Foods Good For Joints And Cartilage (What Seniors Should Eat)

Father time catches up to all of us at one point in our lives. Aging changes us and from a joint and cartilage perspective, we can see bone mass loss, joint pain, swelling, and more as we age.  This is especially true for women after a certain age. Our bones will lose minerals and calcium. Because of this, we can start to see posture changes, and it’s not uncommon for walking issues to take place.  But can we slow this down or relieve some of the pain we could be having from joint issues?  We could and a big part will depend on foods good for joints and cartilage.  We simply need to eat more of the right kinds of foods.

So what can we do to help fight joint and cartilage damage as we age? First is to exercise it still is one of the best ways to help prevent problems with bones, muscles, and joints. Another way is the foods we eat.   Eat the right foods to help with joint pain.

What Foods are good for joints and cartilage?

Certain foods are better than others but generally, the below foods are known to be good for joints and cartilage inflammation and pain:

  • Cherries
  • Red peppers
  • Salmon
  • Turmeric 
  • Kale
  • Walnuts
  • Strawberries & Raspberries
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Orange

What is Cartilage?

Foods good for joints and Cartilage

Cartilage is connective tissues that are found through our bodies.  Cartilage is strong and flexible but over time it is prone to damage. 

What is the function of cartilage in your body?

  • Cartilage helps as a buffer or cushion between joints and when we run, bend, or stretch it helps to support our weight.
  • Helps to hold bones together

What types of cartilage does your body have?

There are three types of cartilage in your body and they are as follows:

Fibrocartilage:  Fibrocartilage is the strongest and toughest of the cartilage and can withstand heavyweights.  Found mostly between our discs and vertebrae of our spine, hips, and pelves.

Elastic Cartilage:  The most type of cartilage we have in our bodies is elastic cartilage and it’s springy and elastic.  They make up our nose and ears. 

Hyaline Cartilage:  Found between the ribs and our joints.  It’s elastic and strong. 

What are Joints in Your Body?

Joints are spots in the body where bones meet.  They enable our movement.  These are the three types of joints:

  • Synovial joints are the joints that allow for motion to take place where bones meet.
  • Cartilaginous joints are slightly movable compared to synovial joints.  Cartilaginous joints are bones that are connected by cartilage at the joints. 
  • Fibrous joints are connected mainly to collagen and dense connective tissues and are immovable joints.

Foods for Good Joint Health

fruits good for inflammation


Cherries are an excellent choice when it comes to promoting joint health.  Cherries have an anti-inflammatory action that helps with arthritis.  Arthritis is when you have an inflammatory response in the synovial fluid of your joints.  This leads to swelling and pain.  Because cherries have inflammation reduction properties they can help with joints.

Red Peppers

Red peppers are great for arthritis and joint health.  A major reason is they are high in antioxidants and some who research this say that eating more foods that are high in beta-cryptoxanthin may help reduce inflammatory conditions. 

Red and orange peppers are good as well and so ar sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots.


Salmon is an excellent food to eat because it is rich in omega-3s.  Not only is salmon great to eat by so are fish like mackerel, sardines, and tuna.  Be sure to eat these fish in moderation.  Especially large fish like tuna who are known to be higher in mercury 

Omega-3s and inflammation

Again, omega-3s are known to inhibit the inflammation which causes arthritis.  When eating properly salmon can help inflammation at the cellular level.  People who eat these types of fish regularly are more likely not to develop rheumatoid arthritis


Tumeric is a flowering type of plant of the ginger family.   Using turmeric in your foods can be good for you.  Although a large study was done on the effects of turmeric and it was found that it was not as effective in reducing inflammation in older adults as first thought.  However, there are still health benefits to eating turmeric.  


Kale is one of the best vegetables to eat.  Like a lot of the leafy green vegetables that you can eat Kale is really rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants and high in both vitamin C and K.  Because of this it can help with inflammation.

