Painful joints


Painful joints

By Jane Clarke

August 21, 2019

If you have arthritis, you will probably already know that certain foods trigger painful flare-ups. Studies show the link between diet and joint pain is strongest with rheumatoid arthritis but osteoarthritis and gout symptoms may also be reduced with a few tweaks to what you eat. If you’re unsure, keep a food diary to help you identify any triggers.


Vitamin C

Make sure you have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide you with vitamin C, as there is some evidence to suggest that low intakes may increase the progression of osteoarthritis.


Oily fish

The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, salmon, pilchards and fresh tuna stimulate the body to produce substances that can sometimes dampen the inflammatory response, particularly with rheumatoid arthritis. Some oily fish can trigger symptoms if you have gout.


Vitamin D

Found in oily fish, and also made in the body after exposure to sunlight, vitamin D is important in helping to relieve and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. If getting out and about is difficult, taking a 10mg supplement per day is a good plan.


Monounsaturated fats

Olive and avocado oils are regarded as neutral, meaning they don’t cause inflammation. Avoid omega-6 fats, including sunflower, safflower and corn oils and products made with these, as they may trigger symptoms.



Independent research has shown this supplement may simply be a placebo, but many people with arthritis swear by glucosamine (an amino acid sugar), and some studies have shown that if taken regularly over several years it is effective in increasing the rate at which the cartilage is able to repair itself. The usual dose is 1–2g per day. You may well see some glucosamine supplements which contain chondroitin (another component of cartilage). There are fewer studies into this combination but results so far suggest that 1,200mg a day of chondroitin taken with glucosamine is most effective.