What Are the Foods that Can Cause Joint Pain? - Step To Health

What Are the Foods that Can Cause Joint Pain?

If you frequently suffer from joint pain, it's necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle, even in terms of diet. To do this, it's advisable to follow your doctor's recommendations and avoid certain foods that could contribute to joint pain.
What Are the Foods that Can Cause Joint Pain?

Last update: 20 December, 2021

It’s often thought that joint pain is caused by overexertion or bad posture. However, these are not the only factors to consider. Food can also be one of the triggers of discomfort. This is because some foods can cause joint pain and inflammation.

Yes, food does play a role in the onset of joint pain

Recently, there has been research indicating that certain foods may cause joint pain and inflammation. This seems to be especially true in people with conditions such as:

  • Gout
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • A herniated disc

Avoiding these foods can significantly reduce the most common joint pain symptoms: stiffness, swelling, and pain. In addition, it can help to regain the ability to perform certain activities that, until now, you may have found very difficult. For example, something as simple as opening a jar or climbing a ladder could no longer be a problem.

It is indeed a real challenge to avoid these foods because they’re often very present in our daily diet. However, it’s worth it, because the relief it can bring to the joints will be really wonderful.

In contrast, it’s also advisable to include foods typical of the Mediterranean diet to help prevent joint pain. For example, olive oil is indicated in these cases.

However, don’t forget that certain foods may be causing your problems. Therefore, it’s best to avoid them.

You should avoid certain foods that cause joint pain

Please pay close attention to the following foods. In fact, it’s possible that they may be causing joint problems without you knowing it.

Vegetables of the nightshade family

The entire nightshade family can be a real nightmare when it comes to joint pain. The following foods can be found in this category:

  • Chili peppers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Peppers

Apart from this, be wary of certain dishes prepared with these foods, because they contain an alkaloid called solanine. This substance is responsible for accumulating calcium deposits in the tissues. Therefore, try avoiding these vegetables for a month and see if you notice any results.

Foods with purines

Purine is a compound that can produce uric acid and accumulate it in the body, especially in the joints and tissues. For this reason, it causes a lot of pain and can lead to gout.

If you suffer from joint pain and inflammation, you should stop eating these foods:

  • Meat: This includes brains, liver, kidneys, veal, bacon, and turkey.
  • Fish and seafood: This includes mussels, cod, mackerel, herring, anchovies, tuna, trout, and sardines,
  • Other foods that contain purines: Thick sauces, industrially prepared broths, peas, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, beans, chickpeas, and beer.

Nuts and oils

Alergia a los frutos secos y a los cacahuetes

First of all, avoid using any cooking oil other than extra virgin olive oil if you suffer from joint pain. Instead of this, some people recommend using flaxseed oil. The reason is that it’s a healthy oil and also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Thanks to this composition, they can help reduce swelling in the joints, thus producing a great relief.

Nuts also have oils that can increase muscle and joint swelling, although they are good for your health. Therefore, consuming them in small quantities is recommended no more than once a week.

Dairy can cause joint pain

To begin with, it’s worth knowing that people who suffer from arthritis or joint pain experience more acute symptoms when consuming dairy products, so these symptoms are milder when dairy products are removed from your daily diet.

Dairy products (milk, butter, margarine, cream, cream, yogurt, ice cream) all fall within this group. The reason for this lies in an element called casein.

If you want to get calcium and protein of better quality, instead of consuming dairy products, opt for these foods :

  • Tofu
  • Quinoa
  • Swiss chard
  • Lentils
  • Spinach
  • Almonds

Refined wheat and rye flour

Refined wheat and rye flour contain gluten. Apart from not being suitable for celiacs, they also cause gastrointestinal inflammation. Finally, they can cause swelling in the joints for those with arthritis and worsen the symptoms. Instead of white flour, choose one that’s wholemeal.


Huevos como proteína para ganar musculatura.
Eggs provide a large amount of protein, so they’re allies for gaining muscle mass. However, they’re not recommended for people with osteoarthritis. 

Eggs are a great source of protein but are not recommended in the case of suffering from osteoarthritis because they can cause joint pain and inflammation. This is because the yolk contains an element called arachidonic acid, which becomes inflammatory when consumed.

When you stop eating eggs, you will notice less swelling and pain in the joints. Of course, to add protein to your diet, preferably choose plant-based proteins, such as legumes and whole grains.

Some citrus fruits can cause joint pain

Some people with gout or osteoarthritis have undoubtedly experienced improvements in their joints when they stop eating these fruits, either raw or cooked:

  • Limes
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines

However, to give your body the necessary amount of vitamin C, you can consume :

  • Kiwis
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya
  • Guava

Caffeinated drinks (coffee and tea)

Suplementos que han demostrado eficacia
Caffeine, in moderate doses, can have a positive effect on the body.

Caffeine aggravates inflammation in people with arthritis. Also, drinking several cups of tea a day reduces the number of minerals and vitamins found in the body. The same applies to chocolate.

It’s not advisable to consume these foods immediately after lunch or dinner. Cola drinks also have a similar effect, just as they can also cause other health problems.

You might find this interesting: Ten Healthy Foods to Regulate Your Digestion

Foods that should be included in your diet

According to the above list, it may seem like you’re not allowed to consume anything if you have joint pain. However, there are alternatives. Some of them are the following:

  • Oatmeal and whole-grain cereals
  • Natural drinks like green tea and homemade fruit juices
  • Fruit like grapes, bananas, apples, berries, and tomatoes
  • Vegetables like leeks, onions, lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots

A recommendation from the experts: Adopt the Mediterranean diet

In the case of arthritis, experts recommend the so-called Mediterranean diet that among its main components in olive oil.

It should be noted that there are recommendations that apply to some cases and not others, so it’s essential to consult with your doctor and follow their instructions. The information provided here is merely indicative.

It might interest you...
8 Healthy Foods that are Trending in 2021
Step To Health
Read it in Step To Health
8 Healthy Foods that are Trending in 2021

Recently, everyone has started looking for ways to carry out a balanced diet. Today, we'll share 8 healthy foods that are trending in 2021.

  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Rheumatoid arthritis: Treatment.
  • Foods and arthritis. (n.d.).
  • Khanna, S., Jaiswal, K. S., & Gupta, B. (2017). Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis with Dietary Interventions. Frontiers in nutrition, 4, 52. doi:10.3389/fnut.2017.00052

  • Hu, Y., Costenbader, K. H., Gao, X., Hu, F. B., Karlson, E. W., & Lu, B. (2015). Mediterranean diet and incidence of rheumatoid arthritis in women. Arthritis care & research, 67(5), 597-606.
  • Anti-inflammatory Activity of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Polyphenols: Which Role in the Prevention and Treatment of Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases? (2018). Santangelo C, Vari R, Scazzocchio B, De Sanctis P, Giovannini C, D’Archivio M, Masella R.