of the war. Don’t knock a good old cuppa been helping people for donkeys. My choice for seventy odd years.

  5. Yes Ruth Sullivan. I’m also using a teaspoon of good honey in my black coffee each morning..I do believe I’m getting extra relief from pain..interesting!

  6. Clarice  

    The best plan is to avoid foods which worsen the inflammatory process in the body. One of them is SUGAR. There are others but not going there.

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