Foods to Avoid With Arthritis Pain

Triggering Arthritis Pain…

For individuals suffering from arthritis, pain is frequently one of the most significant problems. While they are usually aware of certain activities that may worsen their pain, many sufferers are surprised to find out that certain foods can trigger pain or aggravate existing pain.

How does food affect your arthritis pain?

If you are plagued by different types of  arthritis pain, it is a good idea to avoid the foods listed below.

Clinical trials and research have shown a definite link between certain foods and the severity of arthritis. Although it may take up to 36 hours for symptoms to worsen, researchers believe the following six foods are some of the most likely to exacerbate arthritis pain.

Can These Foods Trigger Arthritis Pain?With more and more studies being completed on the link between diet and the development or worsening of arthritis, it is important to be aware of the latest findings.


Peppers, particularly hot chili peppers, contain chemicals known as capsaicinoids. These are strong irritants that directly irritate pain receptors in the skin and mucous membranes. Capsaicin is one of the strongest capsaicinoids.

According to Harvard Medical School researchers, capsaicin has been identified as one of the primary causes of the constant burning pain associated with arthritis, tissue damage, and inflammation.

While it is easy to avoid peppers as a whole, it is important to know when they are an ingredient in food they frequently appear on food labels as spices, flavorings, or seasonings.


As a nightshade plant, eggplants commonly aggravate existing arthritis pain. Nightshade plants contain alkaloids and oxalic acid that affect how calcium is assimilated into the body. According to some scientists, the alkaloids in eggplants result in the deposit of calcium into the tissues instead of the bones.

This can exacerbate inflammation and swelling, further worsening the pain already felt.


While tomatoes (and others in the nightshade family) are mostly considered anti-inflammatory due to their lycopene content, they can have some adverse inflammatory effects on those sensitive to solanine. For those sensitive to solanine, tomatoes tend to aggravate pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. So the main point is to know your body!

Keep in mind that tomatoes are in everything from ketchup to marinara sauce, salsa, spaghetti sauce, and much more.

White Potatoes

Another member of the nightshade plants family, white potatoes contain solanine, a glycoalkaloid that acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor. A buildup of cholinesterase inhibitors can disrupt autonomic control of the body, as well as key functioning in the brain.

It can also lead to muscle spasms, inflammation, stiffness, and pain.

Red Meat

Red meat has long been considered a food that should be avoided by arthritis sufferers for many reasons. It contains large amounts of saturated fats that result in the production of chemicals, pro-inflammatory proteins, within the body that leads to swelling, pain, and inflammation in the joints.

Also, red meats tend to be high in fat, resulting in weight gain. Weight gain is well known for being one of the biggest arthritis aggravators.


A recent study out of Korea found that foods rich in zinc, such as shellfish, can have a huge impact on arthritis pain. This is because the molecular changes that occur within the body to process zinc can destroy cartilage.

As the cartilage breaks down, the bones begin to rub against each other causing immense pain and inflammation.

Others to Avoid

While you do not have to eliminate these foods from your diet, it is recommended that you greatly limit how often you indulge in them. Also, be aware that prepackaged meals, white flour, sugar, and vegetable oils should be avoided as often as possible.

Also, foods high in purines, such as veal, bacon, scallops, and mushrooms can aggravate arthritis. This is because they cause the excess production of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is crystallized and deposited into the joints and tissues of the body, causing pain as well.


There are several foods to avoid if you suffer from arthritis, but there are also plenty of good foods that have been proven to decrease pain and inflammation.

Foods, particularly fresh fruits, and vegetables, should make up the majority of your diet.

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