8 Foods That Help with Joint Pain

foods that help with joint pain

It’s a fact that the soundness of our bodies and minds is affected by the foods we consume.

Meals with poor nutritional balance can cause health complications; healthy, regulated diets improve the state of our well-being. Among these healthy meals, particular foods help with joint pain and can prevent arthritis.

Seasons Retirement encourages healthy living and works towards ensuring our professional chefs cater to the unique dietary needs of our residents. That being said, older adults might be interested in learning about several foods that have been known to help alleviate and improve joint pain.

Here’s a list covering 8 of the best foods for joint health for older adults to consider introducing into their diet.

1.    Green leafy vegetables

Dark leafy greens contain antioxidants that support immune function and anti-inflammatory processes, preventing or alleviating joint pain.

Green leafs such as broccoli, spinach, cabbage, collard greens, and kale are essential sources of vitamins A, K, E, and C.

Vitamin A and carotenoids boost immune function, benefiting people with arthritis. Red and orange-hued vegetables such as red peppers, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and carrots are rich in carotenoids.

While an abundance of vitamin K in the body prevents the development of osteoarthritis, a deficiency may result in a higher risk of developing the condition.

Vitamin K can be found in leafy green vegetables such as kale, turnip, broccoli, and spinach, which are foods good for joints and cartilage due to vitamin K’s part in bone and cartilage mineralization.

Vitamin E shields the body against pro-inflammatory molecules, while Vitamin C helps the body produce enough collagen, a major cartilage component that promotes joint mobility and flexibility.

One of the best preparation practices for green leafy vegetables is to cook them lightly or eat them raw, as this is the best way to preserve the nutrients.

2.    Nuts and seeds

Generally, nuts are nutritious, heart-healthy, and a significant source of healthy fats that should be included in small portions in any daily diet.

But certain nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds are also considered foods good for knee joints and ligaments.

Most nuts and seeds are highly rich in calcium, Omega-3, magnesium, alpha-linoleic, protein, zinc, and fiber, which help to reduce joint pain and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis conditions.

If your loved ones don’t have any particular nut or seed allergies, adding them to their regular diet can go a long way toward alleviating issues with joint pain.

3.    Fruits

Fruits such as blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, pomegranates, cherries, raspberries, and grapes contain many flavonoids and polyphenol compounds.

Flavonoids and polyphenols both possess analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Fruits that contain these compounds are known to help ease and fight joint pain and inflammation related to arthritis.

Apples are rich in fiber and possess anti-inflammatory properties, making them excellent for gut health. The high bromelain content in pineapple makes it helpful for soothing joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. For best results, consider blending the core of the fruit, as most of the bromelain content can be found around the stem and center of the pineapple.

Tomatoes are also a standout item on our list, thanks to the antioxidant (lycopene) present in them. Lycopene nutrients are higher in cooked tomatoes than in uncooked ones, so consider incorporating tomatoes into your loved one’s cooked meals rather than consuming them raw.

4.    Fish and Omega-3 fatty acids

Polyunsaturated fatty acids or Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for good health in older adults.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish, including halibut, tuna, sardines, salmon, and trout, and it’s one of the foods that help with joint pain by helping to reduce inflammation in the body. They also enhance brain function and decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease in adults. However, if your loved ones aren’t a fan of fish in their diet, they can also get Omega-3 by taking fish oil supplements.

5.    Olive oil

Unlike oils from vegetables, sunflower, and peanuts that can increase the risk of inflammation and cholesterol levels, olive oil does the opposite.

Extra virgin unprocessed olive oil is enriched with heart-healthy unsaturated fats and has oleocanthal, a phenylethanoid, an anti-inflammatory compound. It also has high Omega-3 content, making it doubly effective for joint maintenance and pain relief.

Olive oil can also improve the body’s ability to take in Vitamin D. Combined with the previous benefits, it’s clear that it’s one of the best food for joints and bones.

6.    Whole grains

The fiber and antioxidants in whole grains such as oatmeal, cornmeal, brown rice and brown pasta, bulgur, and whole-grain cereals mean they’re on the list of foods that help with joint pain.

Whole grains are more valuable than refined grains. They reduce the C-reactive protein responsible for some diseases such as arthritis in the body and alleviate osteoarthritis symptoms.

Also, the antioxidants and other phytochemicals such as vitamin B, selenium, vitamin E, and magnesium present in whole grains soothe joint pain and inflammation in older persons with arthritis and osteoarthritis.

7.    Spices

Many spices can accentuate a meal, and many of them have properties that have been anecdotally said to help with joint pain.

Many herbs, spices, and seasonings are good sources of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. These include onion powder, turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, and chilli powder and are recommended for use within any diet due to their potential immune-boosting properties.

Your loved ones can enjoy new flavours alongside the pain-alleviating benefits incorporated into their diet with the proper use of spices and herb seasonings.

8.    Red Beans

The unassuming red bean is perhaps a surprising addition to the best foods for joint health. They possess a surprisingly high fiber content and are rich in folic acid, iron, potassium, and protein – all of which strengthen body immunity and help reduce C-reactive protein in the body, which is a contributing factor to joint pain and flare-ups.

Adding red beans to your diet can reduce the inflammation and swelling around the joints, so it’s an excellent option to consider when preparing a specialized diet.


A healthy lifestyle for older adults requires making healthy choices regarding both diet and lifestyle. While incorporating these foods that help with joint pain into your loved one’s daily meal, it’s also good to look into additional changes to one’s daily routine and activities to yield the best results.

It’s also recommended that you discuss personal preferences and any medical implications of adjusting their diet with your loved one and their physician. Additionally, while these foods can help with joint pain, sticking to normal daily recommended intake values ensures proper nutritional balance and overall health.

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