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Avoid These Foods if You Want to Stop Joint Pain

Joint pain can range from a twinge of irritation to debilitating pain that can prevent you from doing daily activities like walking, sleeping, or even working. Joint pain is the number one disability among Americans today according to data from the Center for Disease Control. While you cannot prevent all joint pain by changing diet alone, there are certain foods that have been scientifically proven to make joint pain worse. If you suffer from any kind of joint pain, consider avoiding these foods to reduce inflammation and control your joint pain from the source.

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Suffer from joint pain? You will want to avoid these foods linked with inflammation and joint pain.

What is joint pain?

According to Web MD, joint pain is any irritation or inflammation that occurs between the joints in the bones. The body creates a cushioning material, called hyaluronic acid, which helps reduce friction between joints. Over time, the body slowly stops producing hyaluronic acid, which can lead to joint pain. Commonly, joint pains occur in the knees, hands, shoulders, hips, and ankles. Arthritis is a common inflammation of the joints that affects over 50 million Americans, according to the Center for Disease Control. Joint pain can be caused by a number of factors, including diet choices, injuries, gout, obesity, and a variety of other conditions.

Can joint pain be stopped?

Doctors prescribe many medications to help ease the symptoms of joint pain. Common joint medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (available in prescription and over-the-counter varieties), Capsaicin cream, and counterirritants. Aside from medications, there are a variety of alternative treatment options for joint pain. Web MD states that common joint pain treatments include physical therapy, rest, and supplements. Diet changes can also help reduce your symptoms for inflamed joint pain. If you suffer from joint pain of any kind, try avoiding the following inflaming foods.


The Boston University School of Medicine published findings linking the consumption of caffeine to an increase in joint pain and gout. The findings were released at the 2010 American College of Rheumatology meeting. The researchers studied 633 individuals with a previous gout diagnosis. After every attack or flare-up, the participants recorded what they had eaten and drank in the past 24 hours. The study indicated that drinking four or more servings of caffeine within a 24-hour period led to an 80 percent or higher risk of developing gout flare-ups. More than six servings increased the risk by an additional threefold chance.

Purine-Rich Foods

Further study from the same data that found the increased risk of gout symptoms from caffeine also indicated that foods rich in purine may lead to joint pain in 2011. Of the 633 people in the study, individuals who ate foods rich in purines (especially the animal forms) had a five times higher chance of seeing a gout flare-up over the next two days.

Avoid Purine-rich foods to reduce inflammation
Organ meats


Artificial sweeteners

Your favorite no-calorie sweetener may be causing you hidden pain. According to a 2003 toxicology report from the FDA, in a group of 551 people, 11 percent reported joint pain after ingesting aspartame. The report also listed arthritis as a condition that may be worsened by the long-term consumption of aspartame.


Sugar can cause inflammation according to several studies. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reports that the consumption of sucrose and high fructose corn syrup leads to an increase in abdominal fat as well as low-grade chronic inflammation, which can lead to joint pain and arthritis. Sugar also produces advanced glycation end-products (AEGs), which can create cytokines which lead to many health problems, including heart disease and arthritis.


Trans Fats

Trans fats (sometimes called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils), are a huge inflammation trigger in the body. This can lead to swelling and joint pain. Trans-fats damage the cells in the lining of blood vessels, which can lead to chronic joint pain and inflammation, particularly in women, according to a 2004 study conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

A balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is essential for optimal health, but most Americans consume far too many Omega-6 acids, thanks to ingredients like vegetable oils, which are high in Omega-6 acids, reports U.S. News. Omega-3 acids found naturally in foods such as walnuts, fish, and dairy products.

Foods that reduce joint inflammation 

Luckily, there are just as many anti-inflammatory foods as there are inflammatory foods. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods will help you control joint pain and avoid painful conditions like gout and arthritis. A good general rule to follow is to try to eat as many natural products as possible. The more processed the food, the more likely it is to cause problems in the body. Web MD recommends the following anti-inflammatory foods:

Foods that reduce joint pain




Whole grains
Romaine lettuce

Supplements for relieving joint pain

These supplements can help you reduce joint pain and inflammation naturally. 

Fish Oil

According to a 2004 study published in American Family Physician, Omega3- fatty acids significantly reduced joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These patients took a supplement of 3 g per day. Higher concentrations of Omega-3 acids also led to a reduction in other symptoms, including heart disease.


Turmeric spice is all the rage in the health community these days for its anti-inflammatory benefits.  The University of Maryland Medical Center states that a blend of turmeric, boswellia, zinc, and winter cherry showed reduced signs of pain and disability in osteoarthritis patients.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is naturally created by the body and acts as a cushioning or “squishing” agent in the body, which causes joints and cartilage to remain flexible. Your joints and eyes all contain some levels of hyaluronic acid. As you age, the production of HA naturally drops, reports Total Health Magazine. An oral supplementation of HA derived from avian cartilage is helpful in reducing joint pain.

All of these supplements have scientific research backing their effectiveness. Taking these supplements in addition to reducing inflammatory foods in your diet should help you see a reduction in painful joint pain symptoms.

Keep joints healthy for life

In addition to eating the correct foods, maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle is important for joint health. A 2009 report published in the NIH Midline Plus Journal indicated that regular low-impact exercise can help reduce joint pain and the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Exercise helps improve bone density, joint flexibility and helps with weight gain, which often leads to joint problems. When facing joint pain and arthritis, a whole-body approach is the best way to prevent flare-ups and the problem from developing in the first place. These steps will help you maintain healthy joints throughout your life.





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