Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. Estimated to affect over twenty million people, with its debilitating side effects, osteoarthritis can really take a toll on a person’s wellbeing. As cartilage in the joint breaks down people notice symptoms occurring mostly in the joints of the hands, feet, and spine.

The pain from osteoarthritis is caused by the swelling and wearing out of the joints and can be tough to deal with as it progresses over time. These symptoms can become debilitating and highly frustrating. This is why osteoarthritis is known as a degenerative disease. If you are suffering from osteoarthritis know you’re not alone and that there is hope to live a pain free life once more!
Oftentimes the medications that are prescribed to treat OA do not work as well as hoped, leaving people feeling hopeless as to what to do to help themselves. What if you’ve been suffering from osteoarthritis and have tried everything from medications to physical therapy, to changing your care provider but still aren’t seeing positive results? Oftentimes diet is the missing key! Used in combination with cellular therapy the symptoms of osteoarthritis can become manageable and even lessen and heal with consistency over time!

How Can Changing Your Diet Help Your Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is primarily an inflammatory disease in which chronic inflammation wears down the protective cartilage of joints leaving bone exposed to other bones. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber that decreases the friction within a joint. This swelling and friction are the primary cause of the pain associated with the wear and tear of this condition. When medications and traditional therapies fail the right diet can be a lifesaver! Let’s look at all the ways consuming the right diet can improve osteoarthritis.

  • A balanced diet based on fresh whole foods is the most powerful tool for reducing inflammation that we can implement. It will give the body the tools it needs to repair itself while also stopping the progression of further disease in the body. Eating certain foods can also strengthen muscles, bones, and cartilage. Here are some of the best foods to consume for osteoarthritis and why!
  • Healthy oils such as olive oil are highly beneficial. Olive oil contains a component known as oleocanthal which has high anti-inflammatory properties. Other healthy oils include avocado oil and coconut oil. Oils that are found in fish are also highly beneficial. Examples include salmon. If fish isn’t to your liking, supplementation with omega- 3 or flax oil can have the same benefits. Other sources of the anti-inflammatory omega 3 include chia seeds, flax seeds, and nuts such as walnuts.
    It is recommended to eat at least three servings of omega 3 continuing foods a week to see the highest benefit.
  • Nuts contain high levels of calcium, zinc, magnesium, fiber, and vitamins A and E. These all work to reduce cholesterol levels, increase bone density, strengthen the muscles, and boost the immune system. These are all important factors when dealing with a condition such as osteoarthritis.
  • Broccoli is a great food to include as often as you can in your diet, especially if you are suffering from OA. Broccoli is known to be high in a compound called sulforaphane which has been shown to be beneficial in reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Eat plenty of garlic- no really! Not only does this amazing herb boost the immune system but it also contains a very specific compound which has been shown to help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis. Recent studies have shown that garlic contains a chemical compound called diallyl disulfide which works to combat certain enzymes in the body which are known to damage cartilage.
  • Eat plenty of foods that contain polyphenols. A well-loved option is green tea, which is very high in this anti-inflammatory compound. It has also been shown to reduce the damage done to
  • Dark leafy greens are essential in the diet for so many amazing reasons. These little powerhouses contain a wealth of healthy vitamins and minerals which all help to combat osteoarthritis. Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, and red butter lettuce are all very high in vitamin D and antioxidants. Antioxidants are like a cleanup crew for the body, helping it to rid itself of harmful debris that cause disease and inflammatory conditions. They also help our DNA to remain strong while also aiding in the cellular turnover process, or how well new cells replace old dead ones. Vitamin D is also essential for the body’s calcium absorption; thus it helps to strengthen the bones and combat the painful deterioration associated with osteoarthritis. These components of dark leafy greens can also help to boost the immune system which is also key in managing OA

It Helps to Make Simple Changes

If a full diet overhaul seems overwhelming to you at this moment, have no fear. It is always a good idea to start with small easily incorporated changes and then keep going from there. Eating lots of high fiber foods such as sweet potatoes and whole grain pasta as opposed to inflammation causing bleached pasta is a great addition and swap out. You can also start simple by

  • Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake by one serving a week to start
  • Replacing a dish containing red meat with one containing fish such as salmon
  • Cutting out one serving of meat a week, again focusing on reducing red meat
  • Cutting out toxic, inflammatory seed oils and replacing them with healthier oils
  • Reducing inflammatory foods such as eggs, dairy, and wheat.
  • Reduce sugar, saturated fat, and refined carbohydrates. Working your way down to zero consumption is the best thing you can do for yourself. These foods are the absolute worst when it comes to exacerbating the inflammatory symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Starting with a few additions or one or two food choice swaps can empower you to keep going down the road to an improved diet which will help reduce and heal the symptoms of your osteoarthritis. Always know you hold the power to make changes in your health.