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What is the best drink for treating arthritis?

This smoothie is a great antioxidant-packed, nutrient-rich beverage that has bioactive compounds that help reduce inflammation.

1. What is Arthritis?


Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis causes cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of joints.

Uric acid crystals, which form when there’s too much uric acid in your blood, can cause gout. Infections or underlying disease, such as psoriasis or lupus, can cause other types of arthritis.

Treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis. The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.


The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis, signs and symptoms may include:

Pain, Stiffness, Swelling, Redness, Decreased range of motion.


The two main types of arthritis — osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis — damage joints in different ways.


The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis involves wear-and-tear damage to a joint’s cartilage — the hard, slick coating on the ends of bones where they form a joint. Cartilage cushions the ends of the bones and allows nearly frictionless joint motion, but enough damage can result in bone grinding directly on bone, which causes pain and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection.

Osteoarthritis also causes changes in the bones and deterioration of the connective tissues that attach muscle to bone and hold the joint together. If cartilage in a joint is severely damaged, the joint lining may become inflamed and swollen.

Rheumatoid arthritis

In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses all the joint parts. This lining (synovial membrane) becomes inflamed and swollen. The disease process can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.

2. The #1 Best Drink for Treating Arthritis, Says Dietitian

If you’re suffering from arthritis, you’re one of approximately 58.5 million people in the United States who deals with this disease (or 1 in every 4 adults). It is a leading cause of work disability, with more than half of U.S. adults (57.3%) with arthritis of working age between 18 to 64 years old.

The good news is that there are ways to reduce its symptoms, which include pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints. Some examples are taking supplements, watching what you eat, and drinking certain beverages. And according to Julie Upton, MS, RD, a registered dietitian on our medical expert board, one of the best drinks you can have to soothe arthritis symptoms is a smoothie with wild blueberries and leafy greens.

“My favorite drink to reduce symptoms related to arthritis is a green and berry smoothie,” says Upton.

Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder and Upton says that adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet may help soothe this inflammation that causes arthritis symptoms. “This [smoothie] is a great antioxidant-packed, nutrient-rich beverage that has bioactive compounds that help reduce inflammation,” explains Upton. “That is what causes pain and stiffness of the joints when you have arthritis.”

What is the best drink for treating arthritis?

a. How wild blueberries may target arthritis symptoms?

For her recipe, Upton always uses frozen wild blueberries, as she suggests that they have more antioxidants and less sugar than most other berries.

Studies suggest that wild blueberries may play a key role in reducing inflammation and targeting arthritis symptoms due to the fruit’s high concentration of anti-inflammatory flavonoid polyphenols, especially anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins are a specific type of antioxidant found in the skin of wild blueberries that have been shown to have a high antioxidant capacity, which is a measure of how many cell-damaging free radicals the plant compound can scavenge, as discussed in a Journal of Functional Foods study.

A review published in Advances in Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences summarized that there is promising evidence to support the role of anthocyanins in reducing inflammation in joint tissue as well as preventing osteoporosis.

Another bioactive polyphenol, known as malvidin-3-glucoside, found in wild blueberries has also been linked to significantly reducing the expression of pro-inflammatory genes.

There is also evidence to support the direct link between consuming antioxidant-rich blueberries and alleviating arthritis symptoms. One study set out to examine the effect of consuming freeze-dried blueberries daily on participants with knee osteoarthritis—a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down. Participants who consumed 40 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder every day for four months showed reduced pain, stiffness, and difficulty in performing daily activities as compared to the control group. Researchers believe that these results are a sign that blueberry supplementation may therefore improve the quality of life in individuals with osteoarthritis.

Wild Blueberries nutrition facts

Wild blueberries grow around the world, and they taste delicious. These berries are significantly smaller than their cultivated relatives, and they are much more flavorful too. They are also thought to be one of the healthiest berries.

Basic Nutrition Facts For Blueberries Per 100g

Calories: 57 kcal
Carbohydrate: 14.5 g
Fiber: 2.4 g
Sugars: 10 g
Fat: 0.3 g
Saturated Fat: 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Omega-3: 58 mg
Omega-6: 88 mg
Protein: 0.7 g

Vitamin K: 24% (% RDI)
Vitamin C: 16%
Vitamin B6: 3%
Vitamin E: 3%
Vitamin B1: 2%
Vitamin B2: 2%
Vitamin B3: 2%
Vitamin A: 1%
Vitamin B5: 1%
Folate: 1%

Manganese: 17% (% RDI)
Copper: 3%
Iron: 2%
Potassium: 2%
Calcium: 1%
Magnesium: 1%
Phosphorus: 1%
Zinc: 1%
Selenium: Trace amounts
Sodium: Trace amounts

Carbs: One cup of raw blueberries (148g) contains about 84 calories and 21 grams of carbohydrates. It also yields nearly 4 grams of fiber. Though a cup of blueberries contains 15 grams of total sugar, its glycemic load, which factors in how much of a particular food will raise blood sugar levels, is below 10, which is considered low.

Fats: Blueberries contain just a trace amount of fat and are cholesterol-free.

