Osteoarthritis is the most common form of knee ailment that affects millions of people, worldwide, every year. While the best way to manage osteoarthritis of the knee is to educate yourself about the disease, its causes and symptoms; bringing about lifestyle changes and adopting a healthy diet for osteoarthritis for knee pain can go a long way in keeping your knees strong, healthy and fit. 

Can poor food choices lead to knee pain or osteoarthritis of the knee?

A common hallmark for chronic pain in the knees is stress caused due to it being made to carry more weight that it is originally used to. Any extra pound added to your original weight is bad news for your knees! In short, being overweight or obese can not only lead to your knees feeling weak and unstable but also suffer from swelling; further wear and tear of the cartilage; and difficulty in performing day-to-day physical functions like walking, bending or running.

Therefore, the best non-medical way to combat osteoarthritis of the knee is to feed your joints with a healthy dose of food items that would not only help you shed those extra kilos indisputably but also keep your knees healthy, fit and functioning for long without any pain or wear & tear.    

Eating this diet for osteoarthritis of knee pain can ease and minimise future damage.

Best food for knee osteoarthritis

  • Oily fish: If you have poor knee health, eating food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acid is a given. The polysaturated fats present in fishes like sardines, mackerel, salmon and tuna have anti-inflammatory properties that can prove to be beneficial in combating knee pain related inflammation.                                              Supplements to fish: Flaxseed oil, krill oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds & walnuts.


  • Dairy products: Yogurt, cheese and milk are considered to be a rich source of vitamin D and calcium, which people suffering from knee conditions must consume in abundance. They aid in increasing bone strength, build muscles and improve painful symptoms.                                                                Supplements: For weight watchers, opting for low fat dairy products or those made with skimmed milk is a good choice.


  • Dark leafy vegetables: These vegetables are rich in vitamin D and are known to be rich in stress-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants. Thus making them an apt choice in the list of best food for knee osteoarthritis. Add loads of kale, spinach, broccoli, collard greens and chard to your everyday diet for better results.


  • Nuts: They are not only good for your heart’s health but also that of your knees and joints. They are known to contain high levels of calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and fibre; all of which are required to boost the immune system and keep pain and diseases at bay. A handful of mix of almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, cashews and pistachios is all you need for a healthy you.


  • Green tea: As opposed to normal black tea, green tea is known to be rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which experts believe may prove to be helpful in reducing inflammation and slow down the rate of cartilage damage.

Knowing what foods to eat and what you should eliminate from your everyday diet of osteoarthritis of knee pain is important. Here’s the list of the food items you need to stop consuming immediately if you want to keep your knees healthy and your overall body active and pain free.

Food to avoid with osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cushion of cartilage between your knee joints breaks down and suffer from sever kind of wear and tear. Its symptoms can be aggravated as a result of following a poor diet for osteoarthritis of knee pain. The list of foods you must avoid to stop causing any further damage to your knee joints include:  

  • Sugar rich foods like cakes, sweets, cookies and other bakery items as they may decrease your body’s immune system response to the disease.
  • Excess of salt as it causes your cells to retain water which further adds to the problem of swelling in the joints.
  • Oily or fried food as the high saturated content in items like French fries, pakoras (fritters) and donuts etc., can lead to inflammation and make the knee pain worse.
  • Processed or food made with white flour stimulates body’s inflammatory response by further flaring up the pain.

In addition to a healthy diet, working pout and indulging in some form of physical activity can help reduce pain and keep you healthy and fit. Practising yoga, doing water aerobics and indulging in mild form of running or walking can help keep your weight under check and reduce the stress on the knees.

 Reviewed by Dr. Gagan Kapoor


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