Best Foods That May Reduce Joint Pain in Winters


6 min read

Reviewed by: Dr. Dipa Rani

Joint pain and stiffness in the joints are conditions that aggravate during the winter season. With the fall in mercury, you can experience a rise in aches and swells in the joints and bones. The causes can be age, arthritis, injury, and more. Regardless of the cause, such conditions worsen and intensify during winter.

Precaution is the most essential treatment for limiting these aches and pains. Exercise and eating the right food for joint pain are recommended to strengthen bones and limit joint swelling. This will support relieving the pain to some extent.

Let us take a look at the top 8 winter foods mentioned below to include in your diet during winter to reduce conditions of pains and aches:

1. Fatty Fish for Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats with anti-inflammatory properties that aid in relieving joint pains. Consuming fish like salmon, sardine, and mackerel, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, can limit your aches and pains. With components of marine fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), these fishes help reduce the production of inflammation-causing cells and enzymes. Hence, they are recommended to be included in your winter diet for joint pain.

2. Turmeric and Curcumin

Turmeric and curcumin are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Accumulation of ROS or Reactive oxygen species causes oxidative stress and enhances inflammation. Curcumin reduces the production of ROS and reduces inflammation through its antioxidants. People with degenerative and inflammatory arthritis may soothe their pain by incorporating turmeric and curcumin, the best food for joint pain, into their diet.

There are many ways to include turmeric in your daily diet. Turmeric is used in most Indian curries and gravies. Besides, there are other ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet, as mentioned below:

  • Detox turmeric tea – A hot cup of detox haldi (turmeric) tea with added goodness of ingredients like ginger and honey is a perfect drink for the winter. This drink not only helps incorporate turmeric into your diet but is also good for your runny nose, sore throat, and indigestion.
  • Mint and Turmeric Chutney – Chutneys are a part of almost every meal in Indian households. They always find an ideal spot in a perfect Indian lunch or dinner menu.
    Here are the ingredients you would require:

    • Turmeric powder/Fresh turmeric (cut into small pieces)
    • Cumin seeds
    • Mint leaves
    • Green chillies
    • Garlic
    • Onion chopped
    • Black salt
    • Plum jam

Churn together turmeric and cumin to make a paste, adding a little water in a Mortar and Pestle or grinding stone. Now add the other spices and churn them together. Add the rest of the ingredients one by one and make a paste. Relish the chutney with your meals.

  • Turmeric drink – Turmeric (haldi) drink is another way to incorporate this miracle spice into your diet. Here are the ingredients you would require:
    • Half banana
    • 3-4 slices of pineapple
    • Coconut oil (one tsp)
    • Cinnamon powder (half tsp)
    • Haldi powder (half tsp)
    • Ginger grated (half tsp)
    • Flex seeds (one tbsp)
    • Half a cup of coconut milk

Blend the ingredients to make a shake. Pour it into a glass, and it is ready to serve.

3. Ginger for Joint Pain Relief

Ginger has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The effect of these properties in ginger helps reduce muscle pain after intense physical activity. Using fresh or dry ginger in your diet has many benefits, including relief from joint inflammation. Ginger can be added to your tea and with gravies. You can also drink warm ginger water mixed with honey.

Ginger can also be creatively used to prepare gingerbread and puddings. You can use ginger coated with sugar and dry it into crystallized ginger snacks.

4. Dark Leafy Greens for Vitamin K

As per studies, vitamin K not only boosts the density of bone mineral in osteoporotic patients but is also helpful in reducing the rates of fracture. Dark leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, collard greens, and lettuce are rich sources of vitamin K.

You can incorporate such green leafy vegetables in your meals during the winter season as curries, sauteed vegetables, and other popular recipes like palak paneer, sarson ka saag, bathua saag, and hara bhara saag.

  • Palak paneer – The recipe for palak paneer incorporates the goodness of spinach and cottage cheese made in a gravy with a creamy texture infused with spices. It is a comfort food for many in India.
  • Sarson ka saag – This is another quintessential winter dish prepared with mustard greens and spinach with added spices. This dish goes well with makki ki roti and other Indian flatbread.

5. Nuts and Seeds for Healthy Fats

The importance of nuts and seeds for your health is well known. Nuts and seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats, and essential oils. Healthy fats are regarded as food that supports joint lubrication.

Regularly consuming a handful of nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds can help relieve joint inflammation conditions. These nuts and seeds are also rich in monounsaturated fats and serve the ideal purpose of snacks and salads during winter.

6. Berries for Antioxidants

Berries are rich sources of vitamins A, C, and E, which function as antioxidants to reduce inflammation. Berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, along with currants, grapes, and other tropical fruits, have high amounts of anthocyanin content.

Berries can be consumed in raw form or combined with other fruits to prepare smoothies and toppings to include in your diet. They are also known to remove free radicals, which are harmful to your body, and support lower inflammation.

7. Warm Herbal Teas

Water is essential for your body. Although we do not feel as thirsty in winter as we do in summer, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are better hydrated. We sweat less in this season, but our body still loses moisture, which makes it necessary to drink water to replenish fluids.

Green tea and other herbal teas are rich in antioxidants, including polyphenols, minerals, and vitamins, which help lower inflammation and limit cartilage deterioration. You can consume herbal teas like ginger tea, chamomile tea, and tea made with holy basil. These soothing tea blends will calm your aches and pains during winter.

8. Olive Oil as a Cooking Staple

The rich sources of monounsaturated fats in olive oil are a blessing to the human body and are regarded as the best oil for joint pain. Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and boost your health. Extra virgin olive oil can be incorporated into your food as salad dressings. You can also use olive oil for cooking your meals, such as sauteed vegetables.

Research says extra virgin olive oil has more polyphenols (antioxidants) than regular olive oil. Choosing the best version of olive oil is thus important to enhance your taste and to get the maximum benefits.

Summing Up

Since winter is approaching, it is better to supplement the consumption of vitamin D and other joint-friendly meals. The food items mentioned above serve as the best medicine for joint pain and must be included in your daily meals to fight pains and aches.

However, you must consult your physician for personalized advice and precautions to avoid the risk of such pains. It is equally important to make informed food choices for improved joint health and avoid food that may further deteriorate joint pain.

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Nov 23, 2023
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