Protein: Blueberries have a minimal amount of protein. You should include other protein sources in your diet to meet your daily needs.

Vitamins and Minerals: Blueberries are a rich source of essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and the mineral manganese, which helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients like carbohydrates and protein. Vitamin K is a key nutrient in blood clotting and healthy bones.

Calories: One cup of raw blueberries (148g) provides 84 calories, 91% of which come from carbs, 5% from protein, and 5% from fat.

Blueberries are low in calories, and they offer a good source of vitamin C, K, and manganese.

b. How leafy greens, like spinach, can fight arthritis symptoms?

When it comes to selecting the greens for this smoothie, Upton prefers baby spinach. Like wild blueberries, spinach may also ease arthritis symptoms.

When researchers asked 217 subjects to designate whether 20 foods included in a survey either improved or worsened their rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms, spinach was one of the top two foods most often reported to improve RA symptoms (the other being blueberries). Soda and desserts were more frequently linked to worsening RA symptoms. This was a self-reported study, so more research needs to be done to prove a link between spinach and improved RA symptoms.

One of the ways spinach may help alleviate arthritis symptoms is similar to that of wild blueberries—by lowering inflammation. Spinach contains high levels of an antioxidant known as kaempferol, which has been shown to decrease the effects of inflammatory compounds associated with rheumatoid arthritis. However, more research is needed to confirm this effect in humans.

Along with its arthritis-fighting ability, spinach is great for your heart. According to several studies, spinach has been linked with lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease. This leafy green is also helpful for weight loss. It’s super low-calorie and low-carb and contains tons of nutrients. That’s not all, though. Spinach is also high in fiber, which keeps you full and helps you keep regulated, making it a superfood for your smoothie.

Spinach Nutrition Facts

Spinach is a high-fiber food that can add volume, color, and texture to your favorite recipes. Whether eaten cooked or raw, this leafy green vegetable offers a nutritious punch without adding any fat or natural sugars to your diet—helpful if you’re monitoring either of these.

Three cups of spinach (85g) provide 20.4 calories, 2g of protein, 3g of carbohydrates, and zero fat. Spinach is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

Calories: 20.4
Fat: 0g
Sodium: 64.6 mg
Carbohydrates: 3g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 2g
Vitamin K: 410mcg
Vitamin C: 24mg
Potassium: 470mg

Carbs: Most of the carbohydrates in spinach are from fiber, making it a very filling vegetable. Along with other leafy greens, it may be considered a “free” food on a low-carbohydrate diet because it provides fiber while being low in calories. Spinach also ranks close to zero on the glycemic index. This means that it will have minimal impact on your blood sugar levels.

Fats: There is no fat and no cholesterol in spinach. But adding a little fat to your spinach-containing meal may help your body absorb more of its beta-carotene—especially if the spinach is raw or in the form of a steamed puree.

Protein: There are 2 grams of protein in three cups of fresh spinach. That means spinach has almost as much protein as it does carbohydrates.

Vitamins and Minerals: Three cups of fresh spinach provide more than three times your daily vitamin K needs (340%). You also get roughly 25% of your recommended vitamin C intake and 10% of your suggested potassium intake from a three-cup serving of spinach.

Cooking spinach increases its concentration of vitamin A. You will get 64% of your daily value in a half-cup serving of boiled spinach.

Calories: There are approximately 20 calories in three cups of spinach, or just under 7 calories per cup. That makes its calorie count similar to that of kale, which provides 7.2 calories per cup (raw).

Spinach is high in fiber while also being low in calories and fat. It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium, making it a great addition to a nutritious meal plan.

Greek Yogurt Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for one container (156 g or 5.5 oz) of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt.

Calories: 92
Fat: 0.265 g
Sodium: 56.2 mg
Carbohydrates: 5.68 g
Sugars: 5.1 g
Fiber: N/A
Choline: 23.6 mg
Protein: 16.1 g
Calcium: 111 mg

Carbs: One container of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt (156 grams) typically contains 5 grams of carbohydrates. It has 5.1 grams of sugar.

Fats: There’s less than 1 gram of fat in plain, nonfat Greek yogurt.

Protein: Greek yogurt contains 16 grams of protein, making it an excellent way to boost your daily protein intake.

Vitamins and Minerals: Greek yogurt is full of vitamins and minerals. One container includes 10.7 milligrams of magnesium, 136 milligrams of phosphorous, 141 milligrams of potassium, and 15 milligrams of choline. It also has 111 milligrams of calcium.

Magnesium helps with functions such as energy production and protein synthesis, while potassium plays a vital role in nervous system function and muscle contraction. Phosphorous helps with bone growth and normal cell membrane function. Choline, a B vitamin, assists with biological processes such as fat and cholesterol transport, as well as energy metabolism.

Calories: According to the USDA, one container of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt contains 92 calories.

c. How to make this smoothie for arthritis?

If you’re looking to get the exact recipe, Upton has shared what she does to make this delicious and nutritious smoothie:

1 cup packed baby spinach
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
ice cups and cold water
Stevia, if needed.

Add these ingredients to your blender and process to the thickness you desire. Then, voila! You have a healthy and tasty smoothie.

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