Calming the Creaks: The 7 Best Foods for Joint Health

Older fit man, reaching for his knee, suffering joint pain

Let’s talk about the creaks, the squeaks, the grunts and groans. Let’s talk about those punishing pangs that taunt your mornings, or those burning bouts that haunt your nights. Let’s talk about joint pain.

For those who suffer, joint pain can feel anything from mildly aching to severely debilitating. And for athletes, fitness nuts, and general movers and shakers — it can put a real damper on your exercise routine. And at Studio SWEAT onDemand, that’s where we have to put our (sore) foot down! 

So what can you do to alleviate those aches and pains around your hands, feet, knees, hips, or spine? Well heating pads work for some, and ice baths for others; acupuncture can be a remedy, as well as deep tissue massages; but one cost-effective way that you can support your overall health as well as those creaky corners is through your diet. So pull up a chair (and an ottoman), because here comes seven foods for joint health!

Beautifully shot bowl of red cherries


The reason cherries hold that deep red color is from natural chemicals called anthocyanins. These little chemicals-that-could have been shown to reduce bodily inflammation, a key component to joint health. Some studies have even shown that cherries are effective for reducing gout symptoms. You can also get these joint-healthy chemicals in other richly hued fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranates. 

Different types of nuts, including brazil nuts, almonds, peanuts, pecans

Nuts & Seeds

Many nuts and seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids that are amazing for countering inflammation, both in your connective tissue and your joints. The best options to try are walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds. You can easily get those nutrients in by sprinkling them in your morning smoothie, or atop overnight oats. Be careful though – many nuts and seeds are super-high in calories, so maybe stick with a handful a day. 

Image of cruciferous vegetables in a bowl

Cruciferous Veggies

Ok, we will admit, crucifer does sound a lot like lucifer. BUT, these amazing leafy green veggies are amazingly effective at elevating your joint health, and are filled with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and calcium. Cruciferous vegetables include kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage varieties. So get those crunchies in and start alleviating your joint pain! 

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Almost raw, gently cooked piece of salmon with lemon


We don’t think we’re being too fishy when we rave about the wonders of salmon, especially when it comes to your joints. Salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and while salmon reduces your inflammation and improves your joint health, it also happens to be great for lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes. And the benefits go further than just salmon – you can also get all this good stuff from other coldwater fish including halibut, tuna, or trout. 

Overhead shot image of several different kinds of beans and lentils

Beans & Lentils

Let’s get leguming shall we? Next on our list are those mighty and miniature purveyors of all kinds of health — beans and lentils! Luscious legumes such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, soybeans, and lentils are all chock-full of those anthocyanins. They’re also a great source of essential minerals, protein, and fiber. 

Image of olive oil being poured in a glass dish

Olive Oil

If you know anything about inflammation (and by this point we think you should), you’ll know that most commonly used cooking oils are a no-no. Peanut, vegetable, and sunflower oil are all effective at inflaming your joints and tissues, and leading to even more pain. But not olive oil – this straight-A student of the oil community is packed with healthy fats and joint-healing omega-3s. It’s better for you when it’s raw, so use it more as a condiment. 

Closeup shot of garlic, ginger and turmeric

Aromatic Root Veggies

Last on our list is the aromatic root vegetables. We’re talking about all those strong, spicy, savory treats that grow beneath the earth and do some real healing for joint pain. This list includes onions, garlic, turmeric, and ginger. These powerhouse veggies are often used to treat targeted joint pain and other symptoms pertaining to arthritis. Plus, you can add a little pinch of them in many of your favorite dishes! 

Well we hope our list of healthy foods to alleviate joint pain helps you beat those early-morning and late-night cramps, cracks, crunches, and creaks, and helps you get and stay limber, loose, and loving life. And when you’re feeling better and ready to put your body (and joints) to work, sign up for a 7-Day Free Trial with Studio SWEAT onDemand. We’ve got an endless library of virtual workouts featuring our world-class roster of trainers. And with tons of low-impact and low-intensity options, such as our Mind & Body Classes, you’ll be sweating it up in no time, and doing your joints some good in the process!

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