Nightshade Fruits and VegetablesCredit:

Dealing with arthritis requires some restrictions. The best example for this is the food you eat. While there are no substantial evidences that certain foods can aggravate inflammation, there are anecdotal evidences involving foods that worsen arthritis symptoms specifically joint pain and swelling.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you have to totally avoid these products. You just have to limit your intake. Remember, most of these products are highly nutritious. Plus, psychologically, we all know that forbidden foods are deliciously tempting. Avoiding these foods would only lead to more cravings. Hence, as long as you remind yourself that too much of these products have undesirable consequences, there’s nothing to worry about.

So, what exactly are the foods that may trigger your arthritis?

Nightshade Vegetables

Vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes and chili are the first on the list of foods that worsen arthritis. What do researchers say about this food group?

According to researches, this particular food group contains alkaloids. There are speculations that this specific constituent can cause loss of calcium in your bones. Furthermore, it was also linked to cause joint damages for those who are sensitive to these food products. However, in one research conducted by the University of Washington, they noted that there are no substantial data establishing nightshade plants to aggravate joint inflammation and pain.

Hence, depending on your susceptibility and sensitivity to these vegetables, you can either consume or avoid this food group. Plus, this reaction actually varies from person to person. You can test your sensitivity by trying to remove these products from your daily meals for a few weeks. If you feel that your condition improved, then you’re on the right track. 

Animal Protein

The next type of food that may trigger arthritis symptoms is animal protein. There are several explanations indicating how this type of protein can aggravate joint inflammation whether its red meat, poultry or seafood.

The first explanation is its omega-6 commonly found in red and chicken meat products. This fatty acid is known to augment swelling or inflammation.

The second viable explanation is  purine. This is typically found in meat organs, shellfish, mackerel, sardines and yeast. The simplest explanation for this is that purine is evidently converted into uric acid upon digestion and metabolism. The problem starts when too much uric acid is subsequently crystallized and deposited into your kidneys, tendons and joints. This condition is medically termed as “gout arthritis”. 

The last explanation is the acidic pH of all meat products. Studies show that a highly acidic blood can dissolve one’s cartilages worsening your joint's condition.

With that, for those coping with gout, it is strongly advised to avoid or limit eating products rich in uric acid. For those who are dealing with other types of arthritis you can eat meat products occasionally as long as it is in minimal amounts. Remember, to have an acidic blood pH, you have to eat meat in your every meal. This is easily resolved by alternating meat and vegetables in your diet.

Gluten and Refined sugar

Last in the list of foods that worsen arthritis are gluten and sugary foods. So, how does gluten rich foods aggravate arthritis?

Basically, it doesn’t as long as you don’t have gluten intolerance and a leaky gut. This is actually a type of allergic reaction. Remember, any foreign substances roaming around your body are usually detected and attacked by your immune system. This can lead to damage within the lining of your intestines causing a leaky gut. Afterwards, gluten can easily travel to your joints. If it is found and attacked near your joints, the antibodies will destroy your joints leading to rheumatoid arthritis. 

As for sugar and other refined carbohydrates, its acidic pH is the primary reason they’re considered as foods that worsen arthritis. To neutralize this pH, it would need an alkaline substance such as calcium. Sugar-calcium pairing will deteriorate your bones and joints. Another reaction brought by sugar is hypoglycemia. In correlation to your joints, one classic symptom of hypoglycemia is joint pain.


With that, knowing the different foods that may trigger your arthritis can help you cope with joint pain. But, keep in mind that sensitivity to these foods vary from person to person. Hence, you are not obliged to avoid all the products listed above.

Furthermore, even though there are scientific explanations for their inflammatory effects, it is still hypothetical. So, being cautious of anything you eat is the best approach you can take. If you think it gives undesirable effects then as much as possible try to limit your intake of these products. If you’re convinced that changing your diet is your best option, you can try opting for meals appropriate for arthritis patients. You can also add some carrot juice or ginger tea in your diet. Both beverages are linked to fight arthritis symptoms. Remember, your comfort and health should still be your top priority. 

Healthy Eating for Arthritis