This superfood is also high in calcium which can help strengthen bones.  You can eat kale by juicing it, cooking it, or eating it raw.    If you are going to juice kale be repaired for not getting a lot of juice out of it.


Walnuts along with other types of nuts like peanuts, pecans, pistachios are highly filled with heart-protective qualities that make eating them healthy for you in moderation.  But when you look at Walnuts only they are really packed with omega-3 fatty acids. 

This is what makes them different than the other nuts mentioned above.  Omega-3s can help with a lot of different cardiovascular risks.  Omega-3s can also help with joint pain although less study has been done on walnuts compacted to that of fish oils.

Strawberries & Raspberries

A study by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has found that when you eat berries it could have a positive effect against bone loss because of the carotenoids.  If you have low bone mass your not alone almost eighty percent of people within the United States with osteoporosis are a woman.   

Carotenoids are what’s found in plants that give bright colors like orange, reds, and yellows to vegetables and fruits.

Strawberries and raspberries are high in Vitamins C and E and that is good for your body.

Brussels Sprouts

Because of the rich content in Sulforaphane that is in Brussel sprouts they can help with the slowing down and progression of joint damage that can take place within your body. 

Brussels is a member of the Gemmifera groups of cabbages.  In-fact they look like min heads of cabbage. 

A lot of people shy away from Brussels because they may think they don’t taste good but we are here to tell you there are very good for you and taste great in our opinion.  Lear a few ways to cook them.


Oranges are excellent sources of vitamin C and who doesn’t like a fresh-squeezed glass of delicious orange juice from time-to-time?  Vitamin C helps with promoting and building up collagen that protects your cartilage.

Foods That Are Bad For Joint And Cartilage

Just as you can eat foods that help promote better joint health and cartilage you can also eat foods that help promote painful flare-ups.  Certain types of foods can fan the flame of pain and inflammation within your body.

Below are a slit of some foods that may inflame joint issues and inflammation

  1. Gluten
  2. Blackened foods
  3. Vegetable oil
  4. Sugar
  5. Partially Hydrogenated oil
  6. Monosodium Glutamate
  7. Salt
  8. Chili peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Eggplants

What foods are good for knee cartilage?

For those of us that have bad knees due to cartilage issues eating the same good foods we listed above should help with reducing inflammation. 

Remember, oily fish, anti-inflammatory vegetables, high -antioxidant foods are all cartilage-building foods that will for nee cartilage issues and help reduce knee inflammation that causes stiffness and joint pain. 

Foods good for joints and cartilage should be eaten regularly to help in maintaining cartilage.  Also, remember to wear comfortable shoes with good soles and inside padding that can help absorb shock on your knees when walking. 

Amounts of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Grams of Fish

Salmon, Atlantic WildN/A1.220.35
Herring, Atlantic CookedN/A0.940.77
Sardines, Canned in tomato sauce, drainedN/A0.740.45
Mackerel, Atlantic CookedN/A0.590.43
Trout, rainbow, wildN/A0.440.40
Oysters, eastern, wild0.140.230.30
Sea bass, cookedN/A0.470.18
Tuna, light, canned in waterN/A0.170.02
Talapia, cooked0.040.11NA
Tuna, yellowfin, cookedN/A0.090.01

In Closing

The foods we eat can and do play a role in our health.  Eating foods that promote inflammation will cause pain and uncomfortable situations for us as we get older.  

Eating a healthy diet of foods that can help with inflammation can make your arthritis, pains, and other discomforts feel better. 

Don’t forget that exercise is also a big key along with diet in helping you feel better.  Everyone gets older but that doesn’t mean we can feel good or feel at our best with a few simple changes to our lifestyle. 

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About ASmith

Adam Smith is the main researcher and contributor at Mobility Medical Supply. Adam has many years of research in public data, and software security. With Mobility issues within Adam's family, he decided to dedicate in-depth guides on mobility products to anyone looking to improve movement and gain independence.