How to Use Food to Relieve Joint Pain
Updated: Sep 6
Are you living with Fibromyalgia and joint pain? If so, you're probably looking for ways to relieve your pain. While medications and therapies can help, did you know that food can also play a role in reducing inflammation and easing pain?
In this post, we'll explore how to how to get relief from joint pain using food!
Here's a roundup of recent research into foods that help bring some relief to your joint pain:
Pineapple is rich in the enzyme called Bromelain. Bromelain has many benefits, including reducing inflammation and swelling, easing digestion, and can help ease joint pain, and relieving sore muscles.
The Dole Nutrition Institute has found that fresh or frozen pineapple has as much, if not more, bromelain activity than supplements. Bromelain is available as an effective dietary supplement for reducing pain and swelling.
Pineapples are also a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps form collagen and improves iron absorption and manganese, which supports metabolism and bone density.
Cherries are a top source of anthocyanins that reduce inflammation and protect against gout, a type of inflammatory arthritis. In addition, one study found that cherry consumption lowered blood levels of uric acid, which can accumulate in joints, causing pain.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable containing sulforaphane, which triggers the body's antioxidant defenses. New research suggests that this process may help block the effects of Cox-2 enzymes on inflammation.
Broccoli is one of the most potent sources of these compounds, but you'll also find them in cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.
Suppose you experience Irritable Bowel Syndrome (commonly known as IBS). In that case, these cruciferous veggies may not be a suitable option for you, as they are known to cause bloating and other digestive issues in people with IBS.
Move over, salmon! Black cod has even higher Omega-3 fatty acids, which may help rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammation. This healthy fat is in flounder, halibut, sardines, flaxseed oil, pecans, walnuts, and leafy green vegetables.
For centuries, turmeric has been part of traditional medicine, nicknamed the Golden Spice for its rich golden color. Turmeric studies are ongoing, but its health benefits seem to be growing by the day.
At the base of the healing properties of turmeric, it can block pro-inflammatory pathways. Because of these blocking abilities, turmeric can ease pain from inflammation just as well as some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. In addition, it’s all-natural, which makes it even better.
The part of turmeric that does all the heavy lifting is called curcumin.
On top of helping with your arthritic pain, curcumin can fight inflammation that plays a significant role in heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and many other conditions.
On its own, turmeric has a very mild taste. However, you can take turmeric in many ways, from pills to the actual root.
Button Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D. Having adequate vitamin D levels decreases vulnerability to arthritis pain. Sunshine also enables your body to produce vitamin D; other sources include oysters, sardines, and fortified nonfat dairy.
Kale is one of the healthiest sources of calcium, which helps hold the line against osteoarthritis by slowing bone loss. Be adventurous - try collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, arugula, goat's milk, and some of the better-known joint-friendly calcium sources.
Ginger root is famous for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, aiding digestion and treating nausea. But, of course, we are interested in one of the other things that ginger can do - reduce inflammation.
The easiest way to take ginger is to eat or drink it somehow. Of course, the most popular way is to drink ginger is in some hot tea. Still, you can also shave a bit off to place in your food or blend a small amount in some apples, pineapple, and a carrot for a tasty and healthy smoothie.
Olive oil is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids and is heavily anti-inflammatory. You can take a tablespoon of olive oil or use it in your cooking as long as you don't heat it at high temperatures for very long. Olive oil is delicious for salad dressing for easy pairing with leafy greens.
These yummy little berries are a mega source of antioxidants! Snacking on a handful of these or making a morning breakfast smoothie can help reduce the effects of inflammation.
You can also use blueberries to sweeten baking dishes and drinks to add health benefits and unique flavor to other things you love. For example, blueberries and bananas have a fantastic way of uniting flavors.
Smoothies are also a great option if you’re experiencing Fibromyalgia-related nausea or irritable bowel symptoms; they can be very soothing to the gut.
Green and black tea contain flavonoids and antioxidant compounds, which can block the production of prostaglandins, causing pain and inflammation.
While the foods mentioned here have compounds with targeted joint health benefits, Harvard researchers found a link between high fruit and vegetable consumption and a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Vitamin C Rich Foods
According to a Boston University study, people getting under 150 milligrams daily of vitamin C had faster cartilage breakdown.
Top sources of vitamin C are citrus, pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe, papaya, strawberries, honeydew melon, collard greens, and sweet potatoes.
Try to add these and other anti-inflammatory foods to your diet.
Keep a food diary to see if these foods do indeed reduce your symptoms.
Remember that proper nutrition and a balanced diet help the body maintain an optimal level of health, which makes it much better equipped to support and promote healing and overall wellness.
Supplements to ease joint pain: