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Nutrition Articles

Cut Your Arthritis Risk with Fruits & Veggies

Nutrition News Flash

A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found the average daily intake of two carotenoids (beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin) was lower (by 40% and 20% respectively) for arthritis patients than healthy subjects. Both of these carotenoids can reduce inflammation. Further analysis showed that the participants with the highest intake were about half as likely to develop inflammatory arthritis than those with the lowest intake. Two other popular carotenoids, lutein and lycopene, did not appear to protect against arthritis.

Action Sparked
If you are looking for a way to protect your body against arthritis, it may already be a part of your normal breakfast routine—orange juice. To receive the protective, anti-inflammatory benefits of beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin include 7-9 fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Foods high in these particular carotenoids include: oranges, papaya, tangerines, kale, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, red pepper, okra and romaine lettuce.

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Member Comments

  • Wouldn't it be nice if grocery stores listed this kind of info alongside fruits and veggies?
  • While outside of the scope of this article--I've seen articles chronicling the impact of food allergies on inflammation. Not everyone is sensitive, but to those who are, plants in the nightshade family can cause huge inflammation and pain responses--so until you know if you are sensitive or not, be careful to watch if you have increased inflammation after eating fruits/veggies and it is worth while to research the plant family those inflammation causing foods are in--patterns are likely to develop if you have food allergies.
  • I always believed diet could help
  • great useful ideals thank you
  • Thank goodness for my daily spinach and kale salads.
  • Great idea's and tips. Will try to incorporate some into my day.
  • Thank you so much for this reminder of Foods that combat arthritis. Now I see where I went wrong, I had decreased certain fruit and veggies that I usually consumed generously such as the tangerines, kiwi fruit, kale, romane, & greens. I am not a big fan of okra, yet if it will relieve my arthritis pain I will try to eat as much okra as I can tolerate. Thanks to BEBARB149 for providing the time required for the kiwi and other foods to take affect. I am glad I read this article
  • This article was informative along with the salad photo = great combo.
  • it has been 10 years since a definitive diagnosis of RA and Fibromyalgia. i have always eaten whole foods - as much raw as possible. i believe that genetics played and huge roll in my disease as i remember complaining of severe joint pain and nerve sensitivity at about 11 years old when i started mensus.
    at this stage of my life - i still eat as naturally and safely as i can - washing veggies and/or affording organic some time - but weather - wear and tear - and aging - take over in the end.. we are all on the road to the ultimate freedom - but we try as best we can to make ourselves comfortable. a tall order for sure.
  • Seems you're forgetting one of the fundamental tenets of statistics: correlation is not causation.
  • Great article, one I must save.

  • Thanks for the info. BEBARB149 Thanks for the info with kiwi. I have been eating them lately. So about a month I should start feeling better from the arthritis.

About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.