Looking for more ways to ease your pain? Enjoy these fresh fruits and vegetables in season to fight inflammation and reduce arthritis pain.

How to reduce arthritis pain with fruits and vegetables

Summer heat can bring relief from joint pain, and so could summer fruits and vegetables. Enjoy the flavors of the season with these fresh selections, all including inflammation-fighting nutrients.


Strawberries contain anthocyanins, which help keep inflammation at bay, says dietitian Desiree Nielsen. Additionally, strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which has been linked to building collagen and connective tissue.

Try the following: Wash, peel, and freeze the berries, then puree them. Add cacao nibs or chunks of dark chocolate (at least 80 percent cacao) for an extra healthy dose.

Red peppers

A study in the journal Inflammation in 2012 suggests that the flavonoid quercetin in these sweet peppers may inhibit inflammatory agents that can lead to joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), says Nielsen.

Try this: Pair them with a stir-fry mixture of quinoa, lima beans, tomatoes, and spinach.

Albaricoques or Chabacanos

Apricots are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, which studies have shown can help prevent osteoarthritis, as well as inflammatory forms of arthritis. They also have high levels of magnesium, which make bones strong and can also relieve pain.

Try this: Pair them with goat cheese and almonds or grill them and add them to tacos.


The beta-carotene that is abundant in carrots lowers uric acid, which can help keep gout symptoms at bay. Carrots also have plenty of vitamin C tied in with building collagen.

Try this: Eat it raw with hummus, add it to salad with coleslaw, or mix it juiced with smoothies.

More fruits and vegetables to reduce joint pain


Along with beta-cryptoxanthin, which can reduce inflammation, watermelon is a great source of vitamin A for healthy bones, as well as potassium and magnesium – minerals that research has linked to higher bone density.

Try this: Blend in the blender with lemonade or iced tea or just slice and dig in.

Summer squash

The antioxidants – carotenoids, flavonoids and vitamin C – in these summer vegetables fight free radicals and help reduce inflammation, which slows cartilage breakdown and may reduce arthritis pain , says Jamie Mok, Long Beach clinical dietitian Memorial Medical Center in California

Try this: Cut them into thin slices and spread olive oil over them and grill them.


The anthocyanins in tart cherries help relieve osteoarthritis pain and control gout flares in some people. Sweet cherries, which also contain anthocyanins, may help reduce C-reactive protein , a marker of inflammation in RA ( rheumatoid arthritis ) and other inflammatory diseases, according to a study conducted last year in the Journal of Nutrition.

Try this: Eat fresh cherries or add them to salads or oatmeal and you will see the benefits of this fruit to reduce arthritis pain and inflammation.


Tomatoes are packed with healthy antioxidants , including vitamin C, lycopene and quercetin, says dietitian Vandana Sheth, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Some people say that tomatoes increase arthritis pain so they cannot eat them. But for those who can, tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, and research has linked lycopene to reduced cardiovascular risks. That’s important because people with inflammatory arthritis have higher cardiovascular risks than other people.

Try this: Chop the tomatoes with basil and garlic and serve them on toast like bruschetta; or use them in a fresh pasta sauce or gravy. Use gluten-free pasta and bread and you will get great benefits to reduce arthritis pain.

Dr. Eric Jackson

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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