The Arthritis Research Institute of America Post

10 Super Foods to Fight Osteoarthritis


Imagine a super food — not a drug — powerful enough to help you fight osteoarthritis by decreasing inflammation, improving joint flexibility and helping ease pain. Did we mention that there are no side effects? You’d surely stock up on a lifetime supply. Guess what? These life-altering super foods are available right now in your local supermarket.

#1 Bananas and Plantains

Bananas and Plantains are high in magnesium and potassium which increases your bone density. Magnesium is also known to alleviate symptoms of arthritis, so peel a banana or fry up some plantains!

#2 Blueberries

Berries also pack a walloping antioxidant punch! Antioxidants protect your body against inflammation and free radicals, molecules that can damage cells and organs. Pay special attention to blueberries. USDA researcher Ronald Prior, Ph.D., showed that a one-cup serving of Wild Blueberries had more antioxidant capacity than a serving of cranberries, strawberries, plums and raspberries. Whip up a smoothie tonight!

#3 Salmon

Not only can omega-3s found in fish significantly reduce joint pain and shorten the duration of morning stiffness, but studies, such as those reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, show that increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids also have enabled people taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce their dosage or discontinue use.

#4 Green Tea

Many studies have shown that green tea possesses anti-inflammatory properties. One study showed that mice predisposed to a condition similar to human osteoarthritis had mild arthritis and little evidence of cartilage damage and bone erosion when green tea polyphenols were added to their drinking water. Another study showed that when added to human cartilage cell cultures, the active ingredients in green tea inhibited chemicals and enzymes that lead to cartilage damage and breakdown. Brew a cup from a tea bag, or just pick up a bottle of Lipton Green Tea at the supermarket!

#5 Orange Juice

Vitamin C is important in the development of normal cartilage. A deficiency of Vitamin C might lead to the development of weak cartilage. In 2010, The Arthritis Research Institute of America, Inc. published an important article in the Journal Public Health Nutrition which suggested that Vitamin C supplementation may indeed be beneficial in preventing new cases of knee osteoarthritis.

#6 Tofu

Soy protein, found in tofu, has been shown to reduce pain and swelling in chronic knee joint pain not attributed to injury or rheumatoid arthritis. Results were found to be more beneficial for men than women. Tofu can be cubed and fried with noodles, or bought prepackaged as tofu pups or tofu burgers. There are even recipes that call for it in fruit smoothies!

#7 Peanut Butter

Vitamin B3, found in peanut butter, is a supplement that may help people with osteoarthritis. One 1996 study (National Institutes of Health) showed that taking vitamin B3 was more effective than a placebo in improving flexibility and reducing inflammation. It’s peanut butter and jelly time!

#8 Whole Grain Breads and Cereals

In one placebo controlled trial, those with rheumatoid arthritis (and by extension osteoarthritis) had less disability, morning stiffness, and pain when they took high doses of pantothenic acid (Brewer’s Yeast) daily.

#9 Lobster

Lobster is an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin E may be the key to fighting arthritis-like damage. According to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, vitamin E (also known as alpha tocopherol) and other naturally occurring antioxidants in the diet appear to protect against knee osteoarthritis. Researchers found vitamin E has a protective effect against knee osteoarthritis in Caucasians but they did not find the same protective effect in African Americans.

#10 Pineapple

For years, professional coaches have recommended pineapple to athletes to help heal sports injuries. That’s because a key enzyme in pineapple called bromelain helps reduce inflammation.

Super foods are a special category of foods found in nature. By definition they are nutrient dense meaning they pack a lot of punch for their weight as far as goodness goes and the ones we have listed above are selected because they will help your fight against osteoarthritis and help you cut back on your prescriptions. They are superior sources of anti-oxidants and essential nutrients – nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves. For more information on each of these super foods in your day to day life please have a look at our Diet Research section of the Website. Each super food is covered in more detail and there are more foods listed there as well. Many of them are actually organized by the vitamin, such as vitamin E, and you’ll find a list of all the foods that contain E, not just lobster. We hope this list hopes you on the road to relief. Try some of the exercises on our site too!


  • Chrissy

    May 18, 2012


    Superfoods are amazing, I wish people were more aware of the healing power each natural element contained. I always start my morning with a superfood shake. I use Billy's Infinity Greens because he uses over 20 different super foods in his formula and of course its the only algae based superfood in the world. Algaes are much more superior than grasses, by the way.

    • ARIA

      May 23, 2012


      This list of Super Foods was put together because of the nutritional elements found in them like antioxidants, magnesium and soy protein. If you took all of those, I'm sure they'd make a great shake. But if you tried blending lobster and blueberries, it might not taste so great! Thanks for the comment!

  • family

    Jun 29, 2012


    Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

    • ARIA

      Jul 02, 2012


      Wow! Didn't know we appeared in Yahoo News! That's great! We're always working on our SEO. We like Web Position Gold, although I hadn't used it on this blog. :-)

  • Vernon Lebarron

    Sep 05, 2012


    Yay!!! Thanks for sharing

  • victoria

    May 12, 2016


    A reasonable list, of course, but while blueberries are correctly specified as wild, there is no such clarification for salmon which, if farmed, is not equal in nutritional value. I would write - wild caught oily fish (my fave is mackrel and sardines, particularly the full-sized type from Italy). In addition to that, eating farmed fish contributes to hormone imbalance - so someone following a low-inflammation diet 9aka endo diet) would be taking a step back. Another sadly omitted food is any green leafy vegetable - kale, spinach, etc - to mop up this toxin. Higher ammonia levels in blood are common for those with arthritis - osteo and particularly RA - reduction of ammonia is critical. Eating greens helps get it out. I recently learned that in my case the 'bonus' was a common genetic mutation on top of that. Eating roast kale is my favorite fix every day. last - tofu? Seriously? Let's take the whole soy screwing with hormones components out of the equation because it's an obvious issue. Soy is one of THE most polluted grains next to corn. There are plenty of healthier alternatives.

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