10 Foods That Increase Your Risk Of Arthritis

Any sour food can flare up your arthritis. Many people have complained that certain foods induce arthritis pain. It can differ from person to person. Some people may experience pain, while others have no effects with these foods. 

You can check by yourself how your body reacts to these foods. If you experience pain with the following foods, then stop taking them one by one for about 1-2 weeks. If the pain and stiffness go away, that means that particular food is flaring up your arthritis. 

Don’t completely stop taking these foods but consume them in moderation. Here are the foods that may flare up your arthritis:

1. Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil can lead to joint pain and inflammation. Sunflower oil contains omega-6 fatty acids. Arachidonic acid (ARA), a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid triggers the body to produce potent pro-inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes that cause inflammation – a key cause of arthritis pain. 

Polyunsaturated oils contain two types of essential fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-6 fatty acids. Your body itself cannot produce these fatty acids, so you need to get them from food. 

Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory, while omega-6 fats are pro-inflammatory. You need not completely stop taking omega-6 fatty acids. Both are essential for the body, but excess consumption of omega-6 fats is bad for rheumatoid arthritis. Avoid sunflower oil.

2. Sour curd

Freshly made curd in moderation may not be bad for arthritis, but sour curd often aggravates arthritis pain. Casein – a type of protein present in curd promotes inflammation, which is the main reason for rheumatoid arthritis. Avoid sour curd; always eat fresh curd made on the same day, that too in moderation.

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3. Tamarind

As such, tamarind is very beneficial for health but not for rheumatoid arthritis. This sweet and sour fruit can worsen arthritis pain and inflammation. Although studies suggest tamarind abrogates arthritis-mediated cartilage and bone degradation, some people experience an increase in pain with tamarind.

Again, the experience can differ from person to person; hence it is advised to observe your body’s reaction to tamarind.

4. Nightshade vegetables

Both potatoes and eggplants are members of the nightshade family. Both contain the chemical solanine that plants use as a natural defence. It has a toxic effect on the body and can lead to gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. 

People claim that they experience arthritis pain and inflammation with nightshade vegetables, which can be due to solanine.

Other vegetables from the nightshade family are tomatoes and peppers. If you experience an increase in inflammation and pain after consuming any of these vegetables, avoid them. Even if you don’t experience any pain, still eat them in moderation.

5. Black gram

Black gram increases pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α and decreases anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. It means it increases inflammation in the body by increasing inflammation-causing protein and decreasing the protein that reduces inflammation in the body. 

Also, research suggests black gram decreases antioxidant effect in the body, which is more prominent in black gram without skin; boiling and not boiling the pulse doesn’t have much difference in their effects.

6. Taro root/Arbi

Taro root comprises calcium oxalate in a needle-shaped crystal form, which can produce irritation and burning sensation when consumed in raw form. Many arthritis people claim that they experience swelling and pain after taro root consumption. 

They may cause the formation of kidney stones and gout (a type of arthritis), accompanied by some other health issues. Either avoid eating this root or boil the root for an extended period before cooking them.

7. Chilled water

Chilled water can worsen autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. Chilled water causes constriction of blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the affected joint area. Due to reduced blood flow, the body’s ability to clear out the impurities gets affected, and inflammation increases resulting in pain. 

Avoid drinking anything chill, whether it’s a cold drink, iced tea, cold coffee, or plain chilled water.

8. Fried foods

When foods are exposed to high temperatures, such as during frying, baking, barbecuing, and grilling, produce advanced glycation end product (AGE), which is a toxin. AGEs bind to RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end-products) and activate pro-inflammatory cytokine production, thus becoming involved in inflammation and result in arthritis.

9. Processed foods and canned foods

Canned foods contain excessive salt and other preservatives to achieve longer shelf lives. Studies show that high sodium can increase inflammation in your body. Reducing salt consumption may help in reducing inflammation. 

Processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, and cheese contain hydrogenated oils that are high in trans fats, and trans fats trigger systemic inflammation. Avoid processed and canned foods to prevent arthritis.

10. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is injurious to health; you must have heard it many times. Alcohol may cause more inflammation, which can make symptoms of arthritis worse. 

Studies show that alcohol interferes with anti-inflammatory medicines that can increase your risk of stomach bleeding and ulcers can be fatal. Never drink if you are on arthritis medication.


Not everyone reacts the same way to the foods mentioned above. Some can easily tolerate these foods, while others’ pain gets worse. You know your body best. Observe yourself. Note down what you eat the whole day and observe if you experience an increase in pain, swelling, and inflammation. 

If any of the above foods were included in your diet, avoid eating them for about 1 to 2 weeks and see if your condition gets better. Just by avoiding these foods, preventing and managing your arthritis would be much easier. If you are young, healthy, and have no arthritis history in your family, limit your consumption of the foods mentioned above, and arthritis will never touch you in life.

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