The small snack that can ease arthritis symptoms – but ‘more is not always better’

Ruth asks This Morning doctor about milk helping arthritis

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Arthritis is a non-curable condition, but according to experts, a number of dietary changes can help to ease symptoms such as inflammation. Nuts, in particular, are a snack said to be beneficial in reducing the pain associated with swollen joints.

However, the amount you eat can be critical to your overall health.

According to, there are “multiple studies” which show incorporating nuts and seeds into your diet can help to ease some of the symptoms commonly associated with the inflammatory disease.

José M. Ordovás, PhD, director of nutrition and genomics at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Centre on Ageing at Tufts University in Boston, shed light on one study which highlighted the importance of nuts as part of a balanced diet for those suffering from arthritis.

He said: “Multiple studies confirm the role of nuts in an anti-inflammatory diet.” goes to detail how one study “found that over a 15-year period, men and women who consumed the most nuts had a 51 percent lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, compared with those who ate the fewest nuts”.

Many of the benefits of nuts are thought to lie within their B6 content.

A second study found subjects with lower levels of vitamin B6 had higher levels of inflammation.

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Which nuts are best for arthritis?

Nuts with high levels of B6 are thought to be the best for fighting inflammation.

Some of the nuts and seeds highest in the vitamin include:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Pine nuts
  • Flaxseeds

What size is a healthy portion of nuts?

While nuts are thought to be good in reducing the risk of inflammation, you should be wary of your portion size.

Nuts are said to be good for weight loss as they pack a protein punch, but they are also high in calories.

This is why Mr Ordovás warns: “Just keep in mind that more is not always better.”

People are recommended to each around one handful of nuts per day.

Any more than this amount can be too much and may lead to weight gain.

Can any other foods ease arthritis symptoms?

According to, there are a number of foods one can incorporate into the diet to ease some of the symptoms commonly associated with arthritis. 

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Omega-3-rich fish include salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring.
  • Soy such as edamame beans or tofu.
  • Cherries.
  • Broccoli.
  • Low-fat dairy products.

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