How To Move Without Pain

Looking to Reduce your Joint Pain - Just Open your Fridge

by Meghan Griech, PT, DPT, cert MDT, CKTP

This article takes 6 minutes to read

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Reducing joint pain may be as simple as opening the refrigerator and pulling out some fruits and vegetables. Most of us have all heard about eating a balanced diet of fruit and vegetables, yet the benefits of this goes beyond just worrying about our waistlines.

Choosing foods that build bone mass, strengthen connective tissue, and reduce inflammation can help you preserve your joints and reduce inflammation for an active life.

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Inflammation within our bodies is a natural occurrence, helping to ward off disease or foreign invaders, like infection or injury. Yet chronic diseases can be triggered when inflammation is present for prolonged periods of time, and has been linked to  the development of conditions such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease, gout, certain cancers, even cardiac disease.

Learn more about your joint health by discovering what inflames you and what makes you stronger

Developing a consistent diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, and fish is found to help lower the inflammation markers in the blood.  Research has consistently backed the plant-based diet model. A 2015 study  reported that patients with osteoarthritis had a significant reduction in pain just two weeks after switching to a plant-based diet. 

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The American Society for Nutrition in 2016 published the results of a study that  reported that a Mediterranean (or anti-inflammatory) diet led to healthy weight loss, lower rates of diabetes, heart disease’ and fractures as well as less arthritis-related pain, disability and depression and to a better overall quality of life. 

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Here are 7 foods that may help reduce joint pain and keep you healthy:

Colorful Fruit:  Go for ones that have deep or bright colors which usually means higher antioxidant levels. 

Blueberries contain high amounts of anthocyanins, one of the most powerful flavonoids which offer anti-inflammatory benefits to “turn off” inflammatory responses in the body. 

Strawberries are high in Vitamin C and actually contain more  per serving than an orange. Vitamin C can lower risk for gout, high blood pressure, and cholesterol problems. 

Red Raspberries, tart cherries, blackberries, watermelon, grapes, and apples are additional fruits that contain antioxidants that have been shown to decrease arthritis-related.

Walnuts are nutrient induced and especially high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease the symptoms of arthritis and joint inflammation.

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Broccoli is rich in Vitamins K (which plays a key role in helping the blood clot) and C (ascorbic acid, which is necessary for the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues). Additionally, it contains a compound called sulforaphane, which researchers have found could help prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA). Broccoli is also rich in calcium, which is known for its bone-building benefits.

Dark Leafy Greens
Spinach, Kale, Chard, and Collard Greens contain plenty of antioxidants, including Vitamins C, K, and A as well as plant compounds that can relieve inflammation and help fight disease. Dark leafy greens are especially high in the antioxidant kaempferol, which has been shown to decrease the effects of the inflammatory agents associated with rheumatoid arthritis. 

Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil and other healthy oils have Oleocanthal, which has similar effects as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Olive oils properties can reduce inflammation and help with joint pain.  

Fish Oil
Oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, salmon, and fresh tuna have lots of healthful omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that have anti-inflammatory properties so they may benefit people with osteoarthritis.

Green tea
Green teas contain Polyphenols which are also antioxidants, again, have been shown in studies to possibly play a role in reducing inflammation and slowing the rate of cartilage damage.


Studies show diet can assist in reducing inflammation in joints and connective tissues. Dietary changes, understanding joint pain, and managing inflammation are all strategies you can begin today to help you live a healthy, happy, and active lifestyle.  For more information on see the NIH (National Institute of Health) Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet.

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*Disclaimer: All information in this article is intended for instruction and informational purposes. The author(s) are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result.  This information is used to supplement not replace any advice you were provided from your doctor or another medical health professional.  No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied with this article.

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