Diet for knee pain Knee Health

Knee pain is a popular health condition that has negatively affected the lives of millions of people around the world. Knee pain is caused either by an acute injury to the knee joint or diseases like osteoporosis. Treating the knee is somewhat complicated because it is made up of several ligaments and muscles. This makes it difficult for doctors to pinpoint what is going on.

The conventional ways to address knee pain is through a surgical procedure, physical therapy, and drugs. That being said, it might interest you to know that there is another easy and effective way to treat knee pain without spending a small fortune on drugs or undergoing a surgical procedure that will take weeks to recover from. New studies have shown that there are certain foods that can reduce knee pain. These foods have powerful pain-relieving properties that are just as effective as pain relief medications.

Tweaking your diet is one of the most effective ways to improve your knee health. Another thing you can do to improve you knee health is to maintain a healthy weight.

In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the best food for knee pain and some foods you should avoid if you have arthritis or knee pain.

Soy protein

Soy is not only rich in protein but also has isoflavones which have anti-inflammatory properties. A study that was conducted by the Oklahoma State University shows that soy can reduce knee pain.

The participant of the study consumed soy drink mixed with four grams of protein for three months and reported less discomfort after drinking soy milk for 90 days. You can get the same result by taking baby soybeans (edamame), eating soy burgers and drinking soy milk on a regular basis.


Numerous studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids can ease arthritis and joint pain. These acids help to gradually reduce the levels of two proteins known as interleukin-6 and CRP (C-reactive proteins) that causes inflammation.

Omega-3 or fish oil helps to stop inflammation and influence cells that determine how the body responds to inflammation. A report from the Arthritis Foundation shows that people who eat fish that are rich in omega-fatty acids are less likely to develop knee pain or arthritis.

Adding fishes that are high in omega-3 fats to your knee pain diet will not only help reduce morning stiffness and joint pain but will also help to prevent disease linked to inflammation.
One thing you should know is that not all fish are rich in omega-3.

Below are some of the types of fish that are rich in omega-3 and low in mercury:

  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Black Cod
  • Sardines

Eating a 3-ounce serving of any of the fish listed above three times a week can help reduce your knee pain and protect your heart.


No arthritis diet is complete without vegetables. Granted, vegetables have a lot of health benefits, but do you know that they can also help to reduce your knee pain?

New studies conducted by the Arthritis Foundation have shown that vegetables from the cruciferous family (Broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels) can dramatically reduce joint pain and osteoarthritis.

The reason why vegetables in the cruciferous family are so effective is that they contain sulforaphane which slows down cartilage damage. Other studies suggest that broccoli can help prevent knee pain, morning stiffness, and arthritis. So try adding Brussels sprouts, kale, or broccoli to your salad. You won’t be sorry.

On top of that green vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts are full of vitamin K, A and C, and therefore can help to shield the cells from free radical damage. Because free radicals are the harmful by-products of the energy production process and can damage cells, joints and cause inflammation.

Preparing vegetables

To get the most out of vegetables, you have to learn the right way to prepare them. Below are some tips that can help you in this regard.

  • Don’t use too much water during food preparation. If you do, important vitamins may leak out
  • Don’t overcook your food
  • Steaming is the best method of cooking vegetables because the process reduces nutrient loss


Fruits contain antioxidants that reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system.

Fruits like tart cherries and strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Grapes and watermelon contain high levels of carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin. This compound can reduce CRP level and ultimately decrease the risk of arthritis. Avocados are loaded with vitamin E and monounsaturated fat that can reduce swelling and joint damage.

Vitamin C

A study conducted in 2011 by the University of South Florida shows that vitamin C can reduce knee pain and morning stiffness. You can get vitamin C from kiwi, pineapple or strawberries. Orange juice is another excellent source of Vitamin C.

One study conducted in Australia found that people who take high amounts of vitamin C are less likely to suffer knee osteoarthritis.


Turmeric is a spice that has been used in India for hundreds of years to reduce pain and stiffness linked to arthritis. Turmeric is loaded with a special compound known as curcumin. A review that was published in the International Journal of Molecular Science (IJM) said that curcumin can effectively address joint related diseases.

You likely now know some of the above-mentioned foods, which are the best food for arthritis. But do you know that some food can make your knee pain or arthritis worse?

Foods to avoid

Processed foods

Decreasing the number of processed foods you consume will not only reduce your knee pain but also help to strengthen your body.

Dairy products

Dairy products can make your arthritis pain worse. Dairy products are not the only source of protein. You can also get protein from vegetables like beans, spinach, tofu, and lentils.

Salts and preservatives

Consuming too much salt may lead to serious inflammation. So before buying any additives at your local store, check its salt content.

Final notes

There is no perfect arthritis diet plan. What may be working for you, may not work for others. But, I recommend you to try out some of the food listed in this article because by consuming these foods your knee pain will most likely reduce and your overall health is definitely going to improve.

Mathew Foster

I am Mathew Foster – an enthusiast of sports who not only regularly practices different sports, but also has a deep interest in it.

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