Best and Worst Protein Sources for Arthritis

by | Jul 3, 2015 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

With July being National Juvenile Arthritis month, we’re going to honour the young ones who endure daily pain and discuss various foods that help and hurt this particular condition.

Whether you or a loved one have this condition, another disease, or are considered healthy, it is vital to eat as healthy as possible. Of course this includes reducing or eliminating:

  • Processed foods
  • White sugar products
  • White flour products
  • Soda’s, fruit juices, and juice crystals

A typical healthy diet consists of eating a variety of natural foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain carbohydrates, and proteins. This variety helps both children’s bodies and minds, as well as our own, become healthy and vibrant.

But of course, not everyone enjoys optimum health with this condition being one of the fastest and largest conditions that is affecting more and more American’s every year. The Arthritis Foundation noted that juvenile arthritis affects 300,000 children throughout the United States!

Where’s the Beef?

Red meat has long been noted as one protein source that should be avoided by those with arthritis. Studies have linked red meat to significantly worsen inflammation and joint pain due to the saturated fats, cholesterol, and salt it contains. Meats to steer clear of are:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Poultry skin
  • Deli meats

Instead you can choose lean cuts. Ask your butcher for grass fed cuts of pork and beef plus skinless chicken and turkey breasts and you’ll be feeding your body with healthy, lean proteins while not causing an increase in inflammation.

Top Protein Sources!

The best source of protein for anyone with arthritis is fish. It is complete an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids to lube joints and reduce inflammation.

The American Heart Association recommends 3-4 ounces twice per week. This will give the body an excellent supply of omega-3 fatty acids which are proven to fight inflammation and reduce joint swelling. This can provide relief from morning stiffness or daily battles of pain.

The best options of fish with the highest amounts of omega-3’s are:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Snapper
  • Bass
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Anchovies
  • Scallops

Since our bodies do not make omega-3 fatty acids for us, we need to consume it to reap the benefits. For those who don’t care to eat fish, taking omega-3 supplements has been found to provide similar benefits. Studies have found that arthritic patients should consume 600-1000 mg of fish oil daily in order to alleviate joint swelling, stiffness, and inflammation.

This week, we offer a recipe for inflammation-reducing salmon. Side with vegetables of your choice and enjoy!

Lemon Salmon

(serves 2)


  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 salmon fillets, boneless and skinless
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Arrange half of the lemon slices on a baking dish; layer with 2 sprigs of rosemary and top with salmon fillets
  3. Sprinkle salt on salmon and layer with remaining rosemary sprigs and lemon slices; drizzle with olive oil
  4. Bake for 20 minutes in oven or until fish flakes easily with fork.