Feature Image by Agto Nugroho

Next time you have aches and pains in your body, don’t head straight for the Advil. Instead, turn to foods to help heal your joints.

Joint pain has a connection to inflammation – more inflammation can equal more pain and irritation, and food plays a role by either calming or stoking inflammation,” says Ginger Hultin, a registered dietitian. So if you’re suffering from joint pain, consider incorporating these five foods into your diet.

Fatty fish
When it comes to improving symptoms like joint swelling and pain, research strongly supports fish oil. “Current guidelines recommend that people eat fish twice a week,” says Hultin. “Choose salmon, anchovies, sardines, or halibut for the highest omega-3 content.”

Omega-3s are important when it comes to reducing inflammation, and eating fish isn’t the only way to get these fatty acids. “Walnuts are specifically rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that have been shown to calm inflammation in the body,” says Hultin.

Seeds are another great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and it can be added to just about any food. “Think chia, hemp, and flax specifically,” says Hultin. “Sprinkle these high fiber seeds in cereal, granola, or on yogurt to reap the benefits.”

Green tea
“Green tea has a well-studied antioxidant, EGCG, which may reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis,” says Monica Auslander Moreno, a registered dietitian. “Behaviorally, since it has caffeine, one wonders if it may spur energy to go exercise, which is also quite anti-inflammatory and a recommended treatment for various joint issues.”

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cabbage are known to be anti-inflammatory. “Aside from being a cruciferous vegetable and having prebiotic fiber, which nourishes probiotic microorganisms in your microbiome, [it] may also help with immunity as broccoli has sulforaphane to protect against osteoarthritis,” says Moreno.

xx, The FabFitFun Team