Food can play a major role in managing inflammation—one of the primary causes of arthritis.

Choose your meals and snacks with care to help prevent painful arthritis symptoms.

The Friendly 5

  1. Fish is rich in inflammation-busting omega-3 fatty acids. Try to work such options as salmon and tuna into your diet at least twice a week to reap the benefits.
  2. Broccoli packs a vitamin-rich punch and contains sulforaphane, a molecule that research suggests may be able to prevent or slow the progress of osteoarthritis. It’s also rich in calcium, which is necessary for building and maintaining bone health.
  3. Green tea may be your beverage of choice if you have arthritis. It’s been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help preserve cartilage.
  4. Cherries help reduce the number of flare-ups in people who have gout. Anthocyanins, the substances in them that help reduce gout, are also found in berries.
  5. Beans are a high-fiber food that may help lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the body. CRP is often found at high levels in people with arthritis. Beans also contain immune system boosters such as folic acid, magnesium and zinc. Try red, pinto or kidney beans to bolster your benefits.

Foods to Skip

Some foods—such as those with high levels of sugar, saturated fats, trans fats, processed carbohydrates, aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG)—have a track record of triggering arthritis symptoms and should be avoided. Keeping alcohol consumption to moderate levels is also a good idea.

No two cases of arthritis are the same. Try eliminating inflammation-causing foods and adding anti-inflammatory ones to your diet until you find the right fit for you.