Diet, Exercise and Osteoarthritis

Diet, Exercise and Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is characterized by inflammation and the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. In order to maintain a healthy weight to reduce the load placed on joints it is important to eat the appropriate amount of calories and be physically active. However, putting added stress on joints during high impact exercise can cause additional breakdown. People have found relief of some symptoms by engaging in safe physical activity and the Arthritis Foundation recommends participating in activities like low impact aerobic for cardio health and those that increases flexibility, range of motion and strength. (1)

Nutritionally, vitamin D, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and a diet rich in anti-inflammatory food can also prove to be beneficial in slowing the progression of joint destruction, reduce pain and assist if you have weight loss goals.

The Dietary Inflammatory Index is a list of 45 food substances and spices that reduce inflammation. (2) This is important to understand because there are a variety of good diets that are already anti-inflammatory. There is no specific version of an anti-inflammatory diet you must follow. Well, that is good news because you have the freedom to create an anti-inflammatory diet that works for you! (3)

Get creative and include spices and herbs in your diet every day. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, black pepper, turmeric, saffron, garlic and ginger are all powerfully anti-inflammatory.

Poly and mono unsaturated fats made the list. Those include: cold water fish, flax seeds, hemp hearts and walnuts. For oils you can choose from: flax, walnut, canola, olive, and coconut oil.

The anti-inflammatory impact of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts can be attributed to the fact that they are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and flavonoids.

With this simplified perspective on an anti-inflammatory diet creating meals that are customized to your specific preferences and nutritional needs will be fun and rewarding.


  1. “Exercising With Osteoarthritis.” N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2017.
  2. Shivappa, N., Steck, S., Hurley, T., Hussey, J., & Hébert, J. (2014). Designing and developing a literature-derived, population-based dietary inflammatory index. Public Health Nutrition, 17(8), 1689-1696. doi:10.1017/S1368980013002115
  3. Mahan, L. K., & Raymond, J. L. (2017). Krauses food & the nutrition care process. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.


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This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.

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