Joint pain diet – Can certain foods help reduce chronic pain?

Last modified: December 11, 2019

For people who are suffering from osteoarthritis, it is easy to come across a host of different “joint pain diets” that are supposed to be able to alleviate the discomfort from the disease. In these situations, it is important to be critical of the source, because not all of these dietary recommendations are based in science. In general, few physicians will recommend a specific diet when it comes to osteoarthritis. The general dietary advice for both osteoarthritis as well as other diseases is for every affected individual to have as healthy a diet as possible and to try to maintain a sustainable lifestyle.

Joint pain diet – foods to avoid

Everyone is built differently. We have different metabolisms and different needs when it comes to food. In other words, there is no diet that is good for everyone. However, there are still certain recommendations to maintain if you want a healthy lifestyle, regardless of whether you have osteoarthritis or not. In terms of foods to avoid, we usually do best when we refrain from certain foods. The foods that research shows affect our health negatively are the foods that have not been a part of the human diet from earliest times in terms of evolution. This includes, for example:

●     Alcohol

●     Sugar

●     Red meat and processed foods, such as deli meats.

●     Grains, in particular white flour

●     Dairy products

However, the fact that these foods are listed as negative for our health is also related to the amount that we consume. Small amounts of the foods listed above will not do any major damage. However, they should not make up the majority of what we take in.

Good osteoarthritis diet

A person who is affected by osteoarthritis would do well to review their diet and general lifestyle. This is beneficial both in terms of the disease as well as over the long term. When it comes to healthy foods that are linked to treating osteoarthritis, studies have shown that a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables can reduce certain symptoms caused by the disease.

A diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables is also generally recommended for people who do not have osteoarthritis. If you replace saturated fats, processed foods and sugar with options in terms of fruits and vegetables, this can result in weight loss in the long run. Weight loss results in a decrease in the strain on joints affected by osteoarthritis. This means that the pain and discomfort can decrease. Fruits and vegetables also contain vitamins that elevate both a person’s mood and energy level, which can increase their desire to move and exercise.

Research on osteoarthritis diets

Using food as a form of medication for osteoarthritis is becoming increasingly popular. According to the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, the science is still insufficient. In general, it is difficult to conduct research on diets and health. The difficulties are primarily in the fact that the selected group must keep a very strict diet. But it is also complicated by other factors that can affect the research, for example, metabolism and physical structure must be eliminated. Studies involving diets are often longitudinal, which means that they take place over a long period of time, often several years.

There are currently several types of studies being conducted regarding the impact of food on health, and not just for osteoarthritis. The results that most studies agree on point to what is previously mentioned: avoid alcohol and sugar, try to cut back on red meat and processed foods, replace white flour with whole wheat flour and consume fewer dairy products. In addition, a diet that includes a lot of fruits and vegetables is also recommended.

Do careful research before you start with any form of osteoarthritis diet

As access to information expands, the amount of health and dietary advice for different diseases also increases. When it comes to osteoarthritis, it is not uncommon for natural medicine to be named as a part of the treatment for the disease. What studies have shown in terms of natural medicine, however, is that it only has a placebo effect and cannot provide the results that many sources want patients to believe. A person who has osteoarthritis should only seek out dietary recommendations from trustworthy sources. We recommend osteoarthritis.org.

The method that is clinically proven and well documented for reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis is exercise. This is a treatment that has worked best for the majority of people affected by osteoarthritis. This is also what the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare recommends. Special exercises will strengthen both the muscles and cartilage over the long-term. This reduces the strain that was previously placed on the joint. Many affected people experience a marked decrease in the symptoms or are free of them entirely after a certain time.

Keep reading about vitamins and osteoarthritis.