Avoiding Arthritis

In the UK 55% of people over the age of 65 suffer with arthritis and joint pain. In America, a third of adults show x-ray evidence of arthritis in their hands, feet, knees or hips. By the age of 65, as many as 75% of the western population is arthritic. Alas women seem to suffer from arthritis more than men.

In the case of osteoarthritis, the cartilage between the joints breaks down leading to thickening and inflammation within the joints. This restricts movement and causes pain and swelling. It tends to affect the weight bearing joints – hips, knees, the spine and the hands. The majority of people who suffer with arthritis tend to eat too many acid-forming foods. In short, proteins such as meat and dairy, as well as refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pizza, pasta and cakes to name but a few. Fresh vegetables and most fruit are alkalising.

People who suffer from osteoarthritis are frequently told to avoid the nightshade family, ie: tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, aubergines. Out of these tomatoes are by far the worst offender. Avoiding these foods for 4 – 6 months will show marked benefits in pain and inflammation reduction. In cultures where people eat a mainly wholefood vegetarian diet, arthritis is virtually unknown.


  • Coffee, alcohol and fizzy cola type drinks must be greatly reduced if one is to see good results.
  • Refined flour, cakes, pastries, breads and pasta should also be avoided as much as possible.
  • Tomatoes, (potatoes are ok in small amounts), peppers, spinach, aubergines, chillies should be cut out all together.
  • Oranges, lemons and limes are very acid forming.
  • All cow dairy. Milk, cheese and butter must be avoided at all cost (to be replaced with Soya produce or goat and sheep cheese in moderation.)
  • All vinegars are acid forming and must be eliminated.
  • Refined sugar and chocolate is to be reduced as much as possible.
  • CITRIC ACID is a killer and is in every preserve, mustard, jam etc. (i.e. anything in a jar). This must be avoided at all cost.


  • All fruits other than the ones mentioned above are good in moderation. But avoid strawberries, kiwis and bananas.
  • Chicken and turkey are fine as are all fish. Try and eat oily fish such as salmon and tuna.
  • Sweet potatoes are a super food and should be eaten instead of regular potatoes whenever possible.
  • Rye, spelt, brown rice and whole grains are fine  (there are some great rye breads and chickpea breads available from good health shops as well as some great wheat free pastas.)
  • All pulses such as lentils and beans are great sources of energy and not acid forming.
  • Lots of vegetables except for the ones mentioned above will keep your body in an alkaline state. (The less cooked the better.)
  • Cook with ginger and turmeric, they have great anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Use cold pressed olive oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil for salads.
  • Almonds, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds are all excellent foods.


  • ChondroCare: Contains glucosamine, chondrointine, minerals and MSM. This brings down inflammation and regenerates the cartilage. (2 tablets 3 times daily with food).
  • Kaprex: This is a very good joint support formula. (1 capsule twice daily with food).
  • Cat’s Claw: This potent alkaloid will help maintain your body in an alkaline state. (2 capsules 3 times daily with meals).

(These are available from NUTRI on 0800 212 742)


  • See a good osteopath (i.e us!) for regular treatment!
  • If you are overweight, you know what you have to do.
  • Alternate hot and cold compresses can be very soothing, alternate one minute at a time for 10 minutes. This flushes out the inflammation.
  • Cartilage needs plenty of fluid to stay healthy, so drink lots of water.
  • Good green powders such as Alkalife will help to alkalize the body.
  • Gentle weight baring exercise is good, so keep moving.

This is the “Tip” of the Arthritis iceberg. This is a vast and complicated subject. If you have it and want to know more, get in touch.

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  • Dr Marc Farah