Inflammation aggravates knee pain. Your diet contributes a lot to inflammation — eat lots of refined sugars, alcohol, and saturated fat and you may make your knee pain more severe.
Instead, include foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and specific vitamins — such as vitamins C and A — to fight inflammation and encourage your body’s immune system to function optimally.
Here are 11 foods to include in your diet every week to help relieve knee pain, including some you may choose to have every day.
Diallyl disulfide – a compound found in garlic – has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, garlic can help fight inflammation and may even help prevent cartilage damage and relief knee pain.
Adding garlic to your diet could benefit both knee pain symptoms and overall health.
10 Fatty Fish
Fatty fish — like salmon, mackerel, and herring — is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds suppress the production of enzymes that erode cartilage, the primary cause of knee pain. Omega-3s fight both the inflammation that irritates osteoknee pain and the symptoms of rheumatoid knee pain. Aim for two or three 4-6-ounce servings every week.
Cherries can reduce the number of gout attacks you experience show research. Plus, cherries contain compounds known as anthocyanins that reduce inflammation. Grab a handful of the fruit for snacking, or down an occasional glass of tart cherry juice with no sugar added.
8 Green Tea
Green tea contains many compounds, including antioxidants and polyphenols, that reduce inflammation and slow the cartilage destruction associated with knee pain. People with rheumatoid knee pain benefit from a specific antioxidant known as EGCG, short for epigallocatechin-3-gallate, that prevents the production of molecules that cause joint damage.
Avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and the carotenoid lutein, an anti-inflammatory compound. Each serving also has ample amounts of vitamin E, which may serve to boost the health of your connective tissue. This combination of nutrients may decrease some of the joint damage commonly seen during the earliest stages of osteoknee pain.
6 Dark Leafy Greens
Consume plenty of spinach, kale, bok choy, and Swiss chard. These veggies contain vitamins C, A, and K — all of which act as antioxidants to protect you from free radicals. Free radicals are found in the environment, foods you eat, and pollution. They cause cellular damage, accelerate aging, and exacerbate the inflammation of knee pain. Have a salad daily to reap the benefits of leafy greens.
5 Orange Root Vegetables
Carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash contain carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Research suggests that regularly consuming these antioxidants can reduce your risk of developing rheumatoid knee pain.
Flaxseed is another rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly the type known as ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid. ALA is a boost to your health because it lowers your cholesterol and improves heart health. Use this anti-inflammatory, anti-knee pain food to top yogurt or cereal.
Walnuts have a high ALA content, too. When you consume them, your body produces less C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that’s linked to heart disease and knee pain, especially rheumatoid knee pain. Eat walnuts as a snack out of hand, or toss into salads or stir-fry dishes.
Ginger contains chemicals that work just like those found in some anti-inflammatory medications. Ginger is a key ingredient in Asian cuisine, but you can consume it as a tea or as an ingredient in baked goods.
Citrus fruits contain a ton of vitamin C, which has wound-healing properties and supports the health of your cartilage. Oranges, grapefruit, and kiwis contain a lot of the vitamin. If you want other sources, eat up cantaloupe and strawberries or go for broccoli as a vegetable source.