Food for Joint Health

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Something happens as you edge near 50. I’m in exceptional health and almost never get sick, but I’ve had nagging back and neck problems over the past 6 months that finally drove me to the doctor. Or doctors, I should say, since apparently you can’t see just one. I won’t get on my soap box about THAT! What I know so far is that I have some osteoarthritis in my neck and lower back and that my doctors have no idea (or are not sharing) what non-medication-related options I have for keeping my bones and joints healthy. Yes, I’m seeking new doctors.

In the meantime, I have done some research on how we can maximize our diet to reduce inflammation, which is related to quite a few “age related” illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer (there are lots of discussion about whether inflammation causes disease or if it is the result of disease–I’m not a doctor–I don’t know). They are related in some way, however, and if I can help improve that through diet and exercise, I’m all in.

So today I’m posting something different–not a recipe, but a grocery list of foods I’m going to try to include more of when we plan our menus. These are foods known to a) not cause inflammation of body tissue and b) reduce overall inflammation in organs and joints. I’ll stress again that I am not a doctor, just a middle age mom looking to maximize my overall health. I’m fortunate that I am not in chronic pain and can take this time to experiment a bit with diet to see if those changes help. If you look at the list, it certainly can’t hurt.

Some of you may be looking for ways to address health issues through diet and still others may be looking to plan ahead while young and extend your overall health as long as possible. So here is the list-I am grouping them by food type to make it easier to follow!


  • Green tea


  • Kelp
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Shitake mushrooms (a fungus, I know, but I didn’t have a fungi category)
  • Watercress
  • Celery

Fermented Foods

  • Kim Chi
  • Fermented pickles
  • Kefir (fermented yogurt drink)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso

Herbs and Spices

  • Ginger
  • Parsley
  • Turmeric
  • Horseradish
  • Mustard
  • Cinnamon


  • Salmon (wild caught)
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Cold water fish
  • Soy protein
  • Peanut butter
  • Lobster
  • Nuts


  • Tart cherries (not sweet cherries)
  • Mango
  • Lemon
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple

For now, I am forgoing any injections (yikes!) and prescription medications and will work toward more weight-bearing exercise, stretching, shifted diet and a glucosamine supplement. If nothing else, it looks like a yummy way to stay healthy!

2 responses

  1. I’m so sorry you’re hurting, Deanna! Have you tried a chiropractor? They tend to be a little more homeopathic with treatment. I am not a fan of doctors AT ALL. Because in my experience, most of them just wanna suggest a treatment or write a prescription and they don’t wanna explain it and they sure don’t want you to ask questions. Natural cures? Nah. Natural cures don’t pay the bills! And what’s worse is that we totally rely on their knowledge and expertise to tell us what’s going on! I love my kids’ pediatrician, but besides that I am on the outs with the medical community. Good for you- doing the research and trying a different route.Like you said: couldn’t hurt!

    • Thanks! I think strengthening my core alone will help protect my back a lot. Chiropractors scare me. I’ve never been to one, so it’s an irrational fear. I hear you on the doctor thing. Everyone wants to give me drugs or injections, but they are “not comfortable” recommending a pillow that might be better for my neck. Scary. And ridiculous.

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