You might have heard a parent, grandparent, friend or relative complain of arthritis pain in the past.

Perhaps you suffer from the condition. It is likely that it has been an influence in your life at some point or another because there are an estimated 54 million people diagnosed with the condition, and that’s just the adults.

It is truly debilitating and the need to relieve arthritis pain is uppermost in the minds of millions.

When it comes to infants and children, they aren’t left out of the equation. There are around 300,000 younger people that have a rheumatic condition or arthritis in some form as well. The non-traumatic joint disorder can have a major impact on the quality of life you live out every single day. Some people report that their symptoms can get so bad that it makes it difficult to just get out of bed and move around. 

Instead of sitting back and suffering, there are actions that can be taken to reduce the pain associated with arthritis. Take a look at some of the top anti-inflammatory foods to include in your diet to relieve pain. As an added bonus, these are all vegetarian-friendly if you are following a restricted diet.

Why You Should Be Following an Arthritis Diet Plan That’s Vegetarian

There is research and scientific evidence that proves a healthy diet can fight off inflammation, which is the primary reason you feel pain from arthritis in the first place. A healthy diet mainly consists of:

  • Low saturated fats and sugar
  • Lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Lean proteins
  • Whole grains

Vintage looking Food collage including pictures of vegetables, fruit, pasta and more

However, some people believe that if you avoid animal products all together you are going to see even more benefits from your diet. There are two different ways to do this including:

  • Vegetarian – No meat
  • Vegan – No animal products at all including dairy, eggs, and meat

Studies have been done on the idea of eating only vegetarian or vegan diets to see how they impacted painful arthritic flare-ups. One report showed when people stuck with a low-fat, vegan diet, their arthritic symptoms were greatly reduced after just four weeks.

Foods to Include in a Vegan Anti-Inflammatory Diet Plan

As of right now, there is no cure for arthritis. It’s a progressive condition so when it starts, it will keep getting worse over the course of your lifetime. However, there are ways that you can alleviate the symptoms and slow down the progression including eating the proper foods. 

What you put in your body is just as important as what you do to the outside of it. Eating the proper foods not only can help with reducing inflammation, but you get the added benefits of boosting your immune system and strengthening your bones for a better quality of life and an overall increase in your health and well-being.

If you are ready to make a change and take advantage of the plethora of benefits that come along with eating vegetarian-friendly foods for your arthritis inflammation, try including each of these into your regular meal plan:

Whole grains – C-reactive protein (CRP) is one reason inflammation happens and oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-grain cereals have the capability of lowering these to reduce it.

Soy – when you want omega-3 fatty acids that are normally found in fish without consuming fish, you can find it in soybeans. Foods like tofu or edamame contain the ingredient that is high in protein and fiber and low in fat making it a positive addition to your diet in more ways than one.

Beans – red, pinto, and kidney beans have properties that can lower CRP that leads to inflammation. They are inexpensive, high in protein, and contain an abundance of benefits for your immune system and heart health as well.

Extra virgin olive oil – when you’re cooking, use this oil instead of the many other options on the market. Extra virgin olive oil has properties that mimic anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal medications.

Garlic, leeks, onions – Cartilage-damaging enzymes can be limited from the diallyl disulphine that’s found in garlic making symptoms of arthritis less painful.

Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries – these fruits contain an ingredient called anthocyanins. They have been proven to carry an anti-inflammatory effect for those that consume them.


Grapefruit, oranges, and limes – inflammation is prevented by getting enough of the right kind of vitamins like Vitamin C found in these fruits.

Green tea – the benefits of drinking tea are prevalent, but green tea specifically has polyphenols which are an antioxidant that slow down the destruction of cartilage and also reduce inflammation. Even further, joint damage producing molecules are blocked from the epigallocatechin-3-gallate properties in the tea.

Broccoli – to slow or prevent the progression of arthritis, researchers have discovered that broccoli carries sulforaphane which can contribute to that. It also has calcium for building strong bones.

Are There Any Foods To Avoid For Arthritis?

Just like the foods you should be eating, there are quite a few that you should be avoided if you want to alleviate or eliminate the pain associated with inflammation from arthritis. It’s best that you stay away from:

  • Red meat
  • Dairy
  • Corn oil
  • Fried, fast, and processed foods
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Grilled foods

Each of these food types can increase your pain symptoms and make it even more uncomfortable to get through your daily life. Instead, just avoid them and stick with the ones that are good for you.

Living with Arthritis

It is possible to live out a semi-normal life even when your arthritis has progressed to a more severe state. The key is taking care of yourself through diet, exercise, and regular visits to your healthcare professional. Before starting any diet plan, you should always speak with your medical doctor to confirm your body will be able to handle the changes you are anticipating. 

The least invasive method for treatment is always your best option, and your diet is a key contributor to what’s going on inside your body. If you want to get further pain relief without taking prescription medications, you can contact a chiropractor in Anchorage or visit your nearest local chiropractor to discover the plethora of chiropractic benefits they have to offer for pain relief from arthritis as well.

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and has treated thousands of patients. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in 1998 and is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.


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