You probably never realized how much you rely on your knees until they started to hurt.

Chronic knee pain is so difficult to manage precisely because your knees are engaged whether you are standing or sitting, walking or biking, climbing stairs or trying to find a comfortable position in bed. Yep, when your knees hurt, it can take over your entire day.

Whether caused by arthritis, bursitis, or injury, there are many remedies for pain and inflammation that can help get you moving again.

Unfortunately, many OTC and prescription drugs come with hefty side effects that can eclipse the original complaint. Acetaminophen, for example, is the leading cause of liver failure worldwide.

You may be surprised to learn just how much your diet can affect pain levels, especially when it comes to inflammation. We have collected 7 foods that do wonders for knee pain.

Incorporating more of them into your daily diet can reduce your dependence on pain medication and keep you healthier overall.

1. Carrots

Eating carrots to relieve knee pain is actually an ancient Chinese remedy. It works because the orange veggie is packed with beta-carotene and vitamin A, both powerful anti-inflammatory compounds.

The secret to enjoying the max strength of carrots is to eat them cooked, but if you hate cooked carrots, eating them raw is still good. Try for two servings each day to reduce your knee pain.

2. Turmeric

Curry-lovers, rejoice! You are already doing wonders for your achy knees. Curry contains turmeric – that’s what makes it orange – and turmeric has a lot of something called curcumin.

Curcumin has actually been used for centuries in herbal medicine because of its anti-inflammatory ability. Eating a lot of it can reduce your risk of developing painful joint conditions in the first place, and also nearly matches ibuprofen in its capacity for pain relief.

3. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is good for way more than salad dressing. You can get relief from your knee pain by both drinking it and applying it topically. When you drink it (2 tablespoons per day), apple cider vinegar can dissolve toxins within the knee that tend to spark inflammation.

The same effect occurs when you mix ACV with olive oil and massage it into your painful knees once a day for a week.

4. Walnuts

Walnuts are king among nuts in terms of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which makes them ideal for soothing knee pain.

Some studies also suggest that despite their high calorie count, eating walnuts regularly can reduce junk food cravings and therefore help you lose weight. Shedding a few pounds is another good strategy to reduce stress on painful knees.

5. Whole grains

Eating a ton of whole grains can reduce the inflammation that causes pain in your knees, especially as a result of exercise. Eating refined grains, on the other hand, causes more inflammation.

Skip the white bread in favor of products that retain all three parts of the original grain – the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Great choices include brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, barley, and breads made with whole grain flour.

6. Avocados

Avocados owe their creamy texture to the presence of lots of healthy unsaturated fat. Most of it is in the form of oleic acid, which studies show can lower particular biomarkers of inflammation. Whatever the cause of your knee pain, your pain will decrease as inflammation abates. Avocado is one of the only foods that can also minimize the ability of other foods to generate inflammation, which makes it very helpful to add to almost any meal.

7. Tart cherries

 

Tart cherries, or their juice, can be a real boon to people with chronic knee pain. Cherries get their vibrant red color from plant chemicals called anthocyanins, which can settle down that agonizing inflammation.

Tart cherries have also been found in studies to reduce flare-ups in people with gout, a type of arthritis that causes knee pain due to hard crystals that form in the joints.