Diet for Arthrosis

Alleviate the side effects of arthrosis with the right diet

You think there's nothing you can do about arthrosis? Think again! With the right diet, you can improve the symptoms of arthrosis.

It's not just people of advanced age who can suffer from arthrosis, but also those who lead unhealthy lifestyles or even those who have a hereditary predisposition. Most experts currently consider arthrosis to be incurable, but the accompanying symptoms can be alleviated. How? Through the right diet, which has an anti-inflammatory effect and provides the body with minerals, vitamins and trace elements to ensure that it can repair the damaged tissue. Read more about this diet below.


Sore hands - Arthrosis
Sore hands can be a symptom of arthrosis.

What is Arthrosis and what does nutrition have to do with it?

Arthrosis is a degenerative joint disease. The joints are worn out, which is generally referred to as "wear and tear of the joints" beyond the normal, age-related degree. There are numerous causes for arthrosis: Excess weight puts strain on the joints, but the disease can also be caused by a hereditary predisposition, nicotine and alcohol, too little exercise or an incorrect diet. In addition, some people are born with a misalignment of their joints, which can also result from accidents. Arthritis (inflammation of the joints) can often lead to arthrosis if it is not treated promptly. Basically, any joint can be affected, but osteoarthritis often occurs in the knee, hip, hands or ankle joint, and less frequently also in the shoulder or foot.


What does a healthy diet for people suffering from Arthrosis look like?

The diet should achieve three goals:

  1. Reduce excess weight that puts strain on the joints.
  2. Avoid unhealthy ingredients.
  3. Supply of valuable nutrients.

A healthy diet avoids the growth of fat cells. Fat cells constantly produce inflammation-promoting substances that exert their effect on the joints. We therefore recommend the following diet:

  • Predominantly vegan, to avoid consumption of arachidonic acid which promotes inflammation (contained in animal foodstuffs)
  • Predominantly gluten-free, to relieve the gut and prevent inflammation
  • Full of vital substances to supply the joints
  • More alkaline than acidic, to avoid chronic acidosis
  • With many antioxidants (anti-inflammatory effect)
  • Without alcohol, too much sugar, white flour and unhealthy fats


Hydration for joint wear and tear

Hydration for joint wear and tear
Drinking plenty of fluids stimulates the metabolism.

In the morning, our organism detoxifies itself. Drinking plenty of water or alkaline tea has a supporting effect. About 2 liters per day are recommended, although on hot days or when exercising it can be considerably more. Drinking can take place independently of food, because liquid dilutes the digestive acids and thus promotes optimal digestion. If possible, non-acidic drinks are preferred.


Healthy diet for the joints

A balanced diet promotes your all-round well-being. However, you should pay attention to which foods can worsen the symptoms of arthrosis (see "red" list). There are also many healthy alternatives ("green" list).

What could a healthy diet for arthrosis look like in everyday life?

Healthy diet for arthrosis 2
A healthy diet can positively influence arthrosis.

For breakfast, you could eat fresh fruit and salads with some wholemeal bread, but you should not mix yogurt with the fruit.

For lunch, in contrast to the traditional lunch menus, you should prefer raw vegetables. Salads are valuable, but only vital food salads made from the fruit and vegetables listed above. Leaf salads and herbs don't just freshen up your lunch, they can also easily be combined with fresh root vegetables.

For dinner, easily digestible vegetable soups with nettle shoots, which support the regeneration of cartilage, are suitable. Wholemeal bread is an ideal accompaniment.

The diet presented here is vegan, but meat and sausage are by no means prohibited. They should only be extremely low-fat (poultry), eggs are also suitable. For cheese, you should choose the lean, low-fat products.

Many people who have to change their diet for health reasons bake their own bread. This is always advisable and also fun. There are many gluten-free bread recipes for a healthy diet, and the bread should also be rather alkaline. This healthy diet has an overall positive effect, helps you lose weight and also improves your mental clarity.


The "green" list

The following list shows which foods are considered healthy for people suffering from arthrosis:

  • salads, especially dark green varieties with beta-carotene
  • cabbage vegetables with glucosinolates, beta-carotene and calcium
  • root vegetables (turnips, fennel, celery) because of the nutritional value and the vitamin C
  • carrots (best cooked)
  • leek, garlic and onions because of the anti-inflammatory sulphur compounds they contain
  • mushrooms
  • soft fruit
  • herbs
  • whole grain products (oat flakes, spelt, millet, brown rice)
  • potatoes
  • skimmed milk products
  • cold-water fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, cod, halibut)
  • bone and cartilage broth

The "red" list

The foods listed below should be avoided:

  • high-fat and sweetened dairy products (contain the inflammation-promoting arachidonic acid)
  • white flour products and white pasta
  • husked rice
  • french fries, croquettes and potato fritters (rich in fat and omega-6 fatty acids which promote inflammation)
  • fat meat and sausage
  • fat fish
  • pork (contains arachidonic acid)
  • oils with omega-6 fatty acids (sunflower, corn germ, thistle)
  • sugar and sweets
  • chips and salty snacks
  • coffee, black tea and alcohol

Strong muscles reduce the load on the joints and thus wear and tear. However, severe cases of arthrosis require medication and/or surgical therapy. Acupuncture and physiotherapy can also lead to success.


The symptoms of Arthrosis are:

  • Load-dependent pain
  • Joint effusion in case of activated arthrosis
  • Progressive deformation of the joint
  • Noise when moving the joints

However, arthrosis can also develop without symptoms or initially without pain. Since the disease can be passed on in the family due to hereditary predisposition, people should research their family history to find out whether there have been frequent cases of arthrosis in older relatives.


You can read more about the causes, symptoms, stages, diagnosis and therapy options in our arthrosis article.


The course of the disease can be stopped or the accompanying symptoms alleviated by taking appropriate measures, such as changing your diet.


Why is a healthy diet important for Arthrosis?

Gesunde Ernährung bei Arthrose
Study shows: fast food increases the risk of developing arthrosis.

In general, adequate exercise and a balanced diet are important to prevent stiffening of the joints. To treat arthrosis, exercise and proper nutrition are the first step in the right direction.
The structure of the bone and cartilage substance in the joint depends very much on nutrition. A healthy diet will therefore have a positive influence on the course of arthrosis, whereas an unhealthy diet will have a negative influence. Saturated fatty acids, such as those found in fast food, have a very significant effect on the risk of developing the disease, as a study published in the magazine Nature in 2017 shows. Among other things, a lack of vitamin C is considered dangerous, while a gluten-free and vegan diet has an anti-inflammatory effect.


Further measures to alleviate the symptoms of arthrosis

It is recommended to reduce excess weight. In addition, it is important for every person to strengthen the muscles in all joint areas during their younger years (from mid-30s at the latest). Gymnastic exercises help in this respect.


Please note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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