Food for Joint Health: What You Should Know

A good diet for joint health incorporates foods that reduce inflammation in order to prevent future ailments and premature wear. In addition, it limits the intake of some ingredients that could worsen the condition.
Food for Joint Health: What You Should Know

Last update: 09 June, 2021

Nutrition plays a key role in our health. For that reason, we should adopt a diet plan that maintains and optimizes joint health before ailments that lead to wear and tear can make an appearance. But what should be a part of this diet?

A perfect diet for joint health involves increasing your consumption of foods that favors cartilage, muscles, and bones.

On the other hand, keep in mind that every person has nutritional requirements according to their age, weight, and health. However, there are general rules in regard to how to prevent and optimize joint health starting at an early age.

What Kind of Food is Good for Joint Health?

Joint pain.

There are many factors that can affect the development and good functioning of joints. Firstly, aging is the main cause. However, bad habits, trauma, and poor nutrition will accelerate joint decay.

For this reason, you must ensure an optimal intake of essential nutrients that will lower the chance of inflammatory processes. Likewise, design your diet to protect your cartilage,  wear of which can cause rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.

The design of a diet for joint health, you should keep in mind several objectives:

  • To begin with, the diet should help maintain a healthy weight. This is because an excess of weight and/or obesity worsen joints.
  • In addition, it should improve blood circulation in order to reduce inflammation.
  • Also, it should decrease the level of acidity in the body by supplying alkaline ingredients to it.
  • In addition, it should maximize the supply of required nutrients that are often reduced due to arthritis.
  • Finally, it should limit fluid retention by lowering sodium consumption.

Foods to Avoid

Deli meats.

The intake of foods that contain too many purines, uric acid, and saturated fats should be kept to a bare minimum. According to research published in the journal Progress in Lipid Research, frequent consumption of these nutrients promotes inflammatory processes. The absorption of these substances accelerate joint deterioration and drastically worsens their health.

Foods to keep at arms length are:

  • Red meats, sausages, smoked meats,
  • Any internal organ of an animal,
  • Obviously, processed and fast food,
  • Refined sugars and grains (including candy, cereals and soda),
  • Fried food and packaged snacks,
  • Of course, refined flours (bread and pastries),
  • Alcoholic beverages.

Healthy Foods to Consume in Moderation

Unfortunately, you have to also moderate your intake of certain healthy foods due to their oxalate content.This substance can worsen inflammation, so it’s best to avoid it in your diet in order to take care of your joints.

  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Cocoa powder
  • Wheat germ

A diet plan for joint health should have many healthy ingredients, with few calories, that reduce inflammation. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of options for tasty meals that are balanced.

These foods have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. According to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, frequent consumption of these nutrients helps control inflammatory processes and reduce the risk of metabolic health conditions.

  • Avocado.
  • Brown rice.
  • Herbs and spices.
  • Fresh vegetables.
  • Fruits with a high water content.
  • Sesame seeds.
  • Flax seeds and flax oil.
  • Also, quinoa and amaranth.
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, broad beans).
  • Walnuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds.
  • Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.
  • Oily fish such as salmon, sardines or tuna.

Diet Tips for Joint Health

Overall, a good diet for joint health should follow some easy principles of basic nutrition.

Limit Your Salt Intake


Foods that contain too much sodium can increase fluid retention. Therefore, because levels of inflammation affect joint health, too much salt will lead to pain and fatigue.

Drink Plenty of Water

Next, drinking enough fluids throughout the day help protect the cartilage against premature wear. This tissue is responsible for covering the ends of the bones so that the joints move smoothly. Therefore, if they deteriorate, inflammation and pain increase.

Increase Your Intake of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Eating blue fish twice a week helps to obtain good doses of Omega 3 fatty acids. Overall, its adequate assimilation prevents and decreases inflammation, since it helps to produce prostaglandins.

Eat Legumes 3 Times a Week

A selection of legumes.

Furthermore, legumes are an interesting source of complex carbohydrates and vegetable proteins. For this reason, try consuming them at least 3 times a week to maintain optimal energy expenditure. As if that wasn’t enough, legumes also help maintain good muscle and joint health.

In addition, this type of food is rich in fiber. Frequent consumption of legumes increases the diversity of intestinal microbiota. This promotes the genesis of short-chain, anti-inflammatory fatty acids, according to a study published in the journal Gut Microbes.

Improve your diet to take care of your joints

In order to prevent joint wear and tear, you’ll need to make a series of dietary changes. Including foods rich in omega-3 in your diet helps control inflammation and reduce the risk of degenerative problems. It’s also vital to restrict your intake of processed products.

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    • Valenzuela CA., Baker EJ., Miles EA., Calder PC., Eighteen carbon trans fatty acids and inflammation in the context of atherosclerosis. Prog Lipid Res, 2019.
    • Buoite Stella A., Gortan Cappellari G., Barazzoni R., Zanetti M., Update on the impact of omega 3 fatty acids on inflammation, insulin resistance and sarcopenia: a review. Int J Mol Sci, 2018.
    • Morrison DJ., Preston T., Formation of short chain fatty acids by the gut microbiota and their impact on human metabolism. Gut Microbes, 2016. 7 (3): 189-200.