A recent study revealed the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis, affects 15% of the global population over the age of 30. The research, published in The Lancet Rheumatology, analysed 30 years of osteoarthritis data (1990–2020) covering more than 200 countries and was led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2021.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It most commonly affects joints in the hips, spine, hands, and knees, but it can target any joint in the body. Symptoms vary from mild to debilitating. There are some risk factors which increase our chances of developing osteoarthritis including: age – it mostly develops over the age of 40; gender – women are more likely to develop it; being overweight; past injuries to a joint; and sometimes even our occupation, if it entails repetitive strain on particular joints.

While there is currently no cure, maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and diet is important when managing osteoarthritis and may help to ease some of the symptoms.

Varied diet

A varied, nutritious diet is recommended with less saturated fat, sugar and salty processed foods, and more fruit and vegetables, oily fish, and calcium-rich foods. Excess saturated fat in the diet can cause inflammation in the body, which in turn exacerbates symptoms.

As with any healthy eating regime, it’s best to avoid any sources of trans-fats, which are present in most convenience foods, processed foods, and fast foods. Replacing these fats with inflammatory-fighting omega-3 fatty acids is especially beneficial when fighting any sort of inflammation. Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, and sardines, make great additions to an arthritis-friendly diet, as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Bone health

Calcium and vitamin D are both essential for good bone health. Cheese, milk, yogurt, and any dairy products contain the highest concentrate of absorbable calcium. Leafy green vegetables, salmon, and any fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines, are also good sources. Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium.

This vitamin is mostly delivered to our bodies through sunlight, but rich sources of dietary vitamin D include eggs, oily fish, and cheese, while it is also fortified into many milks and cereals.

Many fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C which are important to include in the diet when managing osteoarthritis as it plays an important role in maintaining healthy muscles, bones, and cartilage.

Some studies have reported arthritis-sufferers may feel a relief of symptoms when they avoid nightshade vegetables, which includes white potatoes, tomatoes, chillies, aubergines, and peppers.

However, for others, these vegetables have no negative effect whatsoever. If you notice your arthritis pain flares after eating them, perhaps try to eliminate all nightshade vegetables from your diet for a couple of weeks and see if it makes any sort of a difference to your symptoms.

It is recommended, as part of a balanced diet that we aim to include two portions of oily fish per week into our diet. This delicious salmon dish is packed full of important nutrients and is super tasty for a lunch or a dinner.

Ingredients: Serves 2

2 salmon fillets

1tbsp olive oil

1 tsp turmeric

Black pepper

For the dressing:

100g Greek yogurt

50g spinach

½ lemon, juiced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1tbsp chives

1tbsp mint leaves

1tbsp basil leaves

For the salad:

1 gem lettuce

4 radishes, sliced

¼ cucumber, diced

2tbsp pumpkin seeds


1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C / Gas Mark 6.

2 Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Place the salmon fillets, skin side down.

3 In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the turmeric and a few grinds of black pepper. Evenly drizzle the oil mixture over the salmon. Cook in the preheated oven until cooked through, for 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

4 While the fish is cooking, add all the ingredients for the dressing to a high-powered blender and blitz until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

5 When the salmon is cooked, divide the lettuce leaves, radishes and cucumber between two plates. Top with the salmon fillet, drizzle over the dressing and add a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds.

Nutrient-rich green smoothie

This smoothie is packed with vitamins and minerals, perfect when a nutrient-boost is needed anytime of the day.

Ingredients: Serves1

75g pineapple

50g baby spinach leaves

1 orange, peeled

100ml water

1tbsp oats

1tsp ground chia seeds

Handful of ice


1 Add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blitz until smooth. Enjoy straight away.

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