7 Arthritis Food Myths – Flexiseq

7 Arthritis Food Myths

Osteoarthritis is a painful and sometimes debilitating condition that can make simple, everyday tasks feel near impossible. While there are many effective ways to relieve symptoms there is an equal amount of misinformation out there, especially when it comes to what you should or should not eat if you have OA. 

The internet is a double-edged sword: while it has massively democratised knowledge and the free flow of information, it has also exacerbated the spread of misinformation, pseudo-science and downright lies. 

This is never more in evidence when it comes to the myriad diets that are offered up as cures for chronic diseases. And when it comes to Osteoarthritis, the false food beliefs are wide ranging. Below we bust seven of the biggest myths. 

Myth 1: Alkaline Diet

There is no evidence to support the theory that an alkaline diet reduces inflammation or cures the disease. The claim that eating alkaline-rich foods such as certain fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables can alter your body’s PH levels and therefore reduce inflammation is simply not true. A healthier approach is to have a balanced and varied diet without worrying about the levels of acid or alkaline in the food you eat.

 Myth 2: Avoiding nightshade vegetables

Vegetables in the nightshade family include potatoes, aubergines, tomatoes and peppers. 

Some people claim these vegetables can cause inflammation due to the presence of alkaloids. However, no scientific evidence supports this claim and, even if alkaloids do cause inflammation they are mostly found in the leaves of the vegetables which are not usually eaten. Nightshade vegetables also contain many important and health-inducing nutrients so you might end up making things worse by cutting them out of your diet.

Myth 3: Gin-soaked raisins

For this one it’s safer to say that we don’t have proof that it works than saying it definitely doesn’t work as no relevant studies have taken place. The theory is that the sulphur found in golden raisins and junipers (which are used to make gin) can reduce inflammation. And while anecdotally there are arthritis sufferers who say gin-soaked raisins work, this could be because the alcohol in the gin is giving them some short term pain relief.

Myth 4: Cut out dairy

The problem here is that it very much depends on the individual. For some people it can be inflammatory while for others it can be actively anti-inflammatory. Unless you are lactose intolerant or have allergies to dairy then we wouldn’t recommend you cut out dairy altogether, especially as it is good for keeping your bones healthy. However, it’s always worth going for low-fat options. 

Myth 5: Raw diet

There is no evidence to suggest that only eating raw fruit and vegetables is good for arthritis. And it is also worth pointing out that eating excessive amounts of raw veg and fruit can cause nausea and diarrhoea. Ultimately, we recommend a balanced diet that includes a good amount of fruit and veg - raw or cooked - but it probably won’t alleviate arthritis symptoms. 

Myth 6: Jelly

In gelatin (from which you make jelly) there is a good amount of collagen which is one of the fundamental materials that make up cartilage in your joints. There is, however, little evidence to suggest there is a direct correlation between consuming more collagen in the form of gelatin and an improvement in the cartilage in your joints. 

Myth 7: Red Wine

Red wine has a compound in it called resveratrol which is known to have anti-inflammatory effects. This is all well and good if you have one glass of red wine but drinking to excess can actually make things worse by increasing the production of a pro-inflammatory substance called cytokine.

Do you know any food tips that really work? Let us know on our Facebook page!